Wall Surface Test for Vinyl Compatibility (#39)


Wall graphics are a quickly growing segment of the sign and graphics industry. Due to the variety of paints available and the variety of surface finishes, it is critical to test compatibility of a print media product with each specific wall. In order to achieve the best performance or to make the best recommendation, you should carry out a sight survey where different media options are tested.

1. Contact your Arlon representative to determine what are the best three (3) possible products for your specific job. The recommendation will depend on the wall surface as well as product criteria. For instance, a three month promotional wall wrap will require a different product than a permanent project.

2. Print a test image using the printer for the actual job. Print 2’ x 3’ size image with the same ink saturation as the real job. You should print samples of each possible media. (If printing an actual sample is not possible, please contact your Arlon representative to get generic media printed samples.)

3. Allow print to outgas overnight. Apply laminate if needed.

4. Clean and Prepare Surface: Check wall surface for dust level as surface dust could impact adhesion to the wall. It is recommended that the wall be dusted off with a lint-free dry cloth. Spray the wall area with 50/50 (IPA/Water) mixture and wipe off dust and surface contaminants.

5. Install: For uneven textured surface, install film on wall with foam roller slowly with heat gun softening the film 1” ahead of the roller.

6. Install: For smooth surface, install film with Teflon squeegee and post heat graphics.

7. Inspect and Remove: After 24 hours of installation, observe for edge lifting or curling of graphics. Any sign of edge curl or lifting indicates the product is not compatible. For each sample that passes visual inspection, score/cut 3” of the print and peel it off the wall. If the graphics take effort to remove, then vinyl and surface are compatible. If time allows, come back 1 week later and cut off another 3 inches and check if graphic remained on the wall.

8. Product Selection: Select the product that best meets the criteria and required performance of the job. Permanent projects should have a product with the highest bond, while removable graphics should have a bond that is compatible but with a lower final bond.

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