Revamp Your Ride: How to Install a Car Decal Like a Champ
Article Date: October 28, 2023
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Drive more attention to your business by installing cool car decals that give your car an extra edge while giving your brand more visibility. While some may need the help of professionals, you can save money by applying the decals yourself. Installing decals can be tricky, but we're here to help you apply decals like a pro through this step-by-step guide.
Getting Started: Preparing Your Car for Decal Installation
Before installing your car decal, one must come prepared to achieve a flawless application. Below are the materials needed for a car decal installation:
- Mild soap or a ammonia-free glass cleaner
- Lint-free cloth or paper towel
- Masking tape or painter's tape
- Squeegee or a plastic ID card
Wet and Dry Installation
Two ways to install car decals: Either wet or dry. Before deciding which method to use, determine your car decal type. This table shows whether your decal requires a wet or dry installation.
Method 1: Dry Installation
Dry installation is the simplest of the two methods. See the following instructions:
Step 1: Clean the area using a damp, lint-free cloth and position the decal without removing the backing.
Step 2: Use masking or painter’s tape to mark where you want to apply the decal. This guide will ensure your decal is properly aligned upon application.
Step 3: Gently peel off the backing and realign the decal to your mark.
Step 4: Stick your decal onto the surface and apply pressure.
Step 5: Use a squeegee or credit card to smooth out the edges and eliminate air bubbles slowly. You may use the backing as a protective layer to prevent scratches on the decal as you smooth it out.
Want to see how a dry installation is done in action? Check out our video tutorial.
Method 2: Wet Installation
A wet installation is a bit more complicated and requires more steps than a dry installation, but you can still do it yourself without professional help.
Step 1: Clean the area with a damp, lint-free cloth or paper towel.
Step 2: Create an application solution consisting of 3 drops of dishwashing liquid to 1 gallon of warm water and put the mixture in a spray bottle.
Step 3: Spray and soak the clean surface with the application solution.
Step 4: Remove the backing from the decal and generously spray the solution onto the adhesive side of the decal.
Step 5: Place the decal onto the wet surface and ensure that the wet adhesive side is pressed against it. The damp surface allows you to easily reposition the decal accordingly. If you see any air bubbles or wrinkles, try to lift the decal to remove them.
Step 6: Use a squeegee or plastic ID card to smooth out the decal and push excess water from the center to the edges. You can place the backing on top of the decal while doing this to avoid any damage.
Step 7: Use a paper towel to wipe excess water and let dry for up to 24 hours.
No time to look at your phone while applying the decal? Download and print a hard copy of our wet installation method here.
Quick Tips When Installing Car Decals
Here are some quick tips to follow for a successful car decal installation:
- Do not install the decal in direct sunlight. Extreme weather conditions can affect the decal’s adhesion. Ideally, please install the car decal inside a wind-free location.
- Apply decals at a moderate temperature. We recommend installing your decal in an environment above 40 degrees Fahrenheit and below 90 degrees Fahrenheit for best results.
- Always keep the surface clean. Remember to always start with a clean surface, as this could affect the adhesion of the decal. Ensure the surface is free from dirt, grime, grease, or dust before sticking your car decal.
- Be mindful of the proper positioning of the car decal. Before peeling off the backing, ensure your car decal is aligned correctly. Use a masking or painter’s tape to keep it in place and make the necessary adjustments.
- Follow the printer’s instructions. Clean and maintain your car decal based on your printer’s care recommendations. At Signs.com, we provide installation and care tutorials to make your car decal last for years.
Installing a car decal is a breeze with the right materials and methods. Need a car decal? Signs.com offers a wide array of vehicle decals that you can use to advertise your business or express your style and make your vehicle uniquely yours.
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