Prior to any vinyl application, all surfaces should be considered as dirty and must, therefore, be thoroughly cleaned. Household surface cleaners like Windex can be used for cleaning purposes. However, a mixture of water and isopropyl in the ratio of 2:1 is highly recommended. Once the surface is thoroughly cleaned, wipe it dry with a dry, clean, lint-free piece of cloth.
The surface and air temperatures should be above 550F for efficient application of the vinyl. Consider the following steps in the application of vinyl:
(NB: if you are a novice installer, it is recommended that you have a helper present on the following steps. It will help you get a quality installation).
- Using a water soluble pencil, measure and mark the area upon which you want to apply the vinyl. You can get a wide variety of water soluble pencils from our accessories’ page. After you have defined and marked the overall area, you will have a clear picture of where you should place the upper right and left corners of decals. At this point, tape the right upper corner of the decal to the area you had already defined. Let your assistant hold the upper left corner of the decal while you take a step back to have a look at it. If you like the placement, proceed to the next step.
- Take the left corner of the decal and tape it in place while putting a piece of tape right at the center of the decal. During this time, use the water-soluble pencil to put a mark on the left and right side of the decal. Be sure to mark both the tape as well as the surface onto which you are mounting it to, and since you will have to align these two marks, later on, ensure that they are easily visible.
- Starting from the left side of the decal, hold and peel of the tape as you make your way towards the center of the decal. Carefully cut the paper close to the center while being cautious not to scratch the surface.
- Using water or application fluid, carefully spray the surface on the left side. Note: when you use a reflective vinyl, you should not spray water or application fluid since it should be applied on dry surfaces. Position the left side of the decal down on the surface, ensuring that it is well aligned to the lines you marked in step 2. With the application tape still in position, apply pressure with smooth gentle strokes on the decal to squeegee it. Start from the center and work your way outwards towards the left. NB: Ensure that there are no wrinkles on the decal or the application tape before you start to squeegee.
- Remove the rest of the backing tape by lifting up the right-hand side of the decal then apply the application fluid to the right-hand surface. Carefully place the right-hand decal and ensure that it is aligned to the marks you made on the right-hand side. Once again, start to squeegee from the middle as you work your way outwards toward the right. Remember to ensure that there are no wrinkles before you start to squeegee.
- It is recommended that you wait for a few minutes before you take off the application tape. This will allow adequate time for the application fluid to start to dry and also prevent the decal from attempting to come up. Once it is well adhered to the surface, squeegee the whole decal one more time then remove the tape from the entire decal.
It is common to have small bubbles once the decal has been applied. These bubbles will disappear after a few weeks. If however, there are major bubbles, you can get rid of them by heating the area with a heat gun or a hair dryer then puncturing them with a needle and applying small pressure with your thumb. Note: You might cause more damage if you decide to chase after the small bubbles. They will disappear by themselves when the vinyl breathes and also as the application fluid slowly evaporates.