STEP ONE : PREPARE
Prepare the area for decal installation. You should clean the surface of any dirt, grime or grease which could hinder the adhesive of the sticker. Use a clean cloth with warm soapy water for best results. Finally, once all the dirt and grime from a well used bike is removed, dry the area with a piece of kitchen roll or similar.
STEP TWO : PEEL THE DECAL
Now that the surface is ready for the sticker, you will need to prepare the decal. A decal with multiple separate pieces requires application tape to keep all the pieces together. This clear or translucent application tape should be peeled away from the wax paper backing. Ensure that you take care to remove the decal from the paper backing and onto the application tape. However, It is normal for this to be fiddly at times. It may take a few attempts for all the pieces to come away from the paper backing and onto the application tape.
STEP THREE : PLACEMENT
Now that the decal is free, it is time to place the decal. Firstly, carefully align the sticker in your chosen location. Stickers with application tape generally cannot be moved once they are placed due to the individual nature of the design. Large solid pieces, strips and blocks on the other hand, can generally be carefully and smoothly removed and replaced a few times without damaging the decal. Once you are happy with the location of the sticker, press it down onto the surface and rub it to secure the stick. A little heat from your hand can help activate the adhesive but this is not usually necessary.
STEP FOUR : FINALISATION
The sticker should now be stuck to the surface with the application tape over it. You can now remove the application tape, peeling it from the surface and the sticker with care. Occasionally, the sticker may try to lift off the surface. However, catch this early and firmly push it back down before continuing to peel the application tape away. Once the application tape has been completely removed, give the sticker a final few presses/squeezes into the surface to confirm the installation. Freshly installed decals can be removed with relative ease and as time progresses, the decals become firm and difficult to remove. To remove your decal, try adding heat via hot air or hot water to make the vinyl soft and easier to remove.
HELP & FAQS
Larger decals are more likely to develop air bubbles during the application process. I find the best method for application of large decals is to mist the surface and exposed adhesive side with fine water mist. A garden plant mister is perfect for this job. However I achieve similar results by flicking the bristles of a wet brush onto the surfaces. The aim is to coat the surface and adhesive with fine water droplets. This makes it easier to push water and air out from under the decal as the water slides under the adhesive. It also allows you to peel off the decal really easily, allowing you to pre-position the decal or have another attempt at placing it without creases etc.
Sometimes, on larger vinyl blocks, air can be trapped under the decal, this is quite normal. I recommend using the tips above when installing a larger block decal to help reduce air bubbles. Should you experience air bubbles, follow the tips below to help minimise them.
- Try to carefully peel the decal from the surface and slowly re-apply, watching for air bubbles and squeezing them out before continuing to lay the rest of the decal.
- Use a plastic edge such as a credit card and carefully squeeze the air bubbles out to the edge. Be gentle in this process as to not damage the decal.
It may also be possible to peel the decal back to the point of the bubble, or even completely off and re-try the application. However, failing all that, you may wish to try use a pin hole in the air bubble to let the air out. This often produces in-perfect results however. The best option is to avoid them in the first place.
If you have never applied a decal before It can be a daunting experience. Sometimes we make mistakes, including myself who has installed hundreds of motorcycle stickers. Your decal purchase means a lot to me so I would love to extend my customer care service to you. So, should you accidently mess up a decal during it's application, please get in touch with me. Send me a picture of the decal on the bike and we can discuss what might have gone wrong and how you can avoid it in the future. I will then produce you a replacement decal for material / postage cost.
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