Decal Installation


Preparing the Surface

The high-quality materials used to create your decal creates an excellent bond with just about any clean, smooth, weather-resistant surface that is free of grease, wax, and silicone. For a long-lasting bond, the target surfaces must be properly prepared. Before mounting the material, clean the surface with70% Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and wipe it dry with a clean cloth. Gas bubbles may form between the film and the surface if any solvent residue remains as a result of improper cleaning or if the paint on the surface is too fresh. Allow at least three weeks to pass before adhering the film to paint that has been oven-dried and/or baked.

70% Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol is recommended as the cleaning agent as other agents may, under certain conditions, attack the paint or reduce the adhesive strength of the film. DO NOT USE 90% or 100% Isopropyl alcohol OR any other fluid or solvent that are not designed for vinyl graphics.


Application Temperatures
Your decal should never be adhered at temperatures below 50 °F. Avoid any significant drop in temperature during the first 24 hours after application. Should this occur anyway, we recommend treating the film with hot air from a heat gun or other heat source. Do not try to apply the decal in direct sunlight.

Adhesion
There are two major methods of adhesion: dry and wet application. Wet adhesion is only recommended for large films.

For Dry applications, first place the cut film on the surface to which it is to be adhered and press it down firmly to the surface at one corner. Apply the remainder by bringing a plastic squeegee across the film in overlapping sweeps. It is best to use a felt squeegees.

For Wet applications, should only be done when temperatures are at least 60 °F. Spray the exposed adhesive side with low-surface-tension water (water mixed with a flushing agent, don't use concentrated agents) and place it upon the application surface. Position the cut film where you want it. The wet application method allows for more precise positioning of film. Press the film to the surface using sweeping, overlapping motions with a squeegee. Be certain that there is no water between the surface and adhesive to avoid bubbles and ensure a positive bond. The bond is improved if the film is pressed again after a few hours. If the wet method is used on materials with dispersion water-based adhesive, the adhesive turns white-a process that is reversed after some time. The time it takes the adhesive to become clear again depends on the surrounding conditions, such as temperature and humidity. If you still have air bubbles after a few days using either method, use a needle to poke a small hole into bubble and smoothing the vinyl with your hand afterwards, plastic squeegees can scratch the decal. Do not run windshield wipers over the vinyl or wash vinyl for 24 to 72 hours to make sure glue cures and bonds with surface.

Detailed Instructions

Tools needed: Tape measure, Squeegee or credit card, Masking tape, pin or razor blade, application solution for wet method (see FAQ for making your own) and surface temperature must be between 60-80 °F.

Cleaning agents: Regular glass cleaner and 70% Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.

(NOTE: Only use 70% Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol to clean and degrease the area the decal will be applied. DO NOT USE 90% or 100% Isopropyl alcohol OR any other fluid or solvent that are not designed for vinyl graphics. Since your are going to be spraying 70% Isopropyl alcohol, it is NOT a good idea to smoke or be around an open flame while spraying.)

The decals come to you in three layers. The top layer is called transfer tape. It looks somewhat like regular masking tape. The middle layer is the actual decal. The bottom layer is a backing paper treated with a release agent. It is a good idea to rub over the decal before applying to make sure that everything is ahearing properly prior to installation.

PLEASE DO NOT GET IN A HURRY and read these instructions all the way through before starting.


How to Apply Vinyl Decals (Dry Method)
This method is a one shot deal and is recommended for small decals. (Once the decal touches the glass or paint, it cannot be moved again.)
  1. Prepare surface by thoroughly cleaning with regular glass cleaner and then again with 70% Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Vinyl will not adhere to dusty, oily or freshly waxed surfaces.
  2. Tape the vinyl in place using masking tape as a hinge to ensure proper placement.
  3. Flip the vinyl up and remove only part of the protective backing from the decal leaving the decal affixed to the application tape. Do not allow sticky part of exposed decal to touch surface.
  4. Begin to apply the sticky side of the decal to the vehicle surface with the squeegee or credit card. Be sure to use even strokes horizontally across the decal.
  5. Continue smoothing out the decal with long horizontal strokes, starting at the top and working towards the bottom. Continue to remove the protective backing as needed.
  6. Once the entire decal has been applied, SLOWLY and CAREFULLY remove applicator sheet in a downward motion.
  7. Dab area with paper towel or cotton rag to press down all edges. Small bubbles will go away as the decal sets.

How to Apply Vinyl Decals (Wet Method)

This method gives you a chance to reposition decal once it has been laid on surface area and is recommended for large decals.

  1. Prepare the surface  thoroughly cleaning with regular glass cleaner and then again with 70% Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Vinyl will not adhere to dusty, oily or freshly waxed surfaces.
  2. Tape the vinyl in place using masking tape as a hinge to ensure proper placement.
  3. Flip the vinyl up and remove the protective backing from the decal leaving the decal affixed to the application tape. Spray surface and vinyl with a fine mist of application fluid.
  4. Flip the vinyl onto the wet surface and check for proper alignment. Vinyl may be removed and repositioned on a wet surface multiple times during the initial application process.
  5. Once desired placement has been achieved, use a squeegee or credit card to rub out all water and air bubbles. Rub from the center to each edge.
  6. After rubbing out all water and air bubbles, SLOWLY and CAREFULLY remove applicator sheet in a downward motion. If vinyl lifts from surface, repeat step 5. Vinyl won't stick when wet, so all moisture must be rubbed out before removing applicator sheet.
  7. Dab area with paper towel or cotton rag to press down all edges, removing excess application fluid and speeding up the drying process. Small bubbles will go away as the decal sets.

Maintenance

In colder climates, decals on windows of vehicles can be damaged by the scraping of frost or ice from the windows. Mild window cleaner may be used to clean the windows without damage to the decal.

On painted surfaces of vehicles, care must be taken when waxing. Wax will build up around the edges of the decal, and will need to be removed. Use a soft microfiber cloth and take your time and be gentle. A brush, for example will force the wax underneath the edge of the decal, and the decal will begin to peel.

The decal will not be damaged by normal use of automotive car wash products, or water. Although the decals will withstand pressure washers, and automatic car washes, these will reduce the life and appearance of the decal. The decals will not last forever, but will give many years of service if taken care of.


If you have any questions please contact us.

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