How to install your new decal

Posted by Susan VanHunnik on

Hi Everyone and welcome back to my blog.

I get asked a lot, "What is the correct way to apply a decal to my car?"

You would think the obvious answer would be to peel off the backing and stick it, which will work, but there is a better way that will ensure that there are no bubbles and that your new decal will stick through car washes, rain and snow.

I have done a lot of research, watched a lot of videos and here is a combination of the best techniques I have found to work the best.  I also include these instructions with every decal that you purchase, just so you will have them handy.

So here goes:

The ideal temperature to apply your decal is between 70 and 85 degrees.  Your car window should be in the shade so the glass is not hot to the touch. If it is hot to the touch, it will bubble and stretch and your decal will be history!

If the conditions are right, then gather together a few items.  

A few paper towels and a bottle of rubbing alcohol, 50% is fine and without wintergreen.

A credit card or other flat edge or a squeegee with a felt edge is perfect, but not necessary.

A roll of masking tape and if the decal is large, a friend to help is always handy.

First, if you have not washed the window, you will want to take a second and do that, using household dishwashing liquid and rinse and dry completely.

Now this seems redundant, but using a cotton ball or a paper towel, clean the area with the alcohol. This will make sure that all of the residue from the soap is gone.  Don't use baby wipes or Windex, both contain additives that will prevent the decal from sticking to the window. (baby wipes have oil for the baby’s rear and Windex contains a dirt repellent to keep windows clean longer, both repel decals!)

With the straight edge, slightly and gently burnish the decal. We pre-release all of our decals, but this will make sure that they are really stuck to the transfer tape.  All it takes is gentle pressure, not a lot, just enough to smooth out any bubbles that may have happened on the way to your house from mine. 

Take the decal, with the back still on and the backing of the decal against the window, hold it to the window where you would like it to live.  If you like where it is, use a piece of masking tape to hold it in place at the top, just the top.  Now step away from the car about 15 to 20 feet and look at the placement again.  If you still like it where it is, great!  if not, move it and look again.  You only have one shot at putting this in place so you need to be sure this is where you want it.

Now that the decal is in place, lift it up and gently peel the backing off (this is the white paper on a color decal and blue on a white decal, the clear covering is the transfer tape) with the straight edge, gently smooth the decal down from the top.  Putting the decal on this way, avoids most bubbles and if you do get a bubble, you can smooth it out with your straight edge.

Once in place and the transfer tape is still in place, smooth out all of the air bubbles.

Starting from one corner, gently roll the transfer tape back on itself and with gentle force, remove the transfer tape in the same direction.  Once the tape is off, GENTLY smooth down the decal again with your fingers. 

Now, walk away for 48 hours... or just don't touch it or get it wet or run it through a car wash.  After that time, use the alcohol again to wipe off the surface to remove the residue from the transfer tape and you’re done!

Sounds complicated, but doing it this way with make sure your decal will adhere to your window for up to 5 years (according to the manufacturer)

I hope this answers your questions on how to apply a decal to a car window.  I will post a blog in the future on how to apply a decal to a coffee mug and a wine glass.

Bye for now!


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