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  • Mirror Gold Vinyl for exterior signage

    Posted by Adam McMonagle on February 18, 2022 at 5:43 pm

    Hi, I’m interested to know what process anyone has gone through to produce external signage with mirror vinyl. I have a project that requires a mirror gold with a matt gold shadow that I can produce simply enough but mirror gold, as far as I know does not last long outdoors. I have thought about gold leaf but has anyone had any success with vinyl? would a laminate on top extend the life by much?…….any tips welcome πŸ™‚

    Bobby McCormack replied 1 week, 2 days ago 6 Members · 18 Replies
  • 18 Replies
  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    February 18, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    Hi Adam. Possibly look at a decent quality wrap vinyl, other than that, your standard polished gold will be polyester, not vinyl & definitely not good for long term outdoor use

  • Adam McMonagle

    Member
    February 18, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    Thanks Kevin, that was a thought and possibly a solution but as we have never got into wraps I’m not familiar with what would be a good product or where best to get it from, I probably need 4 metres max and that includes extra for mess ups/wastage!

    • Kevin Mahoney

      Member
      February 19, 2022 at 6:25 am

      I’m pretty sure 3M & Avery Supreme have a gold chrome in their range but it won’t be cheap, not sure about lifespan either. Might be worth seeing if you could use gold mirrored acrylic instead, would be a much better finish & should last a lot longer

      • Adam McMonagle

        Member
        February 19, 2022 at 10:02 am

        Thanks Kevin, Ill check it out, the acrylic option could work although it will need fixing onto a oval metal double sided panel πŸ‘

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    February 19, 2022 at 10:24 am

    I would be inclined to cut the drop shadow in gold matt vinyl which would also give you the placement for mirror acrylic letters, flush mounted with a foam tape

    • Adam McMonagle

      Member
      February 19, 2022 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Kevin, I think this would work if we did not have the need for a gold shadow, the problem would be that the acrylic gold would cast a natural shadow over the top of the metallic gold (false) shadow. See attached, this is small version I have produced with mirror and matt vinyl. (note I have reverse mounted this onto acrylic so I can place it over different colour backgrounds, hence the edge where the two vinyls meet, this would not happen when mounting on the face)

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    February 19, 2022 at 5:55 pm

    3mm mirror acrylic won’t cast a huge shadow but you could always leave a narrow border around the acrylic to compensate

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    February 19, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    Kevin is correct with regards to the chrome films being polyester and that the best option is to buy a chrome cast wrap. I think it really comes down to what the customer is willing to pay for the finish/look that they want. If they want it bad enough then there shouldn’t be a problem with the cast. you will pay around Β£80-120 per linear metre of chrome wrap.

    This was long before Chrome cast vinyl was available, but something that has worked for me in the past on several signs and one, in particular, was up for many years and was local to me so I passed it weekly and that was…
    Chrome polyester films do not shrink like vinyl. but the adhesive and film do not perform great long term. mounting the chrome polyester on top of a layer of vinyl really helps extend the bond life. The fact you have a cast shadow is perfect. because you just create the shadow as the first layer of vinyl using matt gold. then apply the chrome polyester on top.

    The next problem you have is the Gold colour on the face will deteriorate. So the way to extend the life of that is to laminate the Gold chrome polyester. then cut them both in the plotter. I would do several test cuts to get the cutting pressure correct.

    Once you have cut the laminated Gold chrome, just lay it on top of the shadow layer that has already been applied to the sign. once complete. warm the newly laid layers of vinyl with a heat gun to help bond all the vinyl to the sign properly, while pressing or rubbing firm around the edges of the chrome gold lettering.

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    February 19, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    You do also have the option of SignGold which is a genuine gold leaf 22k gold vinyl.
    Which I imagine will be just as expensive as cast chrome, but you are limited to around 14inches wide sprocket fed vinyl with sign gold..
    I did a quick google but I cannot find any suppliers in the UK. Only a few in the USA appear.
    https://www.beacongraphics.com

    • Adam McMonagle

      Member
      February 20, 2022 at 10:00 am

      Hi Robert,

      the solutions you describe are exactly what I was trying to achieve, Kevins acrylic solution would be great if it wasn’t for the shadow, the client wants an old school look as the shop is 100 years old. It’s frustrating that the gold vinyl is mostly short term but I think if I can laminate the gold and offer a refurb after 4 years then maybe that could work. I have found 3Mβ„’ Scotchcal Mirror Graphic Film Series 7755SE that is specifically for outdoor use but still only guaranteed for 4 years, If I laminate this then we could be looking good, this then brings in the question of what laminate to use!

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    February 20, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    Vinyl Laminates.

    I do not think many sign makers appreciate or really care what makes a good laminate. for most, a clear vinyl will suffice, and I include myself in that.
    but if you are buying a “good” laminate then it being optically clear with UV stabilisers etc. all comes into play. if you look at the spec of your current laminates you use and see if they have any UV absorbers etc. they probably will to some extent, maybe.

    to be honest, if you are using a 4 year unlaminated film, adding the extra layer of protection will get you a decent life for what he will be paying. other than that, I would draft in a traditional signwriter that will do the whole thing, including the gold leafing for you. you cannot beat the real stuff! then just bump a bit on top for your time sourcing and subbing the job.

  • Adam McMonagle

    Member
    February 23, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks for all of your suggestions guys, with everything in mind it was pretty obvious that I needed to go down the gilding route so had a chat with the client and they love the idea and have not flinched at the extra cost. I am partnering with a local expert so this will now be a bit of a collaboration but we will document it for the client and it will make for a nice little story to add to the shops history. 😎

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    February 24, 2022 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for the update on this, Adam. I think you have made the right decision.
    would be good to see pics of the finished job once it’s all done! πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘

  • Michael Cunney

    Member
    March 16, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    Metamark offer a polished gold foil in both indoor and outdoor grades, we use the outdoor grade pretty regular, never had any issues with it, up to now at least

  • Adam McMonagle

    Member
    April 3, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    Well, as promised here are the results, the gold leaf and enamel paint looked fantastic, it was the best decision 😎

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    April 3, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks for coming back and updating the post, Adam. much appreciated mate.

    I think you definitely made the right choice getting it done the traditional way. not only will it last much longer, but looking at the surrounding buildings, the traditional look and method fits very well. πŸ‘

  • Leslie Anderson

    Member
    April 6, 2022 at 2:04 pm

    i agree the sign style and the traditional method is very fitting with the surrounding buildings.

    i wish they had gone for a more traditional font and no shadow on the words “baker & cafe”.

  • Bobby McCormack

    Member
    May 13, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    Spandex do 6500 series and unlike short term metallised films this is a PVC and silver has a 5 year outdoor lifespan