Stripes after Paint

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How long do you generally need to let the paint cure before putting on the stripe kit?

 
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I would expect by the time the shop has cut and buffed the paint would be good. Ask them. If you have not put on before can be a challenge and you need inside place with no fans or wind. Also take the water soap solution serious or you will be buying another kit.

 

73bluemach1

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The guy that helped me paint my car suggested waiting about a month to let all the solvents evaporate.

 

Dirconmach1

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I know they put my decals on within 2 weeks of painting it. I think it all depends on the products being used. There’s different times for each brand of hardener.

Drive it like you stole it!

 

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Depends on the materials and the methods. Factory enamel was baked to accelerate curing. Most paint shops don't have an oven, so it's best to wait for the solvents to evaporate unless the paint manufacturer suggests otherwise.

 

Austin Vert

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Hi jowens,

A good question you ask, but what would be the reason you would think that there may be issues with paint curing or drying times, in relation to applying decals?  Would you be concerned about any adhesion issues with the decals, or would you be concerned about the decals damaging the freshly painted surface for example?

The short answers are firstly, in relation to potential adhesion issues, any new or fresh paint film needs to be DRY, but not strictly cured to achieve a good surface for the decal to bond strongly to. Secondly, with regards to decals damaging freshly painted panels, then that's different, because the longer the new paint has a chance to cure properly, the less potential damage it will render to the newly painted and presented paint finish.They are the basic rules.

Going deeper into what i have said above, let's look at adhesion issues. Today's paint shops mainly refinish with 2 pack paints. The finishing top coats are 2 pack, be it clear coat or solid color. Some shops are still using Acrylic Lacquer to refinish their cars. They are in a minority. When it comes to proper drying and curing times for these paints, there are variations involved to consider. With 2 pack paints, some paint companies make products that can be air dried and air cured, as well as being optionally baked as well. While others offer spray and bake only top coats. In any case, be it air dry or baking after the paint comes off the gun, certain time must pass to call the newly applied paint finish DRY. Proper solvent release is the key issue here. In summertime conditions, and with 2 pack paints i would say leave the newly painted panels go for around a day if baked off the gun, and two days if air dried off the gun to call it dry. With winter conditions, double those times for air dry off the gun only. Regards Lacquer, you can only air dry. It's a deceptive paint, because it appears to be dry a few hours off the gun. But because it takes much longer for the solvents to be released out of the entire paint layers, longer drying times apply.In Summertime i would let the new paint dry for around two days to call it dry. In Winter, i would say four days to call it properly dry. Also, don't forget how many coats of paint the painter applies, will play a part in drying times as well. When it comes to so called curing of these paints, the longer time you can give a paint to cure, the better off you will be in general terms for many reasons. But as i said, the curing side of the new paint won't play any real part in relation to getting good adhesion results. A well cleaned surface is your best buddy for a good decal grip. A light application of wax and grease remover is a good plan to make sure the surface is clean. Pro decal guys use soapy water to help apply the decals properly anyway.

Lastly, in regards fresh paint being damaged by too early decal application. This is or can be a reality. The glues used on the backs of decals are chemical by nature, and can be stringent and aggressive, and so can chemically etch into a fresh paint finish.The general rule here is whether you are using 2 pack or Lacquer paints, or you are baking or air drying your painted panels, the longer you leave the freshly painted panels to cure out, the better, an the less chance you will have of damaging the paint film.With 2 pack top coats, i would give a curing window of a week minimum if baked, and  four weeks if air dried only. With lacquer, i would give a curing window minimum of one month before applying decals. Also, if you leave the freshly painted car or panels out in the sun all day for a few days, then this can greatly accelerate the curing process of any paint, and so cut down the curing time of freshly painted panels. However, that all said, the etching damage that can occur, usually can be light sanded out, and then cut and polished away, as the etching effect usually only penetrates a little way into the paint films.

Lastly, the best plan in general, is if you can, leave the new paint cure as long as you can, in relation to cutting and polishing the panels. This will help to avoid any sink back paint issues that may occur due to premature cutting and polishing, and not letting the new paint properly cure out. I say this because, it is better to get your cutting and polishing done and out of the way, before the decals are applied. To apply the decals first before cutting and polishing can bring on potential problems of damaging the newly applied decals. Hope that all makes sense and helps.

:) Greg (Pro Painter)

 
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Cool. I was thinking I would let it dry for at least a month. I would rather go long than short. I ask because, I painted the cowl on my Bronco several years ago, and I only let it dry overnight. Then I installed it, closed the hood, and I didnt have it pushed all the way up in place and it caught the hood and damaged the paint. So I know that paint is soft for some time after painting and I know that I dont want to apply the decals while its still soft.

Looking at the TDS on the clear that's going to be used,

Flash (after 1st coat) 10-15 minutes

Flash (after 2nd coat) 15-20 minutes

Out-of-Booth 30-60 minutes depending on temp

Deliver/Polishing/Recoating 16-24 hours

they dont say anything about anything past 24 hours. So waiting 30 days after will only make it that much safer.

I may even wait a few days before putting anything back together just to let the coating gain some strength and stability.

 

Austin Vert

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Cool.  I was thinking I would let it dry for at least a month.  I would rather go long than short.  I ask because, I painted the cowl on my Bronco several years ago, and I only let it dry overnight.  Then I installed it, closed the hood, and I didnt have it pushed all the way up in place and it caught the hood and damaged the paint.  So I know that paint is soft for some time after painting and I know that I dont want to apply the decals while its still soft.

Looking at the TDS on the clear that's going to be used,

Flash (after 1st coat) 10-15 minutes

Flash (after 2nd coat) 15-20 minutes

Out-of-Booth 30-60 minutes depending on temp

Deliver/Polishing/Recoating 16-24 hours

they dont say anything about anything past 24 hours.  So waiting 30 days after will only make it that much safer.

I may even wait a few days before putting anything back together just to let the coating gain some strength and stability.
Hi there again,

Understand what you have said here, but you did not mention if the car is going to be baked when it comes off the gun and flashes off.

There is obviously a big difference in much faster drying times and curing times if the car gets baked after spraying, compared to just letting the finish air dry of the gun.

Forced infa red drying method is faster again than the normal baking method.

You won't have any trouble if you let it cure out for a month as you say you will end up doing, baked or unbaked.

Hope it all goes well for you,

Greg. :)

 
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