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  • will i apply chrome vinyl wet or dry?

    Posted by Richard Urquhart on August 12, 2004 at 7:06 pm

    doing a job tomorrow which is a big dragon down the side of a car does any one know if i can get away with wet application the vinyl has been sold to me as exterior grade chrome and is a polyester film ???
    thanks rich
    would like to do a dry application rob but not confident enough yet !!

    Henry Barker replied 19 years, 9 months ago 9 Members · 18 Replies
  • 18 Replies
  • Andy Gorman

    August 12, 2004 at 8:06 pm

    I’d be interested to know exactly what the name, brand etc of that vinyl is. Last I heard chrome polyester was strictly a short term material.

  • J. Hulme

    August 12, 2004 at 8:14 pm

    Yep, and its nasty stuff to work with, tears too easily when unwanted and wont tear when wanted. If using application fluid test as it may react with the adhesive, can’t see it lasting too long on vehicle bodywork.
    A new plotter blade maybe needed, a used one may cause problems and catch, then drag the bit its just cut through the plotter. Have fun 😉

  • Andy Gorman

    August 12, 2004 at 8:17 pm

    What I’ve witnessed with polyester chrome is, after about six months, huge bubbles appearing under the surface and eventually it fades to clear. Unless someone has finally invented a decent chrome film?

  • J. Hulme

    August 12, 2004 at 8:18 pm

    It also loses its chrome and goes.. well clear (ish)

  • Robert Lambie

    August 12, 2004 at 9:33 pm

    hi mate..
    the answer is yes, you can apply wet.. but allow more time for drying, app tape removal etc…

    down side on this is.. exterior or not. “on a vehicle” you have to be careful. it wont stretch one bit, so is not good if you hit any recess areas or awkward parts. beleive me i have tried and failed misrrebly in the past.
    chrome vinyl does give great effect but does have many drawbacks.
    its a polyester/foil, a bit like glue on the back of kitchen tinfoil but a polyester film on top makes it harder to tear. (thats not techy advice, just what i recon it is :lol1: )
    anyway.. if you apply it and you have a deep/severe recess and the graphic wont go in and back out easily just slit it. it will cause a small space once stuck down, but thats much better than trying to strech it and it tears 😉

    all in all… i would only apply chrome to flat panels ontop of a layer of vinyl. e.g. a solid black letter forming a black outline when the chrome infill is applied ontop.

    my honest opinion of chrome vinyl is that its crap… but does give some very nice effects if applied with”everything” in mind 😕 i do use it pretty regular for fascia work and some car graphics if asked. but only ontop of vinyl. infact, i am fitting some signs tommorrow that i used it and ill take some pictures and show you.

    there are a few chrome foils on the go. many are 6 month while some others are a year exterior. if you get a decent make & is a polyester coated one, you can get 4-5 years on the likes of a shop fascia if applied ontop of a base of regular vinyl.
    the down side of some chrome foils is they are cheap crap, some come away from the rolls carrying paper when cutting. some simply snag and tear when cutting. “always try using a sharp blade”
    always roll-up the prepared job vinyl out when transporting.

    there are supposedly two top chrome films on the market now, spandex brought one out a while back with a 5 year life and a lovely “spandex price tag” of £50+ a metre 😕
    oracal has now brought out the same, a 5 year life film at a fraction of that.. around a tenner a metre i think.

    i do not know what they have done to improve the film, maybe sandwhiched it, “adhesive, polyester,foil,polyester” this i would recon would protect it and acts a bit like the foil ontop of vinyl scenario i use above.. who knows?

  • Richard Urquhart

    August 12, 2004 at 9:56 pm

    hi its only for a show at the weekend however i was told by vinyl logistics it was good for 2 years its more flexi than indoor stuff i had already any way it cut very well and weeded with ease and not the newest blade ,thanks for all help i will post a pic of finished job tomorrow its good cameras dont show air bubbles

  • Martin Pearson

    August 13, 2004 at 12:30 am

    I’d have to agree with the comments above, there is no give at all in the stuff so if applying to the side of a car where curves are likely to go in more than one direction it is very easy to get creases.
    Like Robert I only ever put it on flat surfaces and I overlaminate it which seems to help it look good for longer.
    Look forward to seeing the photos once its done, I did a dragon on a guys car a couple of weeks ago, done in 751 though not chrome polyester film.
    Good luck with the application Richard

  • Richard Urquhart

    August 13, 2004 at 11:30 am

    cut both dragons and gave him them to stick on !!!!!

  • Shane Drew

    August 29, 2004 at 11:14 am

    Great idea, give it to the client to stick on. I like that. 😆

    I will not do chrome at all any more. As basically said here, it is not worth the grief. It will ‘tunnel’ when left rolled up for too long, it scratches easily, it will not stretch and all the above.

    When I did do it on a fleet of hearses some years ago, I always clear coated the final product.

    I am interested that some say that it can be applied wet. The products I have ever used had water based adhesives. It is very hard to squeegee all the water out, and because it is polyester, the bubbles will not leech out over time.

    Plus getting it off again when the client comes back 6 months later to complain it is ‘going off’ is a nightmare.

    Also, remember not to apply it to fresh paint, as the gases that come of new paint will get trapped and form gas bubbles. This applies to reflective material too.

    I know it is an old topic, but thought I’d add my 2 cents anyway 😮

  • Richard Urquhart

    August 29, 2004 at 1:27 pm

    oh well its on the car and looks nice


  • J. Hulme

    August 29, 2004 at 1:48 pm

    Superb mate, well done, tricky stuff that chrome 😉

  • Richard Urquhart

    August 29, 2004 at 2:12 pm

    made more money in the end as customer came back after he had a go himself ,oh and as for going on wet its a no go as adhesive was water based pic looks good but there were a few bits i was not happy with but customer understood ,oh and never again !!!!

  • Robert Lambie

    August 29, 2004 at 2:26 pm

    looks good anyway mate.. we live and learn. thank god your customer is understanding. some just want to blame you… typical 😕

    thanks for taking the time to load it mate 😉

  • Jill Marie Welsh

    August 29, 2004 at 4:50 pm

    I hate chrome vynull, but that looks pretty snazzy on the orange car.
    It is a bear to work with, but it’s striking.

  • Robert Lambie

    August 29, 2004 at 4:54 pm

    it does look good against the orange.

    if i had the choice, and to give me peace of mind. i would have cut the dragon with a small charchoal grey outline and applied that fist. then applied the silver onto that.

  • Carrie Brown

    August 29, 2004 at 9:32 pm

    Looks great against the orange!!!

    Nice 😀

  • Richard Urquhart

    August 30, 2004 at 9:09 am

    well thanks all it was customers idea, my dragon, just to let you know this was only for short term as customer is having car repainted same colour but needs a better paint job ,this was just for 2 or 3 shows

  • Henry Barker

    August 30, 2004 at 9:52 am

    Nice looking job! well done 🙂

    I posted awhile back under a similar topic on chrome vinyl, we have 3m 7755-420 which here costs about £31 per meter, or R-tape who do transfertape bought a company called Coburn and sell a 5 year chrome silver, chrome gold or brushed ally for around a £10 per meter

    Its called 3101 Smooth silver

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