Step 1: Surface prep
To start, give the surface you wish to apply the sticker to a good clean using a clean microfibre cloth to ensure no dirt, dust, grease or residue remains. Be sure to remove any waxes, gloss protectors or enhancers before you install, as these can all prevent adhesion to the surface. We recommend using rubbing alcohol or good old fashioned soap and hot water (be sure to rinse the surface thoroughly after with clean water). Do not use ammonia-based glass cleaners as these leave a coating on the surface which will prevent adhesion. Ensure the surface is completely dry before continuing. Cold or damp weather? Best to wait for a more favourable day, as a damp or cold atmosphere can hamper adhesion and significantly reduce the life of your decal.
- Avoiding installing in cold or damp weather, higher temperatures promote adhesion to your desired surface.
- In an ideal world, install your sticker in 15°c+ dry conditions.
- Remove any car products before installing, more notably any car wax, as this will have adverse effects when applying.
Step 2: Sticker Prep
- Apply moderate pressure, too much pressure may damage the application tape.
Prepare the sticker for application by firmly rubbing a credit card or cloth across the length of the sticker. This removes any air bubbles that may have formed in transit and allows the sticker to cling to the transfer tape. Although we prep them ourselves before sending, they can move while shipping which is entirely down to the nature of the transfer tape.
Step 3: Location, Location, Location
(Optional) – Measure where you would like to place your sticker. We tend to use a tape measure and masking tape to get it as accurate as possible, however this stage is not compulsory, more of a preference.
- Automotive masking tape (usually blue) is recommended.
- For our larger range of stickers, masking tape is advised to keep your sticker in position.
Step 4: Taking the Leap of Faith
Peel the paper backing off the sticker. If the sticker clings to the backing, slowly replace the paper backing and repeat the previous step. Smaller letters can sometimes be tricky, we advise using your fingers to push against the backing paper gently forcing the sticker to cling to the sticky application tape.
- We advise removing the paper backing off at a 45° angle.
- We advise removing fairly slowly
Step 5: And….Place!
Place the sticker onto the desired surface and rub it in place firmly with a squeegee or credit card. If there are air bubbles, work from the center outwards to remove them as best you can. For best results, we advise waiting 10-15 minutes for full adhesion to take place before moving on to the next step. Like paintwork, the quality and longevity of a sticker are all down to the preparation. So go and make yourself a cuppa whilst you wait, it’ll be worth it.
- Apply moderate pressure, especially when using a credit card – too much pressure may damage the sticker.
- You can use a cloth and your hand to gently press the sticker into the surface around more intricate areas.
Step 6: Ta-dah!
Slowly peel the application tape off, at a 45 degree angle. Be careful not to pull the sticker off the surface. If the sticker pulls away from the surface then repeat the previous step.
- Try to pull the application tape off parallel to the surface and not away from it, this will reduce the likelihood of pulling up the sticker.
Once you’ve installed your sticker, we advise against washing the car/area for 48 hours (longer times may be required in lower temperature seasons/countries), it’s best to allow maximum time for the sticker to adhere to the surface properly to ensure the longevity of the decal.
For windscreen banners and rear windscreen stickers (only applies if your vehicle has a rear windscreen wiper), we advise against using your wiper blades unless you absolutely have to (safety first, of course!). Once the sticker has fully cured to the surface, it’s very unlikely that your wiper blade will remove the sticker, assuming it was properly installed following our steps above.