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  • should i use 3M primer on a van?

    Posted by Karen White on October 6, 2022 at 7:35 am

    hi gang

    i have a van to do next week and a part of the graphics passes over a recess curvey bit.
    i dont want the vinyl coming back out and i dont want to buy in wrap material because it is for only two small parts of the van on each side.
    i saw a youtube video and the guy used a “3m primer” in a similar type of area and said it stops the vinyl lifting. is this true and if it is, should i use it or will it damage the paint when the customer takes the vinyl off later?

    thanks for any help ❤

    Jeff replied 1 year, 4 months ago 8 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Martyn Heath

    October 6, 2022 at 9:04 am

    Hi, my 2 pence is do not use primer!

    Primer is only really used in small parts, unseen for example under the wheel arch or you have a bad paintwork patch for example spot of rust.

    You need to use the correct film for the job.

    A picture would help to see exactly what your talking about

  • Karen White

    October 6, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    thanks for the reply martin.
    i didnt take a picture of the recess but i will see if i can find one on google. 🙂

  • David Hammond

    October 6, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    I would reiterate what Martyn has said.

    I have never used a primer on any wrap, and I’ve not known of any failures.

    What film are you using?

    If you pop up a picture of the design (or the element you’re concerned about) I’m sure you’ll get a definitive answer

  • RobertLambie

    October 9, 2022 at 5:50 pm

    I have 3M Primer in stock, but not for vinyl, I use it for VHB tape on sign channel and certain surfaces just as a way to get a bit of a better bond from the VHB tape. but it’s more for my peace of mind and only on an occasional job, rather than anything else.

    Have I tried it on a wrap? Yes! But not to cheat the ability of the vinyl, so to speak.

    We had a part-wrap van in once and it had some sort of polish on it. it just didn’t feel right just touching it, never mind vinyl sticking to it. I tried every trick I knew to clean it, more so the recesses. So I was upfront with the customer and told him “I think this will fail within days, if not hours!” The vinyl was Avery Supreme and the recesses were not deep or sharp, but still gave me concern due to the polish. long story short, I told him we could try primer but made him aware of issues after once removed, it was that or I have to decline the fitting, “but still I want to be paid for the graphics” as this is not my fault.
    we did the van and it was fine, no comeback, no fails. that was about 3 years ago and I can only assume he either still has the van or hasn’t gotten around to removing the graphics.
    For the record, this was just some large logos and cut vinyl text. there wasn’t much to wrap at all, but still.

    The issue will always come down to the removal of the graphics.
    You will be left with a dirty thick coat of adhesive in the recess, and in an area that is already difficult to clean properly. so you will need some chemicals to break it down along with plenty of elbow grease to clear it.

    Keep in mind, this is not something anyone wants to be done to their car or van, especially if new. having to clean heavy adhesive in difficult areas is one thing but you can also damage the paintwork with chemicals and cloth abrasion trying to clean. what then, pay for it to be polished out?

    if you can, a photo of the recess would be good to better advise.

  • Hugh Potter

    October 10, 2022 at 8:47 am

    We have used it on wraps but, only as much as absolutely required or on really old shi##ers that we know will probably fail, Wouldn’t use it on a new vehicle.

    Only time I’ve gone to town with it was when I stripped a failed carbon wrap from a vw T5 camper bonnet, as I stripped the carbon; most of the paint came off with it, after a lengthy chat with the customer, I peeled off the rest of the paint to expose a very good primed bonnet, had no choice but to use it on there as it wouldn’t hold around the edges, air vents etc without, that was back in early summer, it’s still holding well as of two weeks ago when I had a sneaky look around it in a car park!

  • Karen White

    October 30, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    sorry for my slow reply.
    thank you so much for your time and help with this everyone!
    the customer asked for some additional graphics “Just Eat + Facebook” logos. because of this, i had to downsize the image and move it slightly, meaning it did not go into the curved dip (thankfully).
    I also explained to the customer that i was not confident about how long it would stay there if i had to do it. he understood and was very nice about it, so it all went well in the end. 😃👍

  • Mark Johnston

    March 7, 2023 at 9:11 am

    we stripped a van a few weeks ago and it was an absolute pig to get the vinyl off. you could see where the primer had been applied. it was caked in adhesive. wish i had taken pictures because all that the customer was want to know was “why it took so long???” this was only because we had to charge more than quoted, and still it was not enough to cover our grief. 🙄 live and learn.

  • Jeff

    March 8, 2023 at 10:53 am

    Primer definitely has its uses. I know it is advised to be used in certain places when wrapping with architectural vinyl.

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