For proper adherence, all surfaces should be considered dirty and should therefore be cleaned prior to any vinyl application. Household surface cleaners, such as Windex, are acceptable; however, we recommend a 2-to-1 mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol. After thorough washing, wipe the surface dry with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth. Air and surface temperature must be above 55 degrees Fahrenheit for the application of the vinyl.
Apply Vinyl using the following Steps:
(Note: It is recommended that a novice installer have a helper present on the following steps. It is not a requirement however it will help ensure a quality installation.)
Step 1 – Measure and mark the area you wish to apply your vinyl using a water-soluble pencil. Water-soluble pencils are available on our accessory pages. Precision marking will help assure a level application. Once you have the overall area defined and marked, you should have a good idea as to where the upper right and left corners of the decal should be placed. At this time, take your decal (paper and all) and tape the upper right corner of it to your predetermined area. Have your assistant hold the upper left corner of the decal in place while you stand back a few feet and look at it. If you like its placement, move on to step 2.
Step 2 – Tape the left corner in place and put a piece of tape down the center of the decal. At this time, using your water-soluble pencil, place a mark on the right and left side of the decal. Make sure you mark both the tape and the surface you are mounting the decal to. You will be aligning these two marks later, so be sure you can see them clearly.
Step 3 – On the Left side of the decal, hold the paper and peel off the tape until you reach the center of the decal. (The decal should stay stuck to the application tape at this time) Cut the paper as close to the center as you can, without scratching your surface.
Step 4 – Spray the surface on the left side with water or application fluid (we recommend the application fluid)
Note: do not spray water or application fluid when using reflective vinyl. Reflective vinyl should be applied on a dry surface.
Place the left side of the decal down on the surface, taking care to line up the lines you drew in step 2. With the application tape still intact, squeegee the decal to the surface by applying pressure with smooth even strokes. Start at the middle of the decal and work your way out to the left. Note: Before you squeegee, make sure there are no wrinkles in the decal or application tape.
Step 5 – Lift up the right-hand side of the decal and remove the remainder of the backing paper. (It is ok to lift up the piece of center tape at this time). Apply application-fluid to the right-hand surface. Place the right-hand decal taking care to align your marks on the right-hand side. Again, start at the middle and squeegee toward the right-hand side of the decal.
Note: Before you squeegee make sure there are no wrinkles in the decal or application tape.
It is a good idea to wait just a couple of minutes before you remove the application tape. This allows the application fluid to begin drying and will prevent the decal from trying to come up.
Step 6 – Once it has adhered to the surface, squeegee the entire decal a second time. Then carefully peel the tape off the entire decal. It is common for there to be some small bubbles throughout the decal. These bubbles will leave by themselves within a few weeks. If you have any major bubbles you can eliminate them by carefully heating the area with a hair dryer or heat gun, then puncturing them with a needle and applying pressure with your thumb.
The following step-by-step instructions provide a good basic plan for removing old vinyl decals, stripes and letters.
BEFORE STARTING PLEASE NOTE: In most instances, it is possible to remove vinyl lettering with no residual damage to the applied surface. While this is typically the case, different substrate materials can react in different ways, so if you’re unsure of the resulting reaction, it’s important to test an inconspicuous area of your surface before applying the following techniques to the entire area. The upside is that most surfaces, including vehicles, respond well to the vinyl removal technique outlined below, with no resulting damage to the surface. When working with decals that have been in place for a significant length of time, there is the slight possibility that the paint around the decal will appear discolored or faded upon removal (also known as Ghosting). Usually, this only occurs in cases where the decal has been exposed to the sun for extreme periods of time. This significant sun exposure will result in a tan line effect on the surface, whereby the unexposed area under the decals will appear nice and shiny next to the faded, exposed surface. In the case of old wooden signs, where the paint is already chipped and peeling, it is important to keep in mind that the paint will most likely peel off with the vinyl letters when you remove them.
Step 1 – Heat the surface of the decal with a heat gun. Then take a Plastic removal squeegee and scrape vinyl from the surface. (Note: if the vinyl is old and brittle, it will most likely come off in small pieces. If the vinyl is not that old you may be able to pull it off in bigger chunks.)
Step 2 – Once you have peeled all of the vinyl off, you will have to clean the adhesive off the surface with a product designed to remove adhesive without damaging the paint. We sell an adhesive-remover fluid that works well for this purpose. Clean the surface with soap and water then check to make sure there are no remaining pieces of vinyl or adhesive stuck to it.
At this point, you are done. If you intend to apply new vinyl to the surface, be sure to clean it thoroughly, then wipe it down with alcohol to ensure that none of the adhesive-remover is left on the surface.