Hi from Shreveport, LA


New Member
My name is Charli and I'm standing at the threshold about to buy an operating sign shop. I started painting signs in 1983 and did ok for many years until vinyl and technology left me behind. I took a job at this shop only to find out the owner wants to retire and he has made me an offer. I've had a crash course in signage methods and techniques closer to this century and am loving it! (I do miss quills and the smell of xylol and chalk bags) However, I would love to know more about vinyl that can be printed and what equipment to begin with. Also, someone tell me about Lexan and why the guy I work with has me rub it with alcohol right after peeling the protective covering off and then immediately sticking it with vinyl. I'm prolly gonna be asking lots of questions here, I LOVE this sight.


New Member
welcome.. good luck in ye rnew bizz

For the alcohol. Some feel it is necessary to clean the surfaces to get any dirt off to make sure the vinyl sticks.

Personally I have never cleaned a signle sheet of plastic after peeling the outer layer. And, I have never had a challange with vinyl not sticking. Plus I personally worked with more than a few others who dont even have alcohol in their shops and never had sticky problems either.

my theory.. There may have been a time when vinyl adhesive wasn't as good as it is now, or someone had problems with pickle skin bubbles due to bad applicatin techniques but blamed it on some other reason and started this idea of cleaning with alcohol.


New Member
Welcome Charli and best of luck.
Alcohol in the shop is in my fridge and is used as needed..as in tonite.
How long have you been with this shop that you are considering?
Will the old owner stay on for a while?


Active Member
Welcome Aboard Charli! From another old "Brush Brother"
:thumb: :Welcome: to :signs101:


New Member
Thanks for the warm welcomes! The shop I'm seriously considering buying has been in business for umpteen years. Without my own knowledge of current techniques/methods I'm pretty much at the mercy of the old owner to bring my skills up to date, or at least up to HIS current level. He uses Corel version 7 and cuts vinyl with CoCut. He uses 12.7" as the cutting surface of his vinyl. I wish I had more info to compare but his price seems reasonable and he's always got new business coming in the door. He also does a lot of screenprinting shirts and airdry inks on coroplast yard signs as well as banners, lexan in cans, and magnetic signs. He agrees to stick around for six months after the sale. I've been with the shop since the first part of January of this year. The prospect of updating my signing skills doesn't intimidate me or either I'm not smart enough to know I SHOULD be intimidated by this leap. I've been working on more murals in the past years mostly because I could drive a paintbrush. I appreciate any and all words of wisdom! Thanks!


Premium Subscriber
:Welcome:from PA.

Rubbing it with alcohol is probably just an old habit because someone told him to do it years ago. Certain climate conditions, times of the year and other incidentals can cause a lot of static and can literally pull paint out of your brush when we used to hand letter Lexan and other similar products. It can also make your vinyl do some crazy things too, before you want to lay it down.

We used to wipe everything down because it kept the routine going. It just depended on what substrate you were wiping as to what you used…. alcohol, tack rag, paper towel, moist paper towel or rag, hand, shirt sleeve…. just never your snot rag, because that left too many ‘Yuxes’ in the paint later….. lol

It certainly won’t hurt to be safe.

Never time to do it right, but always time to do it again……..


Hello from PA. From what you have said doesn't sound like a bad deal if this is what you want to do. Get an accountant to check out the books if you are not sure on the price.


New Member

Establish a contract with the owner to consult for up to a set number of hours a week for the 6 months (or whatever timeframe) or you might find you have an employee that can file for unemployment when he stops consulting