DECAL INSTALALTION INSTRUCTIONS
A complete guide on how to install vehicle decals and graphics by Revolutionised.
Cleaning equipment (cloth, degreasing agent, and water).
Applicator (squeegee or old plastic card) You can use your hand, however this can be more difficult on larger decals.
Masking tape or magnets to hold decal in place.
Razor knife, ideally one with snap-off blades, to ensure it is sharp.
Felt tip pen.
Step One: Preparation
This is the most important part of the installation process. If you have failed to prepare, be prepared to fail.
The surface needs to be 100% dirt and grease free. That means, no dirt particles, no oils, greases, wax, or anything that can contaminate the surface.
The best way to remove this is to firstly clean the surface with tarmac, and bug remover, then use hot soapy water (ideally a degreasing agent such as dishwashing liquid, or baby shampoo) to clean the surface thoroughly.
Once this process is completed, the next step would be to use isopropanol to clear any dirt from the surface. If the surface is glass, we highly recommend using white spirits to clean the glass, followed by isopropanol to ensure the decals stick. Many people seem to loose their windscreen decals, due to poor installation. It is very rare for graphics to fail if installed correctly, and looked after.
If your decal overlaps panels on your vehicle, you must clean inside the gaps. For example if it overlaps the doors, you will need to open the doors to thoroughly clean in these gaps.
Step Two: Preparation
The ideal installation temperature is between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius. Therefore it is always better to carry out installation inside, where the temperature can be controlled. Decals can be installed at lower temperatures, however it isn’t recommended. Installing graphics at higher temperatures can result it the graphics stretching, and changing shape.
Before starting application, it is ideal to ensure the application tape is making good contact with the vinyl. You can usually judge this by the colouring through the tape. By using a squeegee, you can rub over the graphics carefully applying pressure, as if you were pushing out air bubbles to the closest edge. Once you rub over the graphics, you may notice the colour change from better contact. This will make the installation process smoother.
Position your graphics using masking tape (measure and mark out the positioning using masking tape and a felt tip pen)
Remember to measure twice, so that you only apply once! You only get one shot at this, so don’t rush it.
Once you have positioned your graphics, it is ideal to firmly apply pressure again to all of the graphics, to ensure good contact between vinyl and application tape.
You can now take a few steps back, to check over and ensure the positioning is that of which you are happy with.
The next step varies depending on the length and width of the graphics.
For Smaller Graphics;
You can simply apply masking tape across the top of the decal to hold it in position. You can then flap the decal up over the masking tape, and slowly peel the backing paper to a position where you are able to have control over the decal.
Now you can firmly stretch it downwards, with not too much pressure, being sure not to pull it from the masking tape holding it in place. Now grab your squeegee, and one width at a time, starting from the top of the decal, use the the squeegee front the central top position, and work the air out towards each side until you reach the backing paper.
You can now continue to remove the backing paper, whilst continuing to work down with your squeegee.
For Larger Graphics;
With larger graphics it is ideal to fit them using magnets to hold the graphics in place. Although it is not impossible to use masking tape, magnets will make it a lot easier.
Once the graphics is positioned, you need to peel back the backing paper from one side by about 2 inches. You will then need to stretch it out and position, and firmly apply this to the vehicle.
You can now use a squeegee and work your way across, and peel back the application tape as you go.