How to install your decal on your vehicle or other surfaces
Please read through this contains directions for many of my decals.
Notice: Do not let the backing paper get wet before you remove the decal, the backing paper is the slick paper that the decal is stuck to. Do not get the “baking paper” confused with the “Transfer Tape” the masking tape that is stuck to the decal,
Everyday cars and trucks you can use soapy water
Clean the area the decal will be applied (two or more times)
Let air dry (about 2min.)
Note: hot, cold, and rainy conditions can impair vinyl adhesion. Apply decal in a cool dry place when possible.
II) Tool check list
Squeegee (credit card)
X-acto knife or razor cutter
Masking tape (most common 1”, or 2”) can be done with out but makes much easier
Ruler, tape measure, or level (can be done with out but makes much easier)
Stabilo (wax pencil, do not use regular colored pencils) (can be done with out but makes much easier)
III) Pre application
Find a straight edge to reference on the vehicle. I usually use a window edge or bumper.
Note: if your vehicle has no consistent straight edge, use the level.
Measure to where you would like the bottom of your decal to start.
Mark this with your Stabilo.
The tape covering your decal has a base line or use the bottoms of the letters.
Line up the base line to the Stabilo (wax pencil) line on the vehicle.
Place masking tape on the left and right edges to hold the decal in place.
Now double-check the decal to make sure its level on the vehicle.
Run a strip of masking tape down the center of the decal.
This is your hinge.
IV) Center Hinge Application method
I recommend working right to left.
Fold the right half of the decal to the center hinge.
Separate the decal from the protective backing exposing the sticky edge.
Cut the paper backing along the hinge and discard (BE CAREFUL NOT TO CUT THE DECAL)
Note: try to keep the cut as straight as possible.
Beginning at the center of the hinge, squeegee from the hinge to the outside of the decal.
Continue to apply firm overlapping strokes with your squeegee while gradually moving outward and away from the tape hinge.
Remove the center hinge. The vinyl you laid down will hold everything level now.
Fold back the remainder of the decal and Remove the paper backing
Squeegee from the center out as before.
Squeegee over the whole decal once more.
Remove the tape covering the top of the decal slowly starting at the upper right hand corner and moving to the right at a 45-degree angle.
Note: if the decal starts to separate from the vehicle at this time fold the tape back into place and re-apply pressure with the squeegee. Then continue pealing off tape.
V) Finishing touches
If large bubbles appear in the decal (a dime or larger)
Poke them with the x-acto knife and smooth them out with your finger
Small bubbles can work themselves out with everyday sun exposure.
Tips and Tricks:
If your vehicle or surface has a curve you want to go over, apply a mist of water to the back of the vinyl before squeezing it down. This allows the vinyl to conform to the curve and allows you a chance to pick the vinyl back up (before the water dries) and try again.
If you are covering rivets use a hair dryer to shrink the vinyl around the rivets after you have squeegeed the vinyl and removed the tape.
For decals that do not have straight edges, tape them to the vehicle by “eye balling” the decal, once in place use the hinge method described above.
Another method besides the hinge method is to wet the entire area to be applied to, remove protective backing to expose the sticky side of the decal, wet the sticky side of the decal and apply to vehicle, this will allow you to reposition the decal easily when it is in the desired location just squeegee the water out and follow the instructions for removing bubbles.
93-97 Camaro Hood Stripes
Apply the stripe so that the outer pin stripes go just along the outside of the vent on the hood. Apply the stripe as if it were going to cover over the vent, when you get it positioned and squeegee down a little, take a SHARP razor blade and trim along the inner stripe only not the (pin stripes) so that the inner stripe will “break” at the vent and allow the decal to look as if it flows right into the vent and then continues above it. Remember apply the decal first and position it correctly then trim using the vent as a guide.
93-97 Camaro Wing Stripes
It is a lot easier to apply the hatch part of the stripes if you remove the upper wing, however it can be done without removing the wing. Position the hatch stripes first! This will help in aligning the upper wing stripes. When you have the hatch stripes in a position that you like squeegee them down, trim the edge that meets the window with a SHARP razor blade. After you have finished with the hatch stripes proceed to the upper wing stripes align them with the hatch stripes how far you position them from the edge of the wing is up to you. When you finish these trim them at the edge of the wing as well.
Proceed to applying the pillar stripes. These may require a little trimming as well.
Fill-in’s or Inserts such as the GTO, Camaro, or Pontiac bumper inserts:
Wet the area with water
Wet the “Sticky” side of the decal with water
Apply the decal, the water will allow you to move the decal without it sticking permanently
When you have the decal in the position you want, use a towel to dry the water
Press firmly on the decal to get any water from underneath out (don’t worry about small bubbles they will eventually come out with heat and sun)
Hockey Stripe Install Instructions
- Read the previous instructions for general vinyl application
- Trim the excess paper and tape from the decal stay about ½ in to 1 inch away from the actual decal.
- Using masking tape, tape the decal in position on the vehicle in the locations shown (you will be using the “hinge” method described earlier.)
- Start at the front (Position Holder 1) and peal the backing from behind the decal until you get to the first masking taped area (Hinge 1). Cut the paper then apply the decal back in its location with a squeegee starting from the hinge point and work your way back to the front.
- Cut the decal where it goes over the door gap (Position Holder 2
- Peel back the remaining backing paper from the decal that you just applied. (Between Hinge 1 and Position Holder 2)
- Apply the decal back to it’s location, again working from Hinge 1 out to Position Holder 2.
- Follow the same procedure for the rest of the stripe working from the henge point to the position holder.
- You may have to stretch and re-direct the stripe to follow the contours of the car
Click the Picture for a larger view
Corvette GS Stripe Install
- Read the previous instructions for general vinyl application
- Line up the first stripe on the fender align to the desired angle, then apply a strip of masking tape across the center to create a hinge and to hole the stripe into position.
- Peel the decal and transfer tape away from the backing on the top portion.
- Using sissors cut the backing about 1" from the masking tape hinge.
- Apply the decal from the hinge out using a credit card or squeege to smooth it out.
- Remove the masking tape hinge.
- Remove the remaining backing from the decal, then apply the decals as described in step 5
- Trim away the excess stripe with a SHARP razor or x-acto knife.
- Using a credit card or squeege make sure the decal is applied well and you've squeegied the entire stripe with good pressure.
- Remove the transfer tape.
- Using a ruler measure a gap between the stripes, then repeat the instructions as you did before.