How to Install a Vinyl Decal

In this Heritage Printing, Signs & Displays video, produced by our Charlotte, NC facility Art Director: Chris Cannon, Chris shows us how to install a vinyl adhesive transfer decal using the hinge method.

  • Vinyl decals are contour cut with the un-needed, excess vinyl “weeded” away.
  • A pre-mask is then applied to hold all individual vinyl pieces in position.
  • Clean and prepare the surface to remove any; oils, dust, debris, or fingerprints (if applied to glass).  You want a clean and smooth surface for best results.
  • Tools Needed: Squeegee (we will supply one on request) Masking Tape, Tape Measure or Level.
  • Using 2 pieces of masking tape, one in each top corner, “eyeball” the decal in position and gently tape to the surface.  With the tape measure (or level) use the text on the decal as a guide to set the decal straight.  Chris measures from the top of the door to a letter on each end and adjusts the decal for accuracy.
  • Create a hinge with a piece of the masking tape across the top of the decal.  The hinge will keep the decal straight and in position during the wax paper removal and application process.  Flip the decal up on the hinge and gently remove the wax paper backing.
  • With the wax paper removed, use the squeegee and start the application process at the top middle of the decal and work out.  Notice how Chris only adheres portions of the decal as the slowly works his way to the bottom.  Now take the squeegee and apply adequate pressure across all portions of the decal, thus adhering it to the surface.
  • Slowly remove the pre-mask.  Make certain to pull slowly, with the mask flat against the surface.  Pulling outward greatly increases the possibility of ripping the decal or pulling it away from the surface.

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