Surface Preparation (#01)


  1. It is always important to clean surfaces just prior to any installation.
  2. “Which preparation for which surface?” While many will work, a good rule of thumb for the last cleaning is:
Sign Material Cleaner
Painted Metal and Wood Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA)
Glass IPA or Vinegar/Water Mix
Acrylic and Polycarbonate Non-siliconized Acrylic Cleaner or anti-static rag to remove static charge and last minute dust
Banners and Awnings IPA or Vinegar/Water Mix
For Expanded PVC Sheet Vinegar followed by a quick wipe with Toluene
Vehicle* IPA / H20 (50:50) Mixture
Painted Walls IPA / H20 (50:50) Mixture


While it may seem logical that a strong solvent will be the best cleaner for surfaces that are hard to stick film to - in the case of many plastics and paints this is wrong and can lead to premature sign failing due to embrittlement, cracking or loss of gloss. Use the mildest solvents possible and only clean until the surface dirt is gone.

* If the vehicle is new or has been waxed recently, Cromax PREP-SOL® 3919S™ CLEANING SOLVENT is recommended to remove wax residue prior to cleaning with IPA water mixture. † Latex paint is more sensitive to IPA water mixture. Avoid prolonged exposure of cleaner to wall during surface preparation.

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