- Masking/Painters Tape
- Application Spray (instructions below)
- Pin or Exacto Knife (in case of bubbles)
Make sure the surface is clean and free of dust before installation.
- Wash and rinse the area with warm water and a small amount of dish soap. Allow to dry or wipe surface with a clean, lint-free towel or cloth.
- For vehicles, glass/plexi - you can finish up the cleaning process by wiping down the area with rubbing alcohol. Again, using a clean lint-free towel or cloth to wipe the surface in just one direction.
Surface temperatured should be between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit before attempting the installation. Applications outside the recommended range may reduce the adhesives' ability to perform.
- Too HOT - As a general rule, if the surface is hot to the touch it's over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Adhesive becomes gummy when it gets too hot.
- Too COLD - Adhesive becomes brittle when it gets too cold.
You can choose to apply the decal either dry or wet. An extra set of hands is always a good idea for beginners and for larger decals.
- DRY: Applying the decals dry does not allow for any mistakes. Most of the time, once the vinyl touches the surface, there is no removal with damage.
- WET: Using the wet application technique allows you the opportunity to reposition vinyl as needed for a short amount of time. To make your own application spray, just mix a drop of dish soap into a spray bottle of water. Spray the surface (not to light, not to heavy) and place the decal.
My favorite application technique is the "hinge" method. Print or Pin the image below to have it handy.
Other things to be aware of:
- Do not excessively stretch vinyl during the application. This is the main cause of end lift. Pull the vinyl only as taut as necessary to keep a straight line.
- Invest in a squeegee - Vinyl is a pressure-sensitive product. A squeegee should be used to get the best results. The purpose of using a squeegee is to remove the excess fluid and or air from behind the vinyl. You should always start the squeegee from the middle and work from the center out on both sides.
- When removing the application tape, always pull it back slowly, back onto itself, at a 180-degree angle. Make sure the vinyl sticks to your surface as you remove the tape. If the vinyl is sticking to the transfer tape, lay flat again and rub onto the surface, then slowly manipulate the tape as you remove it to help the decal transfer.
- Bubbles can be punctured using a pin. Do not slit the vinyl to release the air. If the vinyl is slit it will spread or gap. (Using the wet application technique drastically reduces bubble, especially when applying to automobiles and glass. Bubbles are also more present with larger pieces of vinyl, versus smaller letters and thin graphics.