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Author Topic: How do I make faded decals look better?  (Read 3876 times)

Casadedi

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How do I make faded decals look better?
« on: October 07, 2007, 06:20:00 PM »
I went in the search mode and looked for any info on how to make the decals on my MH look better and did not find much.  They have started (actually I bought it this way) to fade and kind of streak.  Short of peeling them off and replacing (sounds expensive and beyond my expertise) is there any product that I can use to maybe even up the color a little.  Could it be oxidation?  The edges are starting to fray a little in some places.  I have a 1999 Southwind.  How do people get their MH's to look so shiny?  I did try a little wax on the front end and it did not seem to help at all.  My MH has to sit outside all year.  My workplace lets me park it on the lot for free but it is not inside. 

AdamG

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    • Swell Signs
Re: How do I make faded decals look better?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2007, 07:51:40 PM »
bad news on that.  Vinyl decals have a limited outdoor life expectancy, the lower end stuff is expected to last for less than 2 years, mid grade can be expected to last 3 years and premium for 7-10+.  Dont know a whole lot about what they put on rV's, except our pace has 3m on it according to my wife (she has been in the sign industry for 8 years, owned her own shop for 2), it is an 89 that was store dindoors for quite a time and the decals look great.  Honestly if you can find a small shop and just have a simple layout put together, that shouldnt cost you too much, probably less than 2K, closer to the 1K side.  Make sure you see an image of what the vinyl will look like on your vehicle before you commit also make sure the shop understands that the quote will include stripping the old decals, not a big deal with the right tools, but an unprepared shop will lose their ass on labor right there.  Heather also suggested to look around for a kit that you can buy and either install yourself or have it done.
That is all I got.
Adam G
 
Adam & Heather G
1989 Fleetwood Pace Arrow
454 ci gas guzzlin piece of paradise

1999 Jeep wrangler, lifted and blinged for the street
1981 FSJ Cherokee, ugly rsty and on tires that cost more than the truck

*N*O*B*S*

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: How do I make faded decals look better?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2007, 11:21:04 PM »
There isn't much you can do about it - no way to restore the faded glory. The only real solution is to scrape them off and either have a new set cut by a vinyl shop (the RV manufacturer doesn't stock decals for older models) or have a design spray painted on instead. Any sign painting shop can usually do that sort of thing. The nice thing is that you can pick your own design.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Jeff

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Re: How do I make faded decals look better?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2007, 04:00:05 AM »
If you do decide to change the design of the decal stripes make sure the surface is prepped well; it takes a fair amount of sanding and priming to cover up the shadow of the old stripes.

Kenneth

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Re: How do I make faded decals look better?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2007, 09:52:33 AM »
I went in the search mode and looked for any info on how to make the decals on my MH look better and did not find much.  They have started (actually I bought it this way) to fade and kind of streak.  Short of peeling them off and replacing (sounds expensive and beyond my expertise) is there any product that I can use to maybe even up the color a little.  Could it be oxidation?  The edges are starting to fray a little in some places.  I have a 1999 Southwind.  How do people get their MH's to look so shiny?  I did try a little wax on the front end and it did not seem to help at all.  My MH has to sit outside all year.  My workplace lets me park it on the lot for free but it is not inside. 

I tried "Vertglas" and the stuff really made the coach look great, even the decals . The key to it was to make sure you spent the time on the preparation before you applied the stuff.

From what I can tell its  diluted, water based,acrylic paint. You have to layer in on usually five coats, but believe it or not, its not that time consuming. "THEY" say reapply every year to maintain the shine.

Others I have met use "PoliGlow" with the same success .

Please do your own research on these types of products because I don't know what kind of long term affect these have on the fiberglass.

Ken
Kenneth H, from League City TX, currently in Lakeland Florida !!

caltex

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Re: How do I make faded decals look better?
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2007, 01:36:49 PM »
I hope PoliGlow is better than it was 15 years ago.  Several of my friends tried on their boats.  It was a great success, really looked good  -  - until after a couple of years when it started peeling off.  Looked like a bad case of sunburn peel.  And it was a bear to get off. No one used it twice.
Robert

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: How do I make faded decals look better?
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2007, 10:59:36 PM »
Vertglas is essentially a clear coat sealer that carries its own gloss with it. The rest of the Vertglas process is a fiberglass oxidation remover and it won't do a thing for faded decals. I've not tried Vertglas but the idea of simply wiping on a clear coat seems overly simplistic to me. "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is." On the other hand, it may well provide a nice shine for awhile. Vertglas does not claim long term shine though - just a "season" (whatever that is).

Vertglas
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Casadedi

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Re: How do I make faded decals look better?
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2007, 01:42:40 PM »
Thanks for all the input.  It looks like I have about 3 choices.  Peel off and replace.  Paint or trade.  If I ever am able to get something new (different) is there a way to keep the decals from fading in the first place?

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: How do I make faded decals look better?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2007, 01:30:10 PM »
I think the decal material on newer rigs is better quality/longevity - the decals on the early 2002 model we traded last fall were still like new. Our coaches are always outside, usually in hot sun, and travel all over the US. Never did anything special to them either - in fact they generally recommend not waxing them with any cleaner type auto polish because it can actually damage them. I mostly use Protect-All to keep the coach shiny and  it seems to be fine on decals too, probably because it is a surface protector rather than a cleaner and polish.

I'm a bit surprised that the decals on a 99 Southwind are bad looking already and wonder if there has been acid rain or airborne industrial waste in your area or somewhere you traveled. Vinyl decals don't hold up well to that sort of abuse and you might not even notice the pollution in the air, especially if it is in the rain water or dew. We had a 96 Southwind whose decals still looked fine in 2002 when we sold it.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL