Detailed Installation Instructions

There are two main methods for applying vinyl graphics - the DRY method and the WET method. Each is appropriate for different functions. As a general rule, ALWAYS use the wet method when applying individual decals that require PRECISE placement, such as individual letters meant to inlay or overlay a specific area (more on that below). You may also want to use the wet method when applying graphics to a curved surface, as the application solution will allow you to maneuver the graphic and eliminate any creases or bubbles.The dry method is more appropriate for applying graphics to a flat surface when a layer of transfer tape is part of the installation process.

That being said, ALWAYS:

STEP 1: CLEAN the application surface.  

Vinyl graphics stick best to smooth, clean surfaces. To ensure good adhesion to any painted surface, follow these steps prior to installation.

  • Wash & rinse the area with the appropriate cleaning solvent (liquid dish detergent for auto paint, isopropyl or denatured alcohol for glass). Dry with a clean, lint free towel or cloth.

  • If you are applying where an old decal used to be, you may need to remove old adhesive residue. This can be done with Goo Gone or a cleaning alcohol.

STEP 2: CHOOSE an application procedure- Wet or Dry.  

Applying vinyl dry does not allow for any mistakes. Once the vinyl touches a surface (or itself!), it cannot be removed without damaging the product. Dry application is only recommended for decals that come with a layer of transfer tape over the top. You may choose to use the wet method for all applications, especially if your decal is large or being applied to a curved surface.

The wet method allows for movement of the decal, and is necessary when applying decals that overlay or inlay design elements such as vehicle badges where precise application is necessary. Wet application also allows you to work out any bubbles or creases that may appear during application.

 

We suggest that all customers use the wet process for larger or complicated graphics.

DRY application:  

This method is only for decals that come with a top layer of transfer tape. Larger decals with transfer tape may also be easier to install using the wet method.

 

To use the dry method, you will need: tape measure, level (if applying on level ground), scissors, masking tape, squeegee.

  • Tape the top two corners of your decals to the approximate area you are applying.

  • Use the tape measure to center and level the decal in the application area. You may also wish to use a level. DO NOT level the decal on your vehicle if your vehicle is not sitting on level ground!

  • Once the decal is positioned correctly, make a HINGE.

 

FOR SMALLER DECALS, a top hinge is appropriate.

  • Use a strip of tape across the top of decal.

  • Lift the decal and remove the backing paper.

  • Holding the decal away from the surface, use the squeegee to rub the decal onto the surface.

  • Rub the decal from the center to the edges with the squeegee to ensure adhesion to the application surface.

  • Slowly peel the transfer tape away from the decal. If you notice the decal coming off with the transfer paper, rub that area again with the squeegee. The heat caused by the friction should assist the decal in sticking to the desired surface.

FOR LARGER DECALS, we recommend a center hinge.

  • Use a strip of tape across the middle of the decal. If the decal is long, use a vertical strip; if it is tall, horizontal.

  • Peel back one side of the decal, and use scissors to cut away the backing paper. It is useful to have another set of hands to hold the decal while you are cutting the paper. If the decal folds back on itself or sags and touches a surface, it can be ruined. If you do not have assistance available, take a piece of tape and hold the decal out of the way while you are cutting the backing paper away.

  • Hold the decal tight and use the squeegee to apply, rubbing from the center out. Do not try to apply the entire decal at once; allow the squeegee to press the decal onto the application surface.

  • Once one side is complete, remove the tape and complete the process on the other side.

  • Rub the decal from the center to the edges with the squeegee to ensure adhesion to the application surface.

  • Slowly peel the transfer tape away from the decal. If you notice the decal coming off with the transfer paper, rub that area again with the squeegee. The heat caused by the friction should assist the decal in sticking to the desired surface.

WET APPLICATION.  

This method is for the decals that come without a top layer of transfer tape, require precise placement, or are larger pieces with transfer tape.

Make your own Wet Application Fluid  using 4-5 drops of dish washing liquid to 16 ounces of water (tap water is fine). Mix this water in a spray bottle. If a spray bottle is unavailable, you may choose to dip your letters in the solution. We find the spray bottle to be a cleaner method

To use the wet method for smaller decals, you will need: wet application fluid (instructions above), hair dryer or heat gun.

  • Thoroughly spray the area you are applying. If you applying one small decal at a time, as in vehicle lettering, we recommend spraying one letter, then applying, and repeating the process.

  • Remove the decal from the adhesive backing and apply to the area. You should be able to slide the decal in all directions until you are satisfied with placement.

  • Repeat for each decal.

  • Use a heat gun or hair dryer to fully dry and form the decal to your specific area. Use your fingers to work any creases or bubbles. Water should also come out from under the decals. Be careful not to shrink or shrivel the decals during this process.This process ensures a proper adhesion and assists the decal in conforming to properly texturing. This will also prevent future lifting/peeling.

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