Vinyl Application Instructions

Vinyl Application Instructions

Posted by Karen Gendron on 8th Apr 2019

Vinyl application instructions for wall decals, car decals, and all types of vinyl.

We use 3M vinyl, which is ideal for use on vehicles. It is hearty and weatherproof as well as car wash proof. 

Vinyl sticker application can be tricky. Vinyl is very thin and pliable, so attempting to just peel it off the backing and place it on a structure is more difficult the larger the decal is.

With very large decals, we use transfer tape. Transfer tape is either white or clear, and allows one to peel the the decal from the backing and place it where it needs to go in one piece. It is always used with vinyl cut stickers as vinyl cut stickers are normally cut in individual pieces, and without the transfer tape, it would be near impossible to place the individual pieces where they should be.

Of course, there is a technique to proper vinyl application:

unroll decal

1. Unroll and flatten your decal. If your decal is large, it most likely required rolling in order to ship.

2. Clean your application surface. Vinyl will not adhere well to dirty, greasy, bumpy or holey surfaces.

3. Tape your decal to its desired location using tape on both the right and left side. 

4. Run a strip of tape down the middle of the decal and secure it to your surface.

position on wall with tape

5. Remove the tape you initially placed in step 3, keeping the strip of tape down the middle.

6. Grab the decal on the top left corner and fold it over the middle strip of tape.

7. Carefully peel the backing paper until it is close to the middle strip of tape. Cut the backing off in a straight line parallel along the middle tape.

8. Grab the corners of the left side of the decal and lightly pull it taut.

vinyl application

9. Using an applicator or a credit card, use your right hand to hold the applicator at a 45 degree angle at the middle tape area of the decal.

10. Firmly and methodically sweep up and down, keeping the applicator at a 45 degree angle. Slowly move from the middle to the left edge until the decal is completely applied.

11. Once the left side is adhered, repeat the steps for the right side.

12. Slowly remove the transfer tape by peeling back on itself.

These steps may sounds easy, but there is a technique to vinyl application. Two people may be required for larger decals, or even to help with smaller decals until you are more practiced.

If required, using a small amount of dish detergent mixed with water (one litre of water mixed with one tablespoon of dish detergent) can give you some time and flexibility if sprayed to the surface prior to decal placement. Coat the decal as well as the surface. This prevents the decal from adhering immediately.