INSTALLING DECALS WET AND DRY TECHNIQUES

Our Decals are made from 7 year, self-adhesive, all-weather vinyl film. Vinyl comes on it's own backing paper. The lettering or graphic image is die-cut into the vinyl, and then all the vinyl that doesn't belong is removed by hand. Then the vinyl is sandwiched between it's own backing paper and a layer of application tape. The application tape holds the vinyl image together while you place it onto the destination's surface as desired.


There's two basic ways of installing vinyl decals - WET or DRY: The dry way is faster, the wet way is safer. Smaller stickers can usually be dropped dry onto the surface without having to be taped up and done in sections. Larger decals must be taped in place and laid down in sections. Either way, be careful and work slow. Dry decals tend to stretch out if they stick by accident and then have to be pulled off and re-stuck (If you manage to pull the vinyl back up at all). Installing wet allows you to remove the decal and re-position safely during the application.*** The wet method only works with vinyl that uses solvent based adhesive. It does not work properly with aqueous based glue, so make sure you know what you're sticking when you stick! 85% of our vinyl is solvent based.

WET METHOD:

  1. Clean your destination surface.

  2. Mist the cleaned surface with clean water, then using a sharp angle - peel the vinyl-backing away from the application-tape that is holding the vinyl image and mist the vinyl image also with clean water. The more water you apply to the destination surface, the more you can slide the graphic around before it starts to stick, but too much water can cause problems with smaller detailed decals, so don't go crazy with the water if you have small lines and details in your decal.

  3. Place the image (still stuck to the application tape) onto the destination surface as close to perfect as you can get it. You can slide it around until it is lined up how you want it. Be careful of small lines and details.

  4. Once aligned - Starting from the image-centre and moving outward, squeegee out all the water and air bubbles. Start with light pressure, and slowly build with each pass over the graphic.

  5. Let the image stay on the surface with the shipping/application tape on for about an hour to dry (direct sun and heat speed this up. Decals for floors, as well as cold, humid and rainy days can take up to 24 hours).

  6. Once dry, begin peeling the shipping tape off using a sharp angle, as this helps to keep your image on your surface. If the vinyl is not sticking, its not dry yet, or your surface was not clean. If the image comes off the surface (still sticking to the application tape), simply lay back down and squeegee hard a few times, and give it as much time as it needs to dry and adhere.

DRY METHOD:

  1. Clean your destination surface.

  2. With your decal as-is (still taped up), lay your decal (backing-side down, application-tape-side up) and align as you like it. It should be adhesive side down, looking like it will look after applied.

  3. Once you have it lined up, place a strip of masking-tape (vertically) down the centre of the image to hold in place, over-lapping the edge onto the destination surface. Make sure it won't move. Once fixed...

  4. Pull one side of the image back flat against itself, folding over the masking-tape centre-line that you placed to hold it down. Don't crease it, just fold it.

  5. Using a sharp angle, start in a corner and peel away the image's backing until you get to the masking-tape-centre-line you laid to hold it in place. Keeping the vinyl (on the application-tape) pinned back with your finger, cut away the removed backing along the centre-placement-tape line. Careful not to scratch surface or cut your vinyl.

  6. Using any squeegee like item (a credit card works well), begin to lay your graphic down onto your prepared surface from the masking-take centre line outward. DO NOT LAY DOWN ALL AT ONCE! Hold the image at an angle above the destination-surface, and slowly, starting at the centre-placement-tape-line, press down the image from the centre out using the squeegee. Squeegee from the centre-tape-line outward as you lay it down, pushing out bubbles as you go.

  7. Once one side is laid down, remove the centre-tape-line, then remove the other half of the vinyl backing the same way as before, and repeat the process for the other side.

  8. Squeegee the entire image a few times, from the centre outward, each time with greater pressure, making sure that you get all the air bubbles out.

  9. Begin peeling the shipping tape off using a sharp angle. If the image comes off the surface (sticking to the shipping tape), simply lay back down and squeegee hard a few times, then try again to peel back the tape - remember, a sharp angle works best when separating vinyl from either the backing or the tape.