FAQ About Applying Vinyl Lettering & Decals
Transfer tape- The transfer tape may stay wet for only a few minutes without any issues. After a few minutes the tapes glue will start to break down and become messy.
Backing- You should not have any water sitting on the backing. If the backing becomes wet, it will break down the paper. The backing is a waxy paper material.
Application temperature: We recommend application temperatures to be between 65 to 85 °F.
Vinyl only sticking to the backing: When you are ready to apply the vinyl, it may not be completely pressed onto the transfer tape. First, make sure that the decal has flattened out completely. Then, you may firmly re-press the transfer tape back down onto the vinyl and backing using a squeegee.
Vinyl not sticking to surface: (The most important thing for proper vinyl adhesion is to have a completely clean surface). Secondly, once you have applied the vinyl and are ready to remove the transfer tape, the vinyl may not stick to the surface right away. This happens when the water underneath the decal has not evaporated enough for the vinyl to adhere to the surface. There are two fixes for this.
First, you may continue to squeegee the water out from under the decal until the vinyl drys and adheres to the surface. Or, you may use a hairdryer to help evaporate the water faster. Because, the vinyl can melt and stretch. We recommend you keep the dryer a little over a foot away from the vinyl. As you are drying, continue to squeegee the water out. If you squeegee first from the center towards the edges, this can help minimize the amount of air bubbles that can form.
Adhesive residue: After removing the transfer tape from the vinyl, there may be some left over adhesive on the vinyl. This is not a big deal and is caused when the transfer tape has been sitting in the water for too long. If the water is sitting on the tape for any longer than 5-6 minutes it can start to break down the transfer tape's glue. It may look a little messy, but is not a problem and will not affect the vinyl in any way. If there are small spots of adhesive left over when removing the transfer tape you may use your finger to rub and pick the residue off. If there are larger areas with the adhesive, we recommend spraying the area with Windex and with a soft cloth “that will not scratch the vinyl” clean the area. With some elbow grease, the adhesive can be removed.
Bubbles: After applying the vinyl and removing the transfer tape, a tiny air bubble or two are one of the most common problems that a customer can have. These bubbles are just pockets of water and air that were not evaporated or squeegeed out before the surrounding vinyl has dried and adhered to the surface. To remove the bubbles, we recommend using a thin sewing needle to carefully poke a small hole into the middle of the bubble. Then, you may use your finger to gently push the water out and press the vinyl back onto the surface. Once the water is out the vinyl will lay flat and the hole not be noticeable, and will disappear in a few days.
Once the transfer tape is removed from the vinyl, do not use the squeegee or any rough material over top of the vinyl that may scratch it.
Lastly, any small imperfections that you may see when the vinyl is first applied, “such as a slight crease or a few small air bubbles” will not be a major problem. Because, we use quality vinyl, those things will actually work themselves out as a few days go by. The sun plays a large role in this process. As the surface is naturally warmed and the vinyl has time to sit and completely adhere, it will actually soften against the surface and those small imperfections should all but disappear.
MAKING SURE IT STICKS TO THE SURFACE
If you use any car waxes or other products, we recommend first cleaning the area that the vinyl will be applied. Because the wax is made to keep things off of the car, the vinyl will not have anything to properly adhere to.
For the best vinyl application, the vinyl should only be applied to completely smooth and flat surfaces.
Window sprays and solutions
If you use any types of window sprays like “Rain-X”, or other water repellents, the area should be cleaned before the vinyl is applied. To remove any of these types of solutions from the window, rubbing alcohol is recommended. Like the car wax, because the solutions in these products are meant to keep dirt and water off of the surface, the vinyl will not be able to adhere to the film it produces. Once the area is cleaned, the vinyl will have no problem adhering to the window.