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Discussion large window perf graphic install

petepaz

New Member
have a couple of store windows to install printed window perf.
35" x 57" and 53" x 125". this is not your normal lam or not lam perf debate.
i usually don't lam unless some weird circumstances cause me to. possibly like this.
perf can be a little tricky sometimes stretching or ripping tough to pull it back up if needed with out damaging.

my question is on the larger print should i lam just so it's better to work with and less chance of damaging?

anyone with experience on large window perf installs?
maybe i need to do it in sections?
 

ikarasu

Active Member
You can do it all in one piece. The most important part is the setup... If you're angled even a little, or start drifting when installing you're going to have a bad time.

Whether you overlam or not is up to you - how long is the staying up? Indoors or outdoors? No overlam is super easy not to bubble... But as you said if you crinkle and have to pull it up.. you might rip it.

It also depends on how comfortable you are with the install. If you.do it in one piece and mess up... You could just slice it down the line and reprint that section.

If I were worried, I'd slit the backing paper into 3 sections. Double sided tape the whole thing up. Then I'd start with the right section and apply it from inside to out. Once that's done... Do the middle... Then the left. Easiest way to do large 10ft windows.

Do enough and you can just tape it up.. roll it up and apply it. A bit faster and less prep work.
 

petepaz

New Member
thanks for the info.
i was going to slit the back in a few places. i generally do that with most larger installs. just easier to work with. i have no problem with perf normally but usually do vehicle windows or small store windows
 

ikarasu

Active Member
Should be fine doing it in one piece, with or without Overlam then. If you do crinkle it and have to lift.. just heat it up a bit first to make it softer and easier to lift...less likely to crack it that way.

We do a lot of 4x8 window installs and we've never had it break. We do use overlam though... Don't think I've ever tried putting it on without.

We usually do remove after xx months... It rips into strips enough with overlam. I can't imagine doing a removal where there wasn't any overlam!
 

Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
I've have done THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of windows up to 52" wide... I can knock out a window pane in 8 minutes (prep, install and trim) I did full storefront wraps at a very large retailer over the last 5 years...almost 1 or 2 a week all over the state of Texas.

The way I do it..

PREP THE WINDOW
-Windex the dirt and cobwebs and what not off.
-Alcohol the whole window. Pay careful attention to the corners where a "waxy" type film can be present. Make sure the glass does not have a slick feel. Sometimes I have to resort to brake cleaner to get the waxy stuff off

PREP THE PANEL
-Keep the panel rolled up.
-Unfurl about 1' and trim off the backing
-Keeping the sticky side out, take the roll and climb up the ladder

ALIGN
-Visually line the panel up with the mullions. I like to work with 0 bleed at the top to make this go faster, but if you have 1/2 or 1" bleed then I start on the mullion.
-I press a finger spot on the left and right of the panel just to hold it for 5-10 second

APPLY
-Take a large squeegee (I use the Bill Collector) and start applying up from where the backing paper is cut. Doing this will get it almost 100% flat without tracking or wrinkling.
- Once you apply all the way up, ensure the panel is straight by looking at how it hit when you went up. If everything is Kosher, proceed down.
-Start pulling the backing down and apply from the middle out using LIGHT pressure. Heavy pressure will cause the material to stretch and track.
-Sometimes it will want to wrinkle. Once it starts doing this, I usually apply DOWN instead of side to side. If you apply down from the beginning, it will start to wrinkle bad once you get close to the bottom. Usually I can go side to side up to about half way down the panel before I start to feel it wrinkle..then I apply down.

Once you get confident and good, you can actually rip the entire backing off and "tension" the panel on the mullions so it's suspended just off the glass, then you can apply down. Plus it looks cool when you rip the whole backing off at once...just don't do it on a windy day.


TRIM or PACK
-Trim to the caulk line with an xacto. I use a straight edge so that way even if the caulk is all wonky, you still have a straight line
-If your trim is removable.. remove it, pack the vinyl into the edges and put the trim back. I use a flat head screw driver to get it started and pull it off. I get all 4 out, apply and then wearing a pair of gloves, pack the trim back in. Gloves help because that stuff will turn your fingers black.


Some things I learned..
-Applying dark colors in direct sun substantially adds to the difficultly. Gotta go slow with that.
-Using real light pressure at first apply is key. Heavy pressure tends to stretch the material and cause wrinkles.
-The most time consuming part (at least for me) was aligning the panels. I like having 0" bleed at the top so I can just visually line it up and go. Only time this is not good is when the windows are not the same size, not straight or angled. 9 times out of 10 this is not an issue but occasionally you'll find a store with some really jacked up windows sizes.
-Even with the uppers and lowers.. I still work from top down even if the window is a rectangle. I do this too keep all the panels in line and not track.
-Apply only in the daytime.
 
Last edited:

Ahmed Samy Nagada

New Member
It's ok to do that without overlaminate, follow (Texas Signmaker) steps, and all would be fine. Picture attached was done without overlaminate.
 

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jman

New Member
We do 4x10' windows every few years for a ski shop that changes out the featured brand promo with no lam and we just peel back a few inches and work our way down.

You should be good without laminate given my experiences.
 
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