THE TWO MAIN TYPES OF VINYL
First I want to explain the basic difference between the two types of vinyl that I use and the purpose of each. To be clear, there are many brands of vinyl available to the consumer, but I prefer Oracal, which is the leading manufacturer of pressure-sensitive films. My choice of vinyl supplier is US Cutter.
- Oracal 631 is a matte finish calendered vinyl that is commonly used for home decor. Most notably used for wall decals and wall graphics. It has a matte surface that suppresses unwanted reflection, giving your graphic and or text a “painted” look.It is removable, but not reusable. It comes in a variety of colors and has a life span of approximately 3 years, but this can vary depending on the color chosen.
- Oracal 651 is a gloss finish calendered vinyl that is used mostly for signage, car decals and outdoor applications. It is also removable but not reusable. This vinyl is meant to “weather” the outdoor elements, but depending on the extremes, the weather can affect the longevity of the vinyl. Its average lifespan is approximately 5 years, again dependent on colors and weather conditions.
Now the basics things you should know and do when applying vinyl decals.
- Use quality vinyl such as Oracal AND
- Choose the appropriate vinyl for your intended use.
- Clean the surface you are applying the vinyl to. If you are applying to walls, a freshly painted surface needs to cure for 3 weeks.
- Invest in a squeegee. You can’t use a “credit card” to rub your decal onto your surface and expect it to really, REALLY stick to your surface. You might be able to get away with using a credit card for smaller, car decals, but not for wall decals.
I hope this answers the questions on the two main types of vinyl and what is necessary in the application process.