Decal Application

Decals are easily applied to clean, smooth, and lightly textured surfaces as long as a few basic steps are taken to ensure proper installation. Below are a few points to consider in applying your decal correctly.

How do I prepare the surface for my decal?

  1. The ideal application temperature for the air and substrate (surface to which the decal is being applied) is from 10 to 35 degrees Celsius. At lower temperatures, adhesion build will be slower or non-existent. At higher temperatures, repositioning of the decal during application will be more difficult if required.
  2. All substrates must be cleaned before the application of the decal is started. Possible surface contaminants include dust, rust, migratory components of paint and plastics, chalk lines, grease and oil from hands and other sources, and caulking compounds.
  3. First, wash the substrate’s surface with water and a mild detergent. Be sure the detergent does not contain anything such as cream or lotion that could leave a residue.
  4. Dry the substrate with a lint free cloth.
  5. Next, wipe the surface with a solvent such as Isopropyl alcohol or VM&P Naptha.
  6. Immediately wipe off the solvent with a clean, dry, lint free cloth so that the solvent does not dry leaving a residue.
  7. Always test the solvent on the substrate first to be sure they are compatible.

How do I apply my decal?

  1. Use masking tape or other low tack tape along the top edge of your decal to position it in the desired area.
  2. Lift the decal from the bottom and remove the liner completely. Keep the exposed adhesive off the substrate.
  3. If you are doing a ‘wet application’, apply the liquid to the substrate. Drape your decal and apply it using a squeegee to make firm, short, overlapping strokes. Squeegee from the top centre to the edges and the bottom. Avoid stretching the decal, or getting oils from your hands or other contaminants on the decal. These could result in poor adhesion or lifting of the decal.
  4. Do not bridge over recessed areas and attempt to “push” the material into place later. The vinyl must be “draped” and worked into these areas during application.
  5. To help minimize air pockets, the decal can be applied wet using an application mixture of clean water and a small amount of detergent (0.5% max). Use just enough detergent to revent the water from “beading” on the substrate. If this process is used, all application fluid must be squeegeed out after application. This process is not recommended for application to glass surfaces.
  6. Puncture all trapped air pockets with a pin and squeegee from the edge of the pocket to the puncture point, evacuating all air or application fluid.
  7. The careful use of a heat gun is recommended when applying a decal to lightly textured substrates. A rivet brush should be used in conjunction with heat for rivets and other raised or recessed surfaces.
  8. Allow the adhesive to begin bonding before further handling, generally 15–30 minutes. If the decal has been premasked, remove the premask at 180 degrees Celsius (pull the premask back upon itself).
  9. Re-squeegee the entire decal.

How should I store my decal if not applying right away?

Unapplied decals may be stored for up to one year. The decals should be stored in a clean, dry area out of direct sunlight. The ideal storage temparature is 20 degrees Celsius.

How long until I can clean or wash my decal?

In most cases, your decal should be left for a minimum of 24-hours to allow the adhesive to set. Thereafter, gently wiping of your decal with a lightly-damp cloth will not affect the application to your substrate.For a vehicle wrap or decal, DO NOT pressure wash your vehicle for 72 hours after the decal has been applied so the adhesive can set.