Decal Installation Instructions

For the best installation and storage results with our decals, we recommend the following steps to have the best experience with your die cut decals in terms of installation and general wear. These decals, if taken care of and applied properly, have a manufacturer rating of 3-6 year lifespan depending on the color of the vinyl used. White, black, and most colors are rated up to 6 years. Metallic vinyl is rated for 4 years. Brilliant Blue vinyl is the shortest durability lifespan expectancy at 3 years on vertical surfaces. The vinyl itself is 2.5 mil thick and one of the most pliable materials out there.

Storage

Decals should be stored in a cool and dry place protected from sunlight and high humidity. Do not alter the decal from the state it was received in be it rolled if it is a longer decal or flat if a smaller one as this will potentially bend it out of shape prior to installation. If your decal was rolled, please lay it out flat and let it acclimate to the environment and smooth it out to the clear application tape on top using a firm item such as a credit card, driver’s license, or other semi rigid card. Flattening the decal might take 24-48 hours depending on length of time it was rolled.

Surface Preparation

The high quality special adhesives used in our vinyl create an excellent bond with just about any clean and smooth surface which is free of grease, wax, dust, and silicone. Prior to applying your decal, please clean the installation area with soap and water and wipe dry. Follow this step with Isopropyl Alcohol wiped onto the surface and dried with a clean, lint free cloth. Bubbles may form between the film and surface if there is any residue from improper cleaning or if the paint is too fresh. Allow three (3) weeks for freshly painted surfaces to fully cure before installation. The compatibility of selected lacquers and paints should be tested by the end user prior to application of the full material to ensure the decal will work with their product.

Application Temperatures

Minimum application temperature is 46°F. Significant drops in temperature should be avoided in the first 24 hours after application. Should a large temperature drop occur, we recommend heating the decal with heat from a hair dryer or hot-air gun to assure proper adhesion.

How To Apply Your Decal

– Remove paper backing. Lay your decal face down on a flat surface. Gently start pulling the backing off the decal. If your decal is under 4″ x 6″, it is safe to remove the entire backing. If it is over this dimensions, we recommend only starting to remove the backing from the film enough to begin mounting (folding back a corner or small section and working across the decal by applying pressure with a credit card or driver’s license). If working on a curved surface, you might find cutting the unnecessary pieces out of the decal’s backing and application tape will help you with your application. In addition, give the application tape small little cuts without cutting into the decal itself for further flexibility on applying your decal. For actual mounting options to best apply your decal, there is the dry or wet adhesion methods. Do not stretch the vinyl as it can stretch up to 150% of it’s size before it breaks. The adhesive, however, will not be effective when stretched too much out of it’s original shape.

Two application choices:

Wet adhesion or Dry adhesion. Most small decals under 3″ in width or height are dry adhesion. Wet adhesion is recommended for windows and like surfaces to position the decal in the location you would like it best.

Dry adhesion method.

  • Peel backing and line up decal with where you would like to place it on the surface. If surface is curved, work from center out in small sections with a plastic squeegee or card to smooth out bubbles for small decals, for larger ones, smooth the center to each corner of the applied area and work across the decal in the same pattern. Once bubbles are smoothed out of the decal, slowly peel the application tape (clear tape on top) from the front of the decal at roughly 180° angle to avoid pulling the decal back up. If you had to cut your application tape to conform to the shape of your surface, peel the tape off in small pieces and make sure to smooth the decal down at each peeling. If a piece of the decal comes up with the application tape, do not panic! Lay the application tape back down and firmly smooth with credit card, driver’s license, or equally semi rigid tool.

Wet adhesion method.

  • This method should be done when temperature is at 65°F or higher only.
    Peel backing and lightly mist either the decal’s adhesive area OR the surface you will be applying the decal with water. We personally prefer misting the surface rather than the decal.  Slowly place the decal onto the surface you are applying it. You will be able to move the decal around to ensure it is lined up and placed where you want it for a short period of time. Smooth bubbles and water out with a plastic squeegee or card from center out. Be firm with your tool of choice to force the water out from between the surface and the decal. With this method, we recommend you allow the decal to have a drying period of 1-3 hours before pulling the application tape to assure best adhesion to the surface. If you allow the drying period, smooth the surface again one more time first. Slowly peel the application tape keeping the tape at a 180° angle with the decal to avoid lifting from the surface. If still slightly damp, you can run a hair dryer or heat gun quickly near the decal to assist in drying out the fluid between.

With either method, try not to allow rain/car wash/hose/pressure washer to hit the surface for 24-48 hours to assure a proper bonding period. If you have any questions on how to apply your decal, please email us at [email protected]