Friday, March 20, 2015


How to Apply a Vinyl Decal

Forewarning: I suggest you read the entire page before adhering your decal. If you think you don't need to and just slap it on, just let me tell you the number one rule:
Step 1: Clean and dry the desired area using rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Do not use Windex or similar products because it will leave a residue behind that will prevent the decal from adhering well. Decals will stick best to clean, smooth surfaces. *This step is crucial for application on things like a mirror because if left, dust will be noticeable on the other side.
Step 2: Rub the decal with the card provided or a credit card to be sure the transfer tape is properly adhered to the graphic. This removes any air bubbles that may have formed and makes the decal cling to the transfer tape.
Step 3: Remove the paper backing slowly, making sure the graphic stays adhered to the transparent transfer tape. If the decal clings to the backing, slowly replace the paper backing and repeat Step 2.
Step 4a: For a "dry" method application, use the card provided or a credit card to make sure the entire graphic is fully adhered to the surface. Don't attach it all willy-nilly, because this will cause bubbles or wrinkles, which will cause you to cry. Make sure you position your decal where you want it before adhering, because once it's down, it's down. For best results, wait 24 hours before moving to the next step.
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Step 4b: For a "bubble proof" application, (and the only application I personally ONLY use),  you can use the "wet" method: Mix 1 cup of cold tap water with one drop of dishwashing liquid (Dawn, Ivory, etc.). I suggest pouring this mixture into a clean spray bottle, though a lint-free rag or sponge can be used instead. Apply the water mixture liberally to the surface to which the decal is being applied. This wet method permits you to work from the center to the outside, smoothing out the decal and eliminating wrinkles or air bubbles.
Once the decal is in place, let it dry for about 15 minutes and then carefully peel off the backing paper. If an edge of the decal lifts from the surface, use the credit card to smooth it back down and wait a couple more minutes for the further drying.

Step 5: Slowly remove the transfer tape at an 180 degree angle, making sure no part of the graphic remains on the transfer tape. If the decal pulls away from the surface, repeat Step 4.
Step 6: Check for air bubbles or wrinkles. In most cases, air bubbles can be worked to the edge of the decal with the card you've been using, but if not, a pin hole will allow the air out and become virtually invisible once the bubble is gone. You can also try to use a hair dryer to heat the surface, and then try to work out the bubbles as before.

  • Go slow. If you think you're going slow, you're not going slow enough.
  • Seriously MAKE SURE that you clean your surface properly. This extends the life of your decal.
  • Do not apply in extreme hot or cold temperatures
  • If applying to a car, do not wash your car for at least three days after applying the decal, which will permit all of the application fluid to evaporate completely.
  • If you need a replacement decal, possibly because you didn't read the instructions ;), you can purchase another one for either half the price you originally paid or at cost of the materials, whichever is greater.
  • Go slow.
Let me know if you have any questions!


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Thanks, mango! You're a fabulous person and there needs to be more people like you that comment on awesome posts.