Paint vs. Vinyl Wrap vs. Hydrographics (water transfer paint)
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Thread: Paint vs. Vinyl Wrap vs. Hydrographics (water transfer paint)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Paint vs. Vinyl Wrap vs. Hydrographics (water transfer paint)

    I have been considering a unique look for my TrailWagon's plastic panels and metal tank. This is to spruce-up a trail bike with a few dings and scratches, not to make a show bike. Anyone have experience with relative durability of these techniques?

    Paint we all know, may chip and peel but a rattle-can job can be touched up easily and can cover all curves and surface textures.

    Bedliner paints adhere well and are durable but color choices are very limited to black and charcoal shades.

    Vinyl wraps can look stunningly good like Purples cammo bike, but will wrap adhere to road rashed plastic and resist gasoline spills on tank? A cammo pattern can be applied in pieces to cover complex curves or patched to repair damage, right?

    Hydrographics, or wager transfer paint, or dip kits offer vibrant varied patterns, can conform to any surface, and you can even use ink jet printer to make your own custom patterns. But hydrographics need a clear sealing coat I assume and are probably non-repairable. Anyone know how durable this stuff is at resisting wear and solvents?
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    Senior Member bluefox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post
    I have been considering a unique look for my TrailWagon's plastic panels and metal tank. This is to spruce-up a trail bike with a few dings and scratches, not to make a show bike. Anyone have experience with relative durability of these techniques?

    Paint we all know, may chip and peel but a rattle-can job can be touched up easily and can cover all curves and surface textures.

    Bedliner paints adhere well and are durable but color choices are very limited to black and charcoal shades.

    Vinyl wraps can look stunningly good like Purples cammo bike, but will wrap adhere to road rashed plastic and resist gasoline spills on tank? A cammo pattern can be applied in pieces to cover complex curves or patched to repair damage, right?

    Hydrographics, or wager transfer paint, or dip kits offer vibrant varied patterns, can conform to any surface, and you can even use ink jet printer to make your own custom patterns. But hydrographics need a clear sealing coat I assume and are probably non-repairable. Anyone know how durable this stuff is at resisting wear and solvents?
    What type of activities do you use your bike for? Cause if you beat it into the trees all the time on the trail, I would use bed liner then use rattle can paint on top of that with template designs(or painter tape laid out in designs) to give it the explosion of amazing.
    The only thing I would worry about the wraps would be if you ever gashed them, you may have to attempt to remove the whole thing (if its a pattern design).
    I had a buddy dip his ford focus (completely) and he only needed to scape it off to change it (he may have used a softener first to get to un-hook)
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    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Fred,

    Few years ago I bought some vinyl wrap with the intention of applying it to my plastics and tank. I started with the front stock fender. As I was doing this by myself, I discovered I needed 2 extra hands. I quit and painted the TW instead (rattle can with periodic touch up's). I still have the vinyl wrap should I want to attempt it again in the future (don't think so).

    I might try the clear plasti dip to see if it will help protect the paint.
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    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    Senior Member bluefox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    That's sick. I just looked into it though. You are looking close to 200$ for a kit with enough material for your bike or more if you have a company do it for you(300$ and up). I would probably go the traditional route unless you have anywhere between 200-400$ laying around. I would probably hold on for that type of awesomeness for a bike that doesn't have the possibility of being side-swiped by low hanging branches or rooster tailed by dirt/gravel.
    Last edited by bluefox; 04-10-2014 at 09:12 AM. Reason: research done
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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    I think video demonstates that I could "beat into the trees" a properly done water transfer OK. Thanks Bluefox for my new phrase-of-the-week.
    I'll remember to use it when I querry local graphics company about comprable durability on softer plasctic of TW.
    My bike lives a hard life so maybe easy touch-up of home done spray can is the most practical solution.
    My plastic is perhaps too rough in places to get wrap to lie flat for long term adhesion, too bad. Do not want peel-off or bubbling.
    Thanks Folks.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    C'mon Fred. From what I read that stuff would stick unless you went after your bike with a deconstruciton blade on a sawsall and a wire brush on a grinder.

    Think how spiffy you would look with this cool green snakeskin

    Attachment 5087

    Testimonial for OHW (One Hit Wonder) Hydrographic paint:

    "I thought I would share this one we just did for a Black Corvette LS 2. We used your new Synergy Green under snake print and cleared it with your clear. Im always amazed at how well the clear lays down, even on rough surfaces like engine components. Even though these parts are textured from the manufacturer like sandpaper, your clear still manages to lay it out almost smooth over this surface. Another reason we use only OHW products." -- Barry, Wisconsin Hydrographics
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    Senior Member bluefox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post
    I think video demonstates that I could "beat into the trees" a properly done water transfer OK. Thanks Bluefox for my new phrase-of-the-week.
    I'll remember to use it when I querry local graphics company about comprable durability on softer plasctic of TW.
    My bike lives a hard life so maybe easy touch-up of home done spray can is the most practical solution.
    My plastic is perhaps too rough in places to get wrap to lie flat for long term adhesion, too bad. Do not want peel-off or bubbling.
    Thanks Folks.
    I personal wonder what the wear would be from something like a lay over go 15-45mph. Yeah, Your right about them taken a beating but the price was the big factor. The kits I found started around 70$ but your only going to be able to do something like the front fender with that amount they give you. The ones that seem the right size for the whole bike end around 200$. If its more of a road hog it might be something you could sport and the "What was that!?!" reactions.
    I would suggest that bedliner/spray paint combo personally. Its on my personal list of S#!^ to do.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Dubster's Avatar
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    Fred I used 3M vinyl wrap and bedliner on the Redneck Edition. The wrap will definitely try your patience but is durable and resists gas.In fact I just went out to the "man cave" and tried rubbing a piece with a gas soaked rag. Nothing happened.
    I would think you should be able to sand the road rash smooth and maybe carefully use a torch to smooth out your plastics if necessary. There were some rough spots on my plastics and I just sanded them smooth. The wrap is holding well.
    The thing about vinyl verses dipping is:
    1- cheaper (and I happen to be a cheap sob)
    2-If you rash the bike up again you can redo it. I used a 4x5' sheet and had a good foot left over. It came with squeegee applicator and cost me around $100 shipped here to Canada. I think the kit was $70-$75.
    I also used vinyl automotive door edging around the edges to keep the vinyl from peeling off and masked the vinyl on the tank and sprayed the bedliner slightly over the edge for the same reason.
    I guess it boils down to whether you want to do it yourself and save some money(and easily repair if needed) or pay more and have it dipped.
    There are lots of videos on you-tube that show you how to do the vinyl wrap.
    Good luck with whatever you do. The end result either way will be awesome.
    Last edited by Dubster; 04-10-2014 at 05:32 PM.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    The wrap will definitely try your patience
    Oh buddy, yes it will. I regret to this day my attempt. Hydro-dip that puppy. Life is too short.
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