Vinyl lettering—you might also hear it called cut vinyl—is a grouping of singular pieces that are cut exactly to shape and are applied to a surface as singular pieces rather than a single graphic.
So how do you install die cut vinyl lettering? The process is fairly simple when you have the right tools and know what to do. Use our helpful step-by-step guide to walk you through the installation process to ensure your vinyl lettering is properly installed.
Before you begin installing, gather the following tools:
- Glass cleaner (in a spray bottle)
- Paper towels or a clean, soft and dry rag
- Plastic card (credit card) or squeegee
- Masking tape
- Tape measurer (optional)
You will also of course need your die cut vinyl lettering graphic, which will arrive in 3 layers:
- Top layer — Application tape, helps hold your lettering in place for easier installation
- Middle layer — Vinyl lettering
- Bottom layer — White wax paper backing that protects your graphic and the adhesive
In 7 steps and just 5-10 minutes, your lettering will be beautifully displayed on your desired window.
Step 1: Spray your glass cleaner on the window and then use your paper towel or rag to thoroughly clean the window and wipe away all of the glass cleaner. Give the window a few minutes to completely dry before moving on to the next step.
Step 2: Using your tape measurer, measure the surface area of the window to find where you want to place your vinyl lettering. You can just eyeball it if you trust yourself, but we recommend measuring so you know your lettering is exactly centered.
Step 3: Once you have your placement spot down, place the graphic sheet against the window, with the application tape side facing you and the backing still on and toward the back. Tape 2-3 small pieces of masking tape at the top to hold the entire graphic sheet in place. Then create a hinge by taking one long piece of masking tape and taping it down over the small pieces.
Step 4: Now lift the graphic sheet toward your hinge and very slowly pull away the backing liner. This is best done at a 30 or 45 degree angle. Make sure to continue holding the application tape away from the window.
Step 5: Next, place your exposed vinyl graphic against the window and use your credit card or squeegee to firmly but carefully squeegee the lettering. For best results, start in the center and work your way outward squeegeeing in vertical and horizontal directions. Keep whichever tool you’re using in direct contact with the vinyl as much as you can to prevent air bubbles.
Step 6: Remove the masking tape and the remaining backing liner and then again squeegee the entire vinyl from the center outward in all directions, making sure you get rid of any air bubbles.
Step 7: Now very gently and slowly peel away the top layer of application tape, starting at one of the top corners and pulling at a 45 degree angle. If you remove this layer too quickly, it can damage your vinyl lettering.
And voila—all that should be left is your die cut vinyl lettering on your window. And if for some reason there are still air bubbles, don’t fret. Tiny air bubbles will disappear on their own within a couple of weeks, and the bigger ones you can carefully pop with a pin or an X-ACTO knife.
For larger vinyl lettering, tape down the middle of the graphic sheet to create your hinge, and then work on one half at a time.
If you have any questions before or during installation, give us a call. We can even walk you through it if you’d like.