Vinyl Lettering: Tips for a Perfect Application
High-impact vinyl lettering and graphics make your message “stick” with consumers. These durable decals and labels can be used for indoor and outdoor applications, making them ideal for business storefronts, company vehicles, window displays, and more.
Follow these tips from our experts at FASTSIGNS® of Louisville, KY, to ensure your vinyl application looks great and lasts for years.
1. Start with surface preparation.
Did you know the surface temperature needs to be between 50 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit before starting the installation process? If the surface is too hot or cold, it can reduce the adhesive’s ability to perform. Also, be sure the surface is clean and free of any dirt, debris, and oils that could prevent the vinyl from adhering properly.
Wash and rinse the area with liquid dish detergent and warm water. Then dry the surface with a clean, lint-free towel or cloth.
Isopropyl Alcohol, (rubbing alcohol), can be used as a final wipe-down to remove any stubborn residues. Do not use on surfaces that have been recently painted.
2. Decide on a wet or dry application on the window.
Wet applications are recommended for large or complex vinyl graphics and windows with intricate designs. This process uses a soapy solution to help position the vinyl before it’s affixed to the surface.
a) Fill a clean, empty spray bottle with water and a few drops of liquid dish soap.
b) Spray the solution on the window surface and vinyl graphic.
c) Align the vinyl in the desired position.
d) Use a squeegee to remove the soapy solution and push the vinyl graphic onto the window.
e) Trim away any excess vinyl.
3. Use a hair dryer to remove any wrinkles or bubbles in the vinyl.
Start at the center of the graphic and work your way out. Be sure to hold the hair dryer about 6 inches away from the vinyl while moving it back and forth over the entire graphic.
4. Apply heat to the vinyl for a lasting bond.
A heat gun can be used for this final step but be careful not to hold it too close to the vinyl or window surface. Direct heat on the vinyl will cause it to warp, so keep the gun about 6 to 8 inches away from the graphic as you wave it back and forth. This will help the vinyl adhere to the surface and prevent it from peeling up later.
5. Check your work and enjoy your new vinyl graphics!
Take a step back and admire your handiwork. If you see any air bubbles, wrinkles, or areas that need readjusting, simply apply more heat with the hair dryer or heat gun.
These tips can help you achieve a professional-looking vinyl graphic that will last for years. Of course, if you need assistance, we are here to help. For more information, contact us, your local sign experts at FASTSIGNS® of Louisville, KY. We are your one-stop shop for all your sign and graphics needs.