- Decal Application
Step 1: Temperature
The optimum temperature for installing vinyl is 65-72 degrees (F) / 18-22 (C). Vinyl can be installed as low as 50 degrees (F) / 10 degrees (C), and up to 90 degrees (F) / 32 degrees (C). However, it will be more challenging to achieve a proper vinyl installation at those temperatures.
Step 2: Cleaning the area
The surface area to which the vinyl will be applied must be thoroughly cleaned from dust, grease or any contamination which could affect the adhesion of the vinyl. We recommend using rubbing alcohol to properly clean the surface area. Do not use Windex or other similar products, because it will leave a residue that will prevent the decal from adhering well.
Step 3: Measuring the area
Measure the surface area and use a pencil, erasable pens, or painters tape for guide lines. The last thing you'd want is to have a clean surface only to have your vinyl not aligned properly in the end. We've had many stories from customers saying they did not measure the area before applying the vinyl and it ended up crocked and not straight.
Step 4: Prime the decal
Use a squeegee or credit card and rub it onto the surface of the clear transfer tape multiple times. — This will reactivate the adhesive on the transfer tape making the decal being able to cling onto it.
Flip the decal over so that the Grid Backing Paper is facing towards you and prime the decal with your squeegee or credit card, again.
Step 4: Removing the Backing Paper
With the decal still flipped upside down and the Grid Backing paper still facing you — Slowly and carefully peel the vinyl backing paper perpendicular to the decal. Do not rush and rip the backing paper off. Depending on the vinyl brand, some adhesives are very strong/stubborn and like to stick to the backing, so take your time when peeling it off. If you notice the decal to lift along with the backing paper and stick to it, carefully place it back down and repeat Step 4.
Step 5: Applying the decal
Align your vinyl to your guidelines. If you're applying the vinyl on a flat surface, we recommend you lay the vinyl down from one end and firmly rub it in place with a squeegee or credit card toward the opposite direction (i.e. left to right/top to bottom). If your applying the vinyl on a curved surface, we recommend you lay the decal from the center and work your way outward with a squeegee or credit card. The use of a squeegee or credit card is to ensure no air bubbles will be trapped in your vinyl. It could be possible that you might have to make relief cuts in the top transfer tape to get the vinyl aligned to your liking.
Step 6: Removing transfer tape
Slowly and carefully peel the top transfer tape off perpendicular to the vinyl. Be careful not to pull up the vinyl along with the top transfer tape. If the vinyl pulls away from the surface, slowly lower the vinyl onto the surface and rub it in place firmly with a squeegee or credit card. Then repeat this step from the beginning until you've successfully removed the transfer tape, and all is left in place is the vinyl.
*If you end up with air bubbles, you may choose to use a tiny pin needle to poke a hole in the center of the air bubbles and push the air out through the hole.
Step 7: Admire your vinyl decal
Once you successfully removed the top transfer tape — admire your newly custom die cut vinyl decal, take a snap shot and tag us on Instagram @fknprints and using the hashtag, #fknappliedshot #fknprints.