Decals, badges, stickers, and vinyls are a great way to dress up your vehicle and make it uniquely your own.
When applied correctly, these decorative pieces shouldn’t harm a sound paint job. Trouble usually develops when the need arises to remove them, such as when you’re selling the vehicle, or they become damaged and need to be replaced.
Following the simple steps outlined below will guarantee maximum adhesion of these decorative add-ons, while ensuring that your paint job won’t be compromised.
Typical Items You’ll Need For Installation:
1. The decals, badges, stickers, vinyls, etc., you plan to install (obviously).
2. Dove brand liquid dish soap (anything will do, but Dove leaves very little residue).
3. Lint-free rags (microfiber is best).
4. Painter’s masking tape.
5. Cloth measuring tape (to avoid scratches to the paint).
6. Fine-tipped sewing pin (this is to remove minor air bubble when installing decals, stickers, and vinyls).
7. Squeegee or credit card (for smoothing air bubbles out of decals, stickers, and vinyls).
Choosing the Surface:
Wisely choosing the right surface is very important. Badges in particular need to be installed on a contour-free surface to ensure the attaching adhesive bonds securely and doesn’t allow water to collect and sit, which will certainly cause rust damage and/or paint lifting.
If you’re installing vinyls or stickers, be mindful that the more contours that are in your install path, the harder it will be to get perfectly smooth adhesion. It’s best to have a replacement handy when the desired install area isn’t flat; especially if this is your first try!
Prepping the surface:
Surface prep is where most newbie installers fall on their face. A clean lint-free, water-free, grime-free surface ensures that there won’t be any gaps in the adhesive that will allow water to seep in and damage the paint. For this reason, it’s not recommended you do your install in a windy, dusty, or overly-humid area.
A clean garage is best.
Start by mixing a solution containing an ounce of Dove dish soap into a gallon of warm water. Dove is what animals that are victims in oil-spills are cleaned with, since it doesn’t use harsh chemicals and washes out easily. If you use something else, make sure you give the paint a really good rinse with a hose; if you can still see bubbles forming, you’re not done yet!
Finish by wiping the surface with a lint-free cloth until it’s absolutely dry.
You’ll receive specific instructions for installing the design accent you’ve chosen. Make sure you test fit several times, to avoid problems after the adhesive has been exposed. The more time you spend fiddling with the piece you’re installing, the more potential there will be for the paint to get scratched, or the adhesive to be ruined.
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We carry a long line of exciting and durable decals, badges, overlays, and other stick-on vehicle accents to suit everyone’s tastes.
Take a moment to browse through our selection before you go:
Thanks for stopping in. See you again soon!