Applying Vinyl Decals
Learn how to apply your vinyl decals in a short few easy steps. These tips will help ensure that you have a professional finish without air bubbles. The first step for successful decal application, requires a good clean surface.
When installing vinyl, it is important that you apply the product to an adequate surface - one to which it will readily adhere to properly. The list below contains a brief summary of acceptable surfaces along with some surfaces that are not.
The good news is: vinyl will stick to many surfaces. In determining whether your intended surface is adequate, keep in mind that as a general rule of thumb, vinyl will stick to almost any surface that is clean and either smooth and nonporous. To demonstrate the necessary surface qualities, we use glass versus brick as a quick example. Vinyl will stick very well to glass because of its high gloss smooth surface. On the other hand, due to its rough exterior, vinyl will not stick well to brick.
- Metals (Ideally should be painted with a smooth, glossy enamel)
- Vehicles (Ideally should be painted with a smooth, glossy enamel)
- Vinyl (Such as banners, canopies, flags, etc.)
- Plastic, Acrylic and other high gloss surfaces.
- Fiberglass (Must be painted with a smooth, glossy enamel)
- Wood (Must be painted with a smooth, glossy enamel)
- Other Painted Surfaces (Paint must be smooth and glossy, vinyl will not stick to oxidized, faded, or peeling paint)
Not Recommended Surfaces
- Pitted Cement
- Raw Lumber, like chip board or low grade plywood.
- Oxidized or Faded Paint
- Textured plastic surfaces
- Rusted Metals
- Oily Surfaces
- Dusty surfaces, like fresh drywall
These lists are not comprehensive and there are other acceptable and unacceptable surfaces beyond those listed. Again, when in doubt, apply the rule that states vinyl will generally adhere well to smooth, glossy, and clean surfaces. Rough, dull, peeling, porous, or dirty surfaces on the other hand will likely not produce an acceptable vinyl application.
For proper adherence, all surfaces should be considered dirty and should 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 thoroughly 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 the vinyl using the following steps:
(Note: It is recommended that a novice installer have a helper present for assistance with the following steps. It is not a requirement however it will help ensure a quality installation.)