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Applying your vinyl decal is easy if you follow these steps!
Vinyl will adhere to most non-porous surfaces. Glass, non-textured plastic, mirrors, metal etc. While vinyl might stick to some porous materials, I do not suggest it and I will not replace any decals that get ruined if you try.
- Rubbing alcohol-Using glass cleaner instead will leave a residue
- Paper towels or a clean, lint-free cloth
- A hard plastic card like a credit card
- Your vinyl decal
- Transfer tape- If you purchased your decal from Barbed Wire & Lace, the transfer tape is included and has already been applied. You’re welcome.
Preparing Your Surface & Decal
Using the rubbing alcohol and the towel/cloth, thoroughly clean the surface where you are going to apply your vinyl. This makes sure that your vinyl sticks well and stays on your surface. Even the best vinyl cannot stick to anything dusty or greasy.
Let the area dry. Vinyl will not stick well or may get bubbles if the surface is still wet. Be patient!
With the plastic card, gently rub your design. Make sure that you leave the transfer tape AND paper on the decal.This is to ensure that the transfer tape has a good hold on the decal.
Applying Your Decal
Beginning with a corner of the decal, peel off the paper backing. If the decal clings to the paper, lay the transfer tape back down and repeat the previous step.
Choose placement of your decal and carefully lower the decal to the surface. Before you tack the vinyl to the surface, make sure your decal is centered and level. Once you set the decal down, you can NOT reposition it. For super precise application, I measure and mark with a dry erase marker or chalk marker.
Starting at the center of the design, use your card to press your decal onto the surface. Work from the center and try to push the air bubbles out towards the edge of the vinyl. This may take a few gentle, firm ‘squeegee-like’ motions to get all the air bubbles out. Be smarter than the bubbles and logically push where the bubbles have less distance to escape. However, be sure to not push too hard so you don’t scratch the surface of the vinyl.
Starting with a corner, begin to peel the transfer tape away from your design at a 45 degree angle. Work slowly so you can see if the decal is trying to peel up with the transfer tape. If it does, lay the transfer tape back down and gently rub your decal over the transfer tape to try and establish contact.
Mistakes & Boo-Boos?
Mistakes happen and it’s okay! If you goofed up applying your vinyl decal, take a picture of it and e-mail it to me. I offer a 25% discount on ‘replacement decals’ if you mess up when applying a decal I made. Just my little way of saying you’re only human and I’ve got your back.
As a reminder, I use only Oracal 651 for my permanent vinyl decals. It is amazing quality vinyl and meant to be used outdoors. However, many things will effect how long your decal will last. Sun exposure, extreme temperatures, surface condition, soaps…. all affect vinyl. It is wonderful but it is not indestructible.