We’re glad you asked because you don’t need a certified graphics installer to apply a small decal or sticker, but you do need to know how to go about it.
It starts with the vehicle
First off, the vehicle must be in good condition. Applying a decal to cover a blemish, dent, or rust will not work. It’s not like hanging a picture over a hole in the wall. The decal will not hide the damage or adhere to rust.
The Environment is critical
The temperature must be above 40 degrees F (55 for reflective materials) and works best at 70 degrees and above. When the temperature approaches 90 degrees, the surface of a dark vehicle may reach 150 degrees, or more, and may be too hot, 50% or less humidity is best, and a well-lit clean environment is preferable.
13 Steps to applying a decal
- Clean the surface area, and then clean it again. Use isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to thoroughly clean the area.
- Let it dry before you apply.
- Measure twice. Use surface landmarks such as door frames to make measurements. You may find a level handy. A crooked decal isn’t a pretty sight.
- Mark it. Use a pencil to make small light marks designating where to attach the decal.
- Tape it. Tape the decal to the marks with two or three small vertical pieces of tape and double check the level.
- Apply a tape hinge. Tape the top of the decal horizontally from end-to-end.
- Remove the backing. Don’t touch the adhesive, but lift the decal from the bottom and slowly remove the backing, beginning at the top, from an 180-degree angle. If it’s a larger decal begin by removing the top quarter to one-third.
- Be sure the decal is flat and tight.
- Squeegee the decal with steady even strokes. Begin at the top center and work down and outward. If you don’t have a professional vehicle application squeegee use a credit card.
- Remove the protective pre-mask. This is the masking tape-like film protecting the decal. Pull down at 180-degrees and discard.
- Re-squeegee. Go over the entire decal one more time. Be careful not to damage the sticker.
- Let it dry. Preferably let it sit in the sun. Don’t try to wipe or wash it until it’s completely dry.
- Wipe and wash it with mild soapy water. Remove any pencil markings that remain.
Can I wrap my car?
For a bigger task, something more than a decal, we’d recommend using a professional applicator. However, it can be done. Can I wrap my car myself?
If you’d like to learn more contact us, we’ll help you stick it where it belongs.