I’ve used foils a few times – outside too!
I know what it says in the manufacturers guidleines about not using it outside for long term signage…but…if you don’t try – you don’t know!
Used it on my own car once – lasted about three years. Fabulous effect, just simple text but in chrome – boy did it make people look!
I did use gold foil on a sign for a social club in our village. It was used for the main block text together with a red shadow on a black painted sign about 4′ x 1′ in size. That was back in about 1995 and it’s still there – in one piece! The entire sign is on the shaded side of the building, tucked-up tight under the eaves and guttering, partially overgrown with ivy. I suppose being almost covered up like it is, the UV, rain and everything else has just never got to it!
I’ve noticed that the foils I’ve used prefer a totally flat surface and a good one at that – like a car panel or other vinyl below. When it does start to ‘go’ it begins to dimple all over – which in itself is a nice effect as it looks a little like a hammered metal finish. Then, finally it begins to edge-lift and seperate from its backing.
The foil for the social club sign would have come from Victory Design and the foil for my car was from Metamark…anyway, it can last outside – I think it just depends on the application and a bit of luck too.