Apply our final design was the mother of all vinyl jobs, in fact we’re told that it’s one of the larger jobs Air Graphics has ever printed up. But in the end it was worth it, they worked out a great design with Elizabeth and provided everything we needed to get them applied. Thanks also to our Velocity buddy Bill Stockman who recommended that we touch base with Robert Palo, a local airplane mechanic, machinist, painter, and so much more. Bob has experience painting and applying vinyl to Cirrus airplanes, and did a great job for us.
Bob uses a slightly modified technique from what was recommended by Air Graphics, much to their dismay, I might add. He recommended that we take water, and just a hint of soap, and put it all in a spray bottle. When applying the decal he gets it lined up and typically applies a centerline of 2″ duct tape to hold it in place. Then he would peel the backing off one half and wet out the surface and the decal and start working from the middle towards one end with the squeegee. Once that end is firmly down he works back the other way. This works great side-to-side, but was problematic on the winglet while trying to work the checker board. Basically we wanted to work from the top down, but the paper on the lower got wet and created all kinds of problems. Fortunately Air Graphics sent us plenty of squares.
Also very handy was the fact the Air Graphics made the decals slightly oversized so they could be worked back and forth for the best fit. This came in handy several times to make the sides seem more equal than they really are. We also went back over all of the cut edges and forward facing points with some Nason clear coat and a small brush to try to protect the edges from ever wanting to lift. We haven’t’ seen any indication of our other decals wanting to peel, but it seemed like a good idea.
I really liked the raw paint, but the graphics really add some pop and make the whole scheme seem complete.
Check out the picture gallery to see the application process.
Posted By: Brett FerrellSaturday September 25th, 2010 at 6:39 PM