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  • Ink scrubbed off sign? will it show up under a vinyl wrap?

    Posted by Rob Thorner on November 9, 2022 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Guys, My customer currently has a 4ft/ 8ft aluminium sign above his garage, with the design in ink. Initially he wanted a new sign but is now asking if instead of replacing the sign weather the existing ink design can be scrubbed off (it has already faded a lot anyway) and then my vinyl design put on. I just wondered if there is any special sign ink removing liquid, or whatever it might be called, on the market for tasks such as these? Failing that I thought I could cover the existing design with a sheet or 2 of white vinyl and use that as the blank canvas – but would the ink design show through underneath?

    Any advice much appreciated, Rob

    RobertLambie replied 1 year, 7 months ago 7 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Duncan Wilkie

    November 9, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Rob,

    We used to repaint a lot of plastic sign faces back in the day. Since the 80’s, we insist on new acrylic or POLYCARBONATE. Removing paint from old sign faces is dodgy and messy and requires nasty chemicals. If it’s and illuminated face, it’s probably painted or screen printed with lacquer type paint or ink. On acrylic, lacquer thinner will break it down. If it’s Polycarbonate, the lacquer thinner will ruin the face. We used to use Methanol for poly faces. CAUTION: If Acrylic has been out in the hot Sun for an extended period, it undergoes a physical change. If this occurs, hot solvent like lacquer thinner can cause it to “craze”.

    Do yourself a favour and use new acrylic and you won’t have to deal with the hazardous chemicals, toxic waste and the risk of ruining the face.

    This is experience talking. 🙂

    • Duncan Wilkie

      November 9, 2022 at 3:28 pm

      I’m an idiot. I just re-read your post. Aluminum is a totally different animal. Disregard my previous rant. Same advice replace or cover it with a new piece of ACP.

  • Colin Crabb

    November 9, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    Overboard it with new ACM panels and save yourself mess & headaches, removing inks (if possible) and/or recovering in vinyl (grey backed could help) is time consuming, messy and will take longer, therefore cost client more ££££.

    Its not only image showing through you have to consider, but also dents, scrapes etc.

  • Phill Fenton

    November 9, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    Tell your customer it will cost him more as you need to cover your time to refurbish and re-use the old panel. Explain that it is more cost effective to simply pay for a new panel

  • Rob Thorner

    November 10, 2022 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks for the advice guys. I will have a closer look tomorrow to see if it can be covered over, and if not will replace with another aluminium panel.

    Thanks again

  • David Hammond

    November 11, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    Take this with the best of intentions.

    I gave up removing panels yonks ago, the time and effort to do so, it’s often quick and cheaper to just buy in a new panel.

    The customer’s lack of budget isn’t your problem, same as those who think because the correx sign is only being used for a day it should be cheaper, the costs are the costs.

  • David Wilde

    November 12, 2022 at 11:41 pm

    To echo the above, in my opinion this is madness, we sell signs. He should pay for a new sign.

    Ikea sell furniture, they don’t come round and clean your old units up instead.

    Personally, I wouldn’t be entertaining the idea.

    Sorry if this sounds blunt.

  • RobertLambie

    December 4, 2022 at 8:02 am

    I agree with the others, replace the whole sign with a new one.
    If you clean the ink, you have chemical costs and labour time messing around with it. often what you will be left with is a relatively clean panel with ghosting of letters or faint off-white looking colour.
    Then your graphics on-top. it just never looks good, certainly not as good as a fresh new panel.

    if you have a printer, you will have digital white vinyl which is most likely grey-backed adhesive.
    if you cover the panel with that vinyl, the grey adhesive will stop the old graphics from showing through.
    you then just apply the cut vinyl graphics on-top.
    or, print the whole sign and fit it on top, job done.

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