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Issues with Frosted Vinyl


New Member
We have come across a reoccurring issue with frosted vinyl(Dusted Crystal). We currently use Mactac B Free with Rapid Tac. This has only happened a couple times and has only appeared this year. When it first happened with B-Free, we switched to 3M and the same thing happened. So then we just went back to B Free. We have tried a multitude of different liquids (baby shampoo, water..) for wet mounting the vinyl and it still randomly happens. We have cleaned the window with just baby shampoo and scraped the glass with a razor before installing. We checked in on an older job that it occurred on (a few months back) and the problem didn’t correct itself with time. I have done some research and it looks like maybe mottling is the issue? Possibly how we are installing the vinyl is an issue? I can’t find any pictures of other issues to compare with what is happening. We are going to hit the vinyl with a heat gun next week to see if that helps but it would be great to know what this is and the cause. The last job this happened with also had silicone in between the window panes.

any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!


New Member
I always thought B-Free was supposed to be installed dry. We use Avery with Rapic Tac and never had an issue.


New Member
Looks like you still have fluid behind etch. We just installed a big window with B-Free and slightly misted windows with Rapid Tac and squeegeed down. Turned out fine.


New Member
I'm with Dan360 - we use that product and since it is air egress you wouldn't use wet application which traps fluid in the air egress channels.


New Member
I know the answer to this one. It happened to me. Don't use baby shampoo or dont use that particular brand of baby shampoo. Use rapidtac or actiontac or windowjuice or use those in combination with water. But never use baby shampoo. And clean the glass with sprayway foaming glass cleaner before you start the application. Do not clean with baby shampoo. And do not apply with baby shampoo.
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Johnny Best

Active Member
I am exactly in line with signvisual. Rapidtac and no baby shampoo and use the Spayway glass cleaner to clean before applying frost. Used Arlon, 3M, Avery and Oracal frost with never a problem. Also I use the Geek Wraps wet sqeegee. Have spots like you show the next day but are gone after that. Tell us if the heat gun works out, good luck.


New Member
Like Signsvisual and Johnny Best, avoid any cleaner that will leave detergents behind. We use 70% isopropyl alcohol as the final cleaning solution then rapidtac for the wet app. I never have used B Free. I have only used 3M or Avery. Mostly 3M. If you do have moisture trapped, you can poke a small hole an squeegee that excess moisture out. If the residue from the cleaner is resisting adhesion, you may have to start over.

Modern Ink Signs

Premium Subscriber
Clean with glass cleaner not baby shampoo. This leaves a film/residue.

With non-air egress vinyls use rapid tac or similar app fluid that evaporates quickly. I prefer the rapid tac.

For the Air egress films, NEVER use a app fluid. With proper installation techniques and tools there should be no bubbles. However, if you do get one it can easily be removed.


Old member
MacTac B-Free is the wrong product for this application (it is designed with air egress channels for dry application only). Next time use MACmark Glass Décor 700 Series, which is designed for a wet application (other makers also sell similar films). Another common error is too much surfactant (shampoo, dishwashing soap like Dawn). I use Dawn because I don't have a baby, baby shampoo should be just fine. Just 3 - 4 DROPS per pint of water, maybe add some alcohol but probably not needed for this application. Won't happen again.

Those hard-core vinyl hounds who can put this on dry have my admiration. I've never seen it done on large panels with acceptable results. Go wet to reduce static and get perfect results (also allows you to lift it up to remove little dust specs that invariably get trapped - not noticeable with regular vinyl but show up with impunity when applying "Etch-Look" and frosted vinyls.

PS: I charge 50% more for these types of installations. It is not unusual to have to re-do sections because of trapped dust specs. Go slow and be careful.


Active Member
We just started using RapidTac and have been pretty happy with it. According to the bottle you should clean the window with RapidTac not once, but TWICE, with CHEAP PAPER TOWELS!. Then spray down the window for a third time as well as the back of the graphic lol. I mean seriously, can you not just say "WASTE FLUID SO THAT YOU CAN BUY MORE!" That said, just clean with 70% Iso or foamy class cleaner (no ammonia). Then wet down the window and graphic and slap 'er up. Don't have to shill out the extra bucks for the B-free.