Q & A: How do you improve vinyl adhesion on exterior acrylic paint?

By SignCraft.com

Posted on Sunday, December 25th, 2022

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“Vinyl graphics don’t always adhere well to exterior acrylic latex paint. Some letters want to lift with the application tape and letters may start to peel before very long. What’s the solution?”

This reader says the problem is even more common on consumer grades of exterior latex which claim to resist dirt and algae from adhering to them. He finds that using clear satin UV blocker over the exterior acrylic paint helps, but it adds an extra step and can appear splotchy on very dark colors.

Find reader’s answers below, and add your own if you can help.


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4 Comments
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Jim Fetten
Jim Fetten
1 month ago

I use Benjamin Moore exterior soft gloss and 3M premium vinyl and have no problem with adhesion and longevity. In the past I have had problems using Avery premium vinyl.

Juergen Foerster
Juergen Foerster
1 month ago

Peeing into the wind and applying vinyl onto acrylic latex paint. Two things you shouldn’t do, the results will just make you crabby as the reader has discovered. Vinyl works best applied to oil based enamels or pre-finished substrates. Vinyl on latex equals unhappy customers so take it from there.

Laura Walker
Laura Walker
30 days ago

I have also had issues with this so I did a few tests and researched the properties of the paint I was using. Needless to say…I hope those of you struggling with this will try it and find success. Lightly spray water on the painted surface after it’s totally dry. Wipe with a very soft and lint-free cloth. You will notice a sudsy residue coming to the surface of the paint. This is what is preventing the vinyl from adhering properly. Let it dry and repeat. It’s a few extra steps but I now figure in the time and after 2-3 times of wiping it down with water, the suds will not appear and you know it’s good to go. We’ve had no issues since.

Charles Altwein
Charles Altwein
30 days ago

Well… though Vinyl Lettering and graphics generally are not recommended to be applied to Latex finishes. I have ended up installing Vinyl Graphics on interior walls with good results. We usually wet the transfer tape down and wait a minute or two, then remove from the graphic. If the office wall was professionally painted, its’ usually fine. Haven’t run into to many problems, yet..

Once, we applied 48″ Diamond Plate Silver vinyl as a half wall in two bathrooms in one of our client’s buildings. We found it would not stick to good to the walls. So we applied Sunscreen Clear 7000 ( Frog Juice) to the walls. Let it dry for an hour and reapplied the Vinyl. Worked like a charm. Still there to this day.

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