How to Install Pressure Sensitive Vinyl Decals

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How to Install Pressure Sensitive Vinyl Decals
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How to Install / Apply Vinyl Graphics  By Decal-FX

Cleaning Procedures: 

   All surfaces are contaminated to some degree. To ensure good adhesion to any vehicle surface it is critical that you follow
these recommended procedures in decontaminating and preparing the surface prior to any vinyl product installation.
1. Wash and rinse the area with liquid dish detergent and warm water.
2. Then dry the surface with a clean, lint-free towel or cloth.
3. Finish up the cleaning process by wiping down the entire area with Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol).
4. To avoid re-contamination during the final cleaning step, wipe the surface in just one direction, using a clean, lint-free
    towel or cloth.
You are now ready to apply the vinyl.
Temperature Recommendations: 
    Surface temperatures MUST be between 50° and 85° Fahrenheit before attempting the installation. As a general rule, if the
surface is hot to the touch it's over 85° Fahrenheit. Adhesive becomes brittle when it gets too cold and gummy when it gets too 
hot. Applications outside the recommended range of 50° to 85° Fahrenheit reduce the adhesives' ability to perform. 
Application Procedures: 
   You can choose to apply vinyl in one of two ways; dry or wet. Applying vinyl dry does not allow for any mistakes, and 
recommended for small decals. Once the vinyl touches the surface, there is no removal without damage. We suggest that all
customers use the wet process for larger graphics. The wet method is recommended on decals larger than 12" x 18" in size
Quick Vinyl Application Tips.... 
·  Before application make sure there is no wax or armour-all® type products on the surface  - decal may stick but will lift easily. 
·  Do not apply in cold weather - adhesive may stick but will lift easily. 
·  Do not apply in extreme heat, apply in the shade - vinyl will get very soft and stretch. 
·  Do not use alcohol to apply - it will destroy the adhesive.
Quick Vinyl Care Tips.... 
·  Do not use ice scraper on the sticker/decal - may lift or break pieces off.. 
·  Do not touch the adhesive backing - oils from your skin will prevent sticking. 
·  Do not point high pressure car wash nozzle at the edges of the sticker/decal it will lift. 
·  Don't apply wax over graphics, especially if the wax contains any petroleum distillates.
·  Hand Car washing is safe. 
FIRST you need to know each decal has 3 pieces:
1. The top layer is the TRANSFER TAPE or pre-mask. 
2. The middle layer is the actual vinyl decal.
3. The bottom layer is the liner/backing. 
These decals come to you all together in three layers.
The top layer is called transfer tape or PRE-MASK. It looks somewhat like regular masking tape or clear tape and is used to 
apply and protect your decal as you apply. In rare occasions the transfer tape might have a wrinkle or two in it, don't worry
it is not in the decal itself. The middle layer is the actual decal, this will come up with your PRE-MASK when you are ready
to apply.  The bottom layer is a backing paper/liner with a waxy surface.

Vinyl Decal Installation Instructions


1. Pre-fit your decal to the surface. This will help to eliminate any install placement errors.

2. Measure where you want your decal to be. Then tape in place on 1 side only to use as a
hinge, using regular masking tape. Place your tape on the top, bottom or either side, which
ever you feel more comfortable with. (Fig. 1)


3. Peel the bottom WAXY LINER layer away from the DECAL and PRE-MASK LAYER
starting at the opposite side of the masking taped hinge, and slowly remove it. (Fig. 2)


4. Wet method is suggested for beginners and larger decals. To use the wet method
placement, spray the smooth surface with a mixture of soap and water. Be sure that the
surface is clean and free from residue. Find center of decal and the surface on which you
want to apply it. Hold the decal in place desired and mark two top corners with pencil. Spray
or sponge your application fluid onto adhesive surface only. (Fig. 3)  DO NOT wet the

Start separating the decal at one corner and pull it back slowly, keeping the adhesive wet as
you go. Wet the surface (Fig. 3) with the same solution mixed previously and position the
decal to the marks established in (Fig.1). Wet hands with solution and rub over decal lightly,
smoothing out any wrinkles. Work out water with plastic squeegee and dry excess liquid with
a soft cloth or paper towel. Squeegee the decal from top to bottom beginning at the center. 
Proceed right from center, and left from center overlapping strokes 50%. Prick any air bubbles
with a pin and rub down. Be sure that outer edges of decal are rubbed down smoothly and all
liquid is forced out. This is essential for proper adhesion. Decal must dry out for 24 hours
before adhesion is complete.

Wet Application Fluid: Wet method is how you install larger decal to reduce the chance of
getting bubbles in it. The wet method allows you to squeegee out the air bubbles trapped
inside before it adheres to the surface. You can make your own application fluid with 4 drops
of dishwashing liquid (dawn, joy, or baby shampoo etc.) to 1 quart of water in a spray bottle.
(Glass Plus or other non-ammonia window cleaner may also be used).  NEVER use the wet
method when applying decals to any textured surface. An example of this type of surface
would be non-painted Ski-Doo ® side panels.


5. While still holding the PRE-MASK layer away from the smooth surface, using your supplied
squeegee, start from the side with the tape and gently work away from the tape and squeegee
out all water and soap.(Fig. 4) 

6. Use your squeegee and apply pressure from the middle to the outward sides (Fig. 5), this
will remove all water and start the decal adhesion. Let sit for 5 minutes before removing. If 
your decal appears to not be sticking the fluid is still behind the decal, just squeegee again
and let sit for 10-15 minutes. The decals have a pressure sensitive adhesive, the harder
you rub it down the better it sticks. Also, the longer you let it sit the stronger the adhesive
will adhere.


7. Now you are ready to pull off your PRE-MASK layer and view your decal. Gently pull it off,
if you see some vinyl start to come up with the PRE-MASK  lay it back down, squeegee, and
wait a few minutes and try again. Prick any air bubbles with a pin and rub down. Be sure that
outer edges of decal are rubbed down smoothly and all liquid is forced out. This is essential
for proper adhesion. (Fig. 6)

8. Now that the PRE-MASK is removed the final step is to use your squeegee and apply
pressure from the middle to the outward sides like (Fig. 5) This helps the pressure sensitive
adhesive set. 


Please give credit and provide link to  The Decal-FX Store  if this guide is used in whole or in part,
Thank You 
The Decal-FX eBay Support Team
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