Picking car graphics to install on your vehicle can either add some personal flair to your ride or even let you make some money depending on what you choose. Decals come in all different shapes and colors, but you will need to follow the same techniques for preparation and installation. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure the end result of your application looks like a professional job.
Wet a towel and clean where you intend to install the vinyl graphic and the surrounding area. This ensures that there will not be any dust that contaminates the barrier between your car and the graphic. Avoid chemical cleaners that can negatively affect the decal.
You can take two methods to ensure you properly position the decal. The first is making it a wet application, which lets you move the decal a little after you place it on the car. The dry application uses tape to position it before making the application final. With decals that require extreme precision, go for the wet method but avoid making it too wet. With small graphics, the taping method will work best.
Note the Temperature
If your car is too hot or cold, the decal isn’t going to stick well. Aim for a surface temperature of between 50 to 90 degrees. Remember that surface temperature is not always the same as it is outside, so note if the car feels hot or cold to the touch. Outdoor temperatures should range between 55 and 80 degrees. If you can, put the car in a garage for a few hours or wait another day.
With wet application, spray the decal back and the car with water. The moisture gives you a moment to move and position the decal so that it is exactly where you want it to be. For dry application, put some masking tape on the transfer film, taping it where you want the decal to go. Use the tape as a hinge and peel the back away so it can adhere.
No matter what you do, no matter how slow you apply the decal or with how much care you apply, it is inevitable that you will get some bubbles. Use the tip of your thumb to try and work them out. If this does not work, you can put some waxed paper over it and gently squeegee the decal. Sometimes the sun will help work out the air on its own as well. However, you may simply need to take a pin and quite gently poke a tiny hole in the center of the bubble to release the air and the bubble.
The final step of the process should be dedicated to removing the actual transfer film. If you decided to go with the method for dry application, you can wait about 15 minutes before deciding to remove the car graphic transfer film. With the wet application, on the other hand, you will want to wait several hours or even a full day to ensure that it is fully dry prior to attempting to remove the transfer film.
In either case, when you are ready to remove the transfer film, you will want to do so with gentle care and to move slowly. The easiest way to do so is to come at it at a 180-degree angle so that the transfer film folds back on itself, allowing it to pull away with ease.
As it is clear to see, it is simple to apply car graphics whether or personal flair or financial gain. Following these steps will allow you to apply any decal of any size without a problem.