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Old 10-05-2005, 07:21 PM
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how do you install Vinyl decals

last week I painted a motorcycle gas tank with acrylic enamel metallic purple, (I used the hardner) I sprayed 2 clear coats over the purple, now I want to put the decals on then spray more clear on, I did this once before but I can't remember the trick I used to install the decals, I think last time you guy's sent me to a site that had pictures, I know I used tape to hold the decal into position then I pulled the backing off and put the decal on the tank over soapy water! the decal is about 4 in by 9 in thanks Dennis

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Old 10-05-2005, 07:55 PM
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I'm sure others here might have some better decal install info but what I would do is this- wetsand the clear so it is ready for more clear, check to make sure your decal will fit and position it with a few pieces of masking tape. Use masking tape to make some references so when you put it on it'll be aligned perfectly. I usually take a spray bottle and fill it with warm water and a couple drops of dishsoap, spray the tank and peel your backing off the sticker, spray the sticky side and set it on the tank, get it aligned with your reference tapes and use a squeegee to work the water out from under the sticker, start squeegeeing? from the center out and mop up the water with a paper towel as you go. When she's stuck good carefully peel the transfer paper off. Go over it lightly with a heat gun to make sure the adhesive is set. Let it set overnight to make sure there isn't any traces of air under the decal, if there's no bubbles the next day you're in good shape to apply clear.

There are spray products on the market for this purpose if you don't want to use the water and soap.

You could also just be brave and apply it dry, lay it down on one end then work your way to the other. I prefer the wet install because there's less chance of tearing and bubbles and easier to align IMO. Bob
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Old 10-05-2005, 08:06 PM
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Bob, boy am I glad you typed that out. When I read the post I thought, how in the heck can I put that into words without taking all night, you did it.

I have to say, USE THE WATER AND SOAP! Do not do it dry. Every friggin time I think "No big deal, this is a small one" or something and I do it dry, I screw it up. Soap and water allow you to take your time, it is MUCH easier.

Funny you should post this, one of my old customers just emailed me today to ask if I would put decals on his new NAPA parts delivery trucks.

I do ZERO side work. But every year or so he buys a new truck or two (he has three NAPA stores) and he calls me to put the decals and hat on the roof. I get a kick out of doing them so I do and make a few bucks.

Brian
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Old 10-05-2005, 08:18 PM
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Thanks guys--it's been a week since I sprayed the clear (with hardner) could I wet sand with 1000 now and apply the decals or should I wait another week? Dennis
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Old 10-05-2005, 08:20 PM
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It is fine right now, go for it.

Brian
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Old 10-05-2005, 08:20 PM
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, Brian, yeah I don't do many decals either but the wet way has never let me down. One of the last major decal jobs that left my shop I decided to pay a professional to do--what a fricken mistake that was! The guy was done in about a half an hour and ruined a complete Yenko Camaro decal set! There was bubbles on every piece and tears on two. He made a hundred bucks in 30 minutes for slapping the things on dry and ruining the whole set. The strangest thing about the situation was the owner of the car was still happy with his work saying it was just like Don Yenko put them on when the car was new! That was the last time I will ever hire out a decal job!
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Old 10-05-2005, 09:28 PM
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Sorry to hear about "I'm fast and I make a lot of $ Yenko decal installer" but heres a little tip for all you decal installers; I know everybody has at one time or another installed a decal and could not get that edge to stick when peeling off the backing with soap and water, or could not get that worm to stop and lay down. Get a clean squirt bottle and put 75% water and 25% isopropal alcohol in it! This works like nuts!! It woks especially good on those clear stone guards on the beds and fenders of Fords. I don't recommend this method for the whole side of a woody wagon though!
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:38 PM
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Good Advice from everyone. This wet method is also the prefered choice for applying window tint. Ever see those big, nasty bubbles on a car, and wonder what happened? Keep it wet, but not soaked. Also, keep plenty of paper towels on hand, you don't want to get too much runoff on that fresh paint. (less cleanup)
Good luck, and post pictures when you get done.
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Old 10-07-2005, 08:38 PM
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I really feel angry at myself, I put the decals on the tail piece and they came out great,then I tried the Tank, I got wrinkels I tried using a razer knife to cut the wrinkel, but that didn't help! is their anything I can do now? thanks Dennis

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Old 10-30-2005, 05:30 AM
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Henry Moran

We are using and working with between 6,000 and 10,000 $ worth of vinal per
day printing , cutting and applying daily.
I agree with a lot of the above replies, soap water is the only way to go.
But would like to point out two important rules.
After decal is applied to let it lie over night , not to make sure theres no more
bubbles, but rather to make sure that the water dry out properly, and give the
decal propper time to settle. The second thing is when applying clear coat,
flush coat over the decal and give time to dry properly to seal the edges of
the decal, If you just shoot the clear , the surface might be wind dry but on
the inside it can attack the edges of the decal.
Have fun.
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Old 10-30-2005, 08:33 AM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Henry, what do you mean by "Flush coat"?

Dennis, there is nothing much that you can do now. Did you use the soap and water? Do it with the decals a little warm helps get them on the curved surfaces too.

Brian
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Old 11-01-2005, 09:33 AM
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Henry Moran

What I'm trying to tell you is with your clear you flush it by spraying a mist
coat or two, just to seal the edges of the sticker. Otherwize the solvents
might atack the edges of the sticker, sometimes make like wrinkels around
the edges and will spoil the job.
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