How to DIY Installation of Vinyl Adhesive Decals

A lot of customers request custom vinyl adhesive decals to beautify their retail window space, advertise offers or deals to loyal customers, or to simply attract more foot traffic. The graphic design pros at Go Graphics can create eye-catching designs in a wide variety of styles and formats, but you can apply these decals yourself with a little bit of effort and time. Here’s how… 

1. Gather Your Tools & Supplies

The supplies you will need are:

  • Vinyl adhesive decals
  • Spray bottle and water
  • Mild soap
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Squeegee
  • Masking tape
  • Utility knife (if cutting is required)
  • Ladder (if climbing is required)

If your decals came with instructions, it’s wise to consult those as well to ensure you’re installing them according to the correct specifications.

a3 1
How to DIY Installation of Vinyl Adhesive Decals 4

2. Wait for Good Weather

As anyone who owns vinyl records will also know, leaving vinyl to bake under the sun isn’t a great idea. Similarly, many vinyl decals require reasonable weather conditions in order to adhere well to the surface. This can be anywhere from 5 to 32 degrees, so avoid applying them during the hot summer months when temperatures surpass 32 degrees to avoid stretching the decals.

3. Clean Surfaces Beforehand

If applying the decal to a window, avoid using commercial window cleaning products and instead fill up a spray bottle with water and some mild soap. This is important because mild soap will wash away any dirt or debris, but will not eat away at the adhesive material. Window cleaning products, on the other hand, could start to dissolve the adhesive and leave you with an unfinished mess.

a2 2
How to DIY Installation of Vinyl Adhesive Decals 5

4. Peel and Stick the Adhesive

Some decals work just like children’s tattoos, which are applied with a little water and peeling away the backing. If your decals activate with water, simply align the decal flush with the window or surface and spray a little water onto the window; this will give it just enough traction to where it’s lined up. However you should avoid applying it directly over soap, so keep your cloth handy to wipe down the glass, then spray it again with just a little bit of water.

Once the graphic has been set, spray a little water over the top to activate it, then wipe down excess water with a dry microfibre cloth. The decal should set in place exactly as desired.

For non-water based decals, use some masking tape to line up the decal to where you want it. Then, position the graphic over the masking tape inside the lines and hold it in place. Start peeling back the decal at a 45 degree angle while applying the squeegee to the freshly removed area to maintain a consistent peel. Don’t press too hard; a little bit of pressure is all that’s needed.

a1 1
How to DIY Installation of Vinyl Adhesive Decals 6

5. Enjoy Your New Decals

Now that your decals are in place, it’s time to get back to work preparing for all your new customers! Enjoy your decal and keep it clean by using mild soap during your routine cleaning of the shop or business.

For incredible designs that suit your brand and exceed expectations, consider getting in touch with a graphic design company near you that excels in vinyl adhesives, like Go Graphics.

Go Graphics

Get in touch with us at Go Graphics for all of your commercial signage needs, including eye-catching window decals.