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Gluing and weatherproofing fabric on painted metal? Answered

I'm getting a cargo trike soon that I'm going to heavily customize (picture of model linked, but mine is new)

Thing is, I don't want the usual spray job on the cargo trunk that I'm going to do on the rest of my trike. I want prints on the outer cargo trunk, and I was wondering if it is feasible to spray adhesive some fabric on, and then clear coat it a few times?

I'm wondering if anybody know if the fabric would stay on and if it'd be weatherproof? (I'm from the tropics so it's rain, shine, mud and humidity)

Also, do I have to prepare the metal beforehand? Scuffing etc

Thanks in advance for helping out~



8 years ago

use a contact adhesive and then varnish or polyurethene over the fabric ?

Have you thought of looking into decoupage?


Instead of gluing it, you used velcro or snaps? Something that could hold it securely, but not glom up the side of the trike? I agree with cdad...after a few years in tropical sun, that lovely festive print fabric will probably be bleached white mush. A sturdy but removable attachment would allow you to replace it when it gets nasty, and swap out different patterns.

Hmmm, if you use printed fabrics, I don't know how well they hold up to outdoor weathering exposed to sunlight even if it was clear coated several times.  The dyes used for cloth would eventually fade. The clearcoating may turn yellowish if it is varnish or polyurethane. They do have tonneau covers made from vinyl plastics and old cars had them glued to part of the roof.  They were fabric backed  as you seen that part rip away from age and wear.

Maybe you can use the roll-on laminate adhesive for kitchen countertops.  I don't know if you have to really sand down to bare metal for it to adhere, scuffing up the current paint would act as the primer layer it would adhere to.  And what if you want to change the fabric when it goes out of fashion or if it is worn?  I guess that's why the only made the wood-panelled trim for cars.  Good luck.