Vinyl on freshly painted vehicles


Active Member
I have always been told and read to wait 30 days before applying vinyl on freshly painted vehicles. I have a customer who is painting his trucks and wants his graphics on as soon as possible. I suspect he is having them repainted by a low end paint shop.
I want to be sure I am telling him correctly why he should wait, what I have is that applying to fresh paint that it will continue to outgas resulting in bubbles in the vinyl, though I suspect they will disappear in short order, and the paint may not stick well, resulting in flaking as the vinyl is repositioned during application. Any other negative things with putting vinyl down too soon on fresh paint?

With all this in mind, my customer is still wanting to do this as soon as we can be ready, does anyone have a waiver they can send or suggest to me to use to have my customer sign?
As always, thanks for any and all help,


Professional Snow Ninja
i usually say 3-4 weeks after...most customers understand don't want to ruin their vehicles...but occasionally you get that one that just wants the lettering on there....i explain why we should do, and if he still wants me to do...i make sure there is a notation on the invoice....he keeps one, and signs the one that i keep...


Active Member
Warn the customer about the potential for the vinyl to bubble up from out gassing in the coming days.

Do a tape test on part of the vehicle so you you don't pull up pieces of paint midway through removing transfers tape.

Make them know you won't be responsible for either if they choose to go ahead anyways.


Very Active Member
the vinyl bubbling is the least of your worries. the vinyl becoming part of the paint, and removing the paint with it when its taken off is the real problem.

we offer zero warranty or liability on repainted vehicles. no matter what the wait between paint and our service is. if we identify it as a repaint, the warranty is void. and the customer is told as such.

we get it all the time with plumbers. they buy old DHL yellow vans, have miracle squirt em white, and drive em straight to our shop. they not only sign our terms, but another form for waiver of liability.

you just really have to protect yourself with aftermarket paint jobs. they ARE NOT like factory, and the variables as to how they will stick, and what they will do on your removal are too numerous.
What I tell my customer.

"I have heard from 1day to 6months to wait.. Ask the person that painted your car what the warranty is for applying decals"

This keep the problem out of your hands (kinda)


Major Contributor
We do alot of work for a local dealership. They use a hardener in the paint and bake it after painting. We letter stuff the next day and have never had a problem (been doing that for 5-6 years with them). Any other customers we make wait 30 days.


Active Member
Agree with Mosh, I do all the local panel shops work, usually the day after its painted. Worked in a panel shop years ago and did the same then too.
Mind you thats with 2k and prepped and painted properly,,,if its a blow over job, don't give any warranty.
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Mosh is actually right on this, however not every shop paints this way, actually only a few in our area I am aware of.

Also Chris is right, we do not warranty anything on a freshly painted job, and also have a waiver signed. The customer can always tell you one thing to get it on and if they are wrong, you are screwed!

I would not do it without a waiver period.

good luck!


Very Active Member
A poor paint job is a poor paint job. The low end shops save on labor and on materials when they paint. Sloppy prepration, less expensive paint, no hardners all will cause the transfer tape to pull up the new paint or outgassing of the paint thinners.

No warranty at all.


Major Contributor
I don't care if a car painter says it can be lettered withon 45 minutes, I always wait at least two weeks just to be safe.
You know you are the one that the client is going to complain to regardless of what you've told him about outgassing, etc.
If forced, I would make them sign a waiver.


Premium Subscriber
For the most part.... this is a delicate question. As demonstrated with all of the good answers.... it's almost impossible to give a timeframe on a re-paint. It's all based upon the type of preparation and paint job the body shop did. Good job, within a day or two..... lousy prep on a good paint job.... probably 1 or 2 months. Good prep lousy paint job..... a week or two. Lousy all around.... probably never.

You can't be held liable for what someone else did just prior to your lettering it.

Back in the days when we hand lettered everything, it wasn't really a problem, except for those that used the tape method to keep their letters straight. That's why in the shops I worked and once I had my own shop.... tape was always considered a 'No~No'. Learn the right way and THEN if circumstances allowed, one could use some tape.

Tell them you offer no guarantee if the paint job fails due to ANYTHING you do. Certain procedures are needed to lay down vinyl and if one of those procedures ruins their paint job.... well, too bad.... it's on him and you still get paid.


Major Contributor
Hey I resemble that remark! I admit I was a "taper" and did pull off the paint on a few repaint jobs.
We do a lot of work directly for body shops doing repeirs and they never have a problem with us lettering a vehicle stright out of the booth.
But I like the idea of a standard waiver for all repaints.


Major Contributor
Hard to wait on some. Like Sheriff and police cars in for damage to a door or something. They can't wait two weeks.


Major Contributor
i have done that for a customer and it was a mixture of the paint guy using the wrong kind of paint and the customer not waiting long enough for the paint to cure but just removing the application tape took the paint off

just tell the customer if he doesn't want to wait you won't guatantee the job and get him to sign a waiver
sometimes the customers have to learn by their mistakes


We won't do anything without at least 2 weeks unless the customer is very clear of the issues. We had a guy come in with a '70 Challenger 2 days after paint and would not wait. 3 months later he decided he didn't like the stripes that he designed and wanted it off. They came off fine and didn't take any paint but because it didn't fully cure the vehicle was a whole other shade under the graphics.


Active Member
Thanks to all for taking the time to give your great answers, first of 4 trucks scheduled for Thursday, and will have the customer sign a waiver (have to write it yet) and hope all goes well.


Very Active Member
Because Your best bet is to talk to your attorney hand have him write up a disclaimer. However, has the saying goes - K.I.S.S.

In bold type...

You may want to get more specific on the reason for waiving the warranty and the possible damage it may cause. But again, your attorney would be the best one to furnish you with that advice.



Very Active Member
Local body shop owner told me to " Wash hands, cup your hands together, place on paint. If you smell paint, it is still gassing out and to wait a few more days."