Vinyl Decal Application Instructions – Wet Method


Wet Method
Good for larger decals, or decals on curved surfaces.

These instructions are also available as a downloadable PDF
Vinyl Decal Full Application Instructions

1. Read these instructions from start to finish before beginning! Read them again so you are completely familiar with the process.
2. Mix your wetting solution. Mix 4-6 drops of dish soap, and a cup of water, in a spray bottle.
3. Clean! Thoroughly clean your work area, hands, and the surface the decal is being applied to. Everything must be free of wax, oil, grease, dirt, and dust. Body oils will make the decal less sticky. Grease and road grime will reduce the life of the decal. Dust under the decal will cause blemishes that will be there permanently.

Test Fit
4. Carefully cut the decal from the sheet. Leave the backing paper attached!
5. With backing paper attached, position the decal on the surface to get a feel for where it will be placed. Pay special attention to what curves you will be dealing with.

6. Wet the surface with the wetting solution. Rub the area with a finger to make sure there are not any dry spots. Spray the area again.
7. Peel back 1-3 inches of backing on one end of the decal. Leave the rest of the backing attached. On smaller decals you can remove all of the backing. Avoid touching the adhesive more than absolutely necesary.
8. Thoroughly spray the area of the decal you just peeled the backing from, with the wetting solution.
9. Place the peeled back end of the decal onto the surface. It should feel like it is “floating” and should slide easily. If it is the least bit sticky, spray with more wetting solution.
10. Hold the end of the decal down to the surface as you peel off the rest of the backing. Spray the area you just exposed, and the surface under it as you peel off the backing.

11. At this point the whole decal should be on the surface you are applying it to. It should glide around easily on a layer of the wetting solution. This is the time to deal with any imperfections.
12. The decals are flat, tanks and helmets are round. Where necessary, the decal can be gently stretched as you rub it down. Do not stretch it too much, or you may tear the decal.
13. Sometimes you will get Edge Puckering because of the curved surface. Tiny Puckers can be pushed down. You will have to go back and push them down several times as the decal dries. Larger Puckers can be worked out by gently pushing the material on either side away from the Pucker. Be careful not to pull too hard, or you may tear the decal.
14. If you have Air Pockets, gently lift up the edge nearest the air pocket, and spray the surface and decal with solution. Carefully roll the decal back down, making sure there are no more air pockets.
15. If there is dirt causing a lump, gently lift up the edge nearest the dirt, and spray the surface and decal with solution. If the dirt does not come off on its own, you can encourage it with the tip of a clean xacto blade. When the dirt is gone, spray some more solution and carefully replace the decal, making sure there is no more dirt.

Rub Down
16. Push the decal around until it is exactly where you want it. Periodically spray with wetting solution to keep the decal from “sticking” prematurely.
17. If the decal starts to “stick” before it is in the correct position, you can carefully peel up sections and spray both the decal and the surface with more solution. If necessary, you can carefully pull off the whole decal, spray everything with solution, and then start over.
18. Blot the decal with a paper towel. Once you blot the decal, it will begin to grip the surface.
19. Using a paper towel, gently start rubbing the decal onto the surface. Work from one end to the other, center to edges. As you rub, the decal will start to conform to the surface.
20. Continue rubbing until all the edges and details are gripping the surface, and all the edges are smooth.

21. Repeat steps 4-20 for the remaining decals. Periodically check on previous decals to make sure any Edge Puckers stay down.
22. Finished!
23. The decals may look solidly attached, but they are still fragile. Don’t mess with them for at least an hour, overnight is better.
24. Enjoy all the great comments from your buddies about your awesome decals!