Application Directions - Copy and Print
1. Surface preparation is very important, DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
- Do not apply graphics in extreme hot or cold temperatures. Temperature should be above 65°F. In the summer months do not apply in direct sunlight, apply in the shade. Do not apply in windy conditions.
- Do not use wax, polish, soap, wipes or cleaning products that will leave a residue or film on the surface. The graphic may adhere at first but will lift or come off in time.
- Here are a couple of ways you can prepare the surface. Even if you go through a car wash, you must still prepare the surface. Car washes will leave a soap or wax residue on the surface.
- You can use a quality streak free window cleaner to clean the surface, wipe clean with a lint free towel or cloth, repeat this a couple of times.
- You can wash the surface with dish soap and water, rinse and dry with a lint free towel or cloth. After the surface is dry, mix 50/50 rubbing alcohol and water into a spray bottle. Spray the surface and wipe clean right away, repeat this a couple of times.
- If the surface you are applying graphics to has wax or polish, you may need to use a solution that is made to remove these products and then use the cleaning methods above.
- We use high performance automotive grade cast vinyl which has a high tack adhesive. If you follow these steps, the graphic will adhere to the surface very well. You can do a test by applying masking tape to the cleaned surface. If the masking tape is difficult to pull up, you have a squeaky clean surface. If the masking tape pulls up easy, time for another cleaning.
The graphic is made up of 3 layers. When you peel the wax and transfer paper apart, the graphic should be stuck on the transfer paper. The transfer paper keeps the graphic as one piece until you apply to the surface. Once applied to the surface, the transfer paper is then removed and only the graphic is left.
- Top = Transfer Paper
- Middle = Graphic
- Bottom = Wax Paper
2. Position the graphic where you would like it, apply pieces of masking tape on the top corners to hold the graphic in position. You may want to measure the position of the graphic to make sure it is centered to where you would like it, make the adjustments needed. Now stick a piece of masking tape on either side of the graphic making sure half the tape is on the graphic and half is on the surface, cut tape long enough so that it protrudes the ends of the graphic. The tape will act as a hinge and keeps the graphic in position. Remove the pieces of tape that are still on the top.
3. Now flip the graphic over so that it is facing backwards (sticky side facing you). From the hinge side, SLOWLY peel the wax paper away from the graphic, this will expose the sticky part. If the graphic is stuck to the wax paper lay the graphic back down and rub that area down with your fingers until it sticks to the transfer paper. If this is a small graphic, you can peel the wax paper completely off. If this a large graphic, only peel the wax paper 1/4 to 1/2 off the graphic.
4. Flip the graphic back over (sticky side facing towards the surface). Hold one end of the graphic taut, be careful not to touch the adhesive with your fingers, let the graphic touch itself or the surface. You will start to adhere the graphic from the hinged side and work your way to the other side. If the tape hinge is vertical, use your thumb or squeegee to rub down the graphic in a vertical motion. As you press the graphic down apply pressure and make sure you overlap each stroke. Slowly work your way to the other end (take your time). You will need to remove the wax paper from the bottom a little at a time as you work your way to the end. This method helps prevent bubbles from getting trapped under the graphic. I don't recommend peeling the wax paper completely off the graphic and trying to lay it down all at once, this method will result in a lot bubbles (dry application bad - wet application ok).
5. The transfer paper will need to be removed, before you do this rub the graphic down again with your fingers or a squeegee, apply pressure (especially on the thin or small details in the graphic). Pull the transfer paper sideways against the surface SLOWLY (don't just pull paper outward). If the graphic lifts up from the surface, lay it back down and apply pressure to that area. After the transfer paper has been removed, rub the graphic down again with your fingers. If applied using the wet method, lightly press the graphic down starting from the center outward. Do not use a squeegee once the transfer paper has been removed.
6. Wet application is good for large graphics or when applying to a surface which is not a simple curve. Follow steps 1, 2 and 3. Fill a large water bottle with water and add 1 drop of dish soap. Spray the surface, soak it good. Peel the wax paper off the graphic and spray the back of the graphic. Lay the graphic down on the surface, use a stiff squeegee to remove water trapped under the graphic. Start from the middle and work the water outward, as you do this you will want to hold the graphic in place. Remove the masking tape and continue to remove the trapped water. Dab access water from the surface with a towel or cloth. The graphic will have to dry for about 5-15 minutes. After drying for a while you can test a corner by slowly lifting the transfer paper from the surface. If the graphic easily lifts from the surface, you may need to squeegee the water out and let it dry again. If the graphic adheres to the surface, lightly mist the transfer paper with water. Go to step 5.
There are other methods of applying vinyl graphics, I hope you find this tutorial helpful. Be patient and take your time. If you are unsure or don't think you can apply vinyl graphics yourself, have a local sign shop do the application for you. Fees may apply. These application directions are provided to you as a convenience and does not guarantee of the outcome of the installation. We are not responsible for improper installation by the customer or any third parties.
If you have any questions feel free to contact us.