How to apply vinyl stickers in 4 steps:

  • Step 1: Clean the surface
  • Step 2: Apply your stickers when temperatures are moderate
  • Step 3: Use masking tape
  • Step 4: Use the wet method

So you’ve just ordered your vinyl stickers with Printulu. They’re beautiful, and you can’t wait to put them up. But once you try to do it yourself, you turn the stickers into a crumpled mess. What a waste!

PS – If you haven’t printed vinyls (stickers) with Printulu yet and you’re not sure where to start, take a look at this blog post: How To: Design and Prepare Stickers For Print (Sticky Business)

A lot of people have asked us if we apply the stickers for our clients, and unfortunately, we don’t. At least not yet! I mean, I may be a pro when it comes to designing them, but when it comes to applying them? My 1.61m short frame simply does not cut it!

I recently learned this the hard way. I designed and printed transparent vinyls for our Rosebank office, and they came out beautifully! But I had to ask almost the entire Printulu team to help me put them up and the end result, despite our efforts over lunch-time, turned out to be a smudged, bubbled sticker on the glass wall. So much for that!

Related: Meet The Printulu Team (Behind The Scenes of Printulu’s Success)

I finally gave up and called professionals to help us apply them. But for those of you who don’t want to hash put even more cash on the application, here are a few simple steps that will help you apply your printed vinyls (without making a mess).

If you’re attempting this yourself, here’s a great tutorial that I found super helpful, and also correlates with what the professionals did at our office.

Step 1: Clean The Surface

Pre-wash the area where you’ll be applying the sticker using either soap and water or a mixture of rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl alcohol) and water. After cleaning with soapy water, rinse thoroughly with water until no soap or residue remains. Do not use window-cleaning products. They may leave a residue behind, making your sticker cling less effectively.

Man cleaning window

Add soap to the solution when you wash the surface!

Step 2: Apply Your Stickers When Temperatures Are Moderate

For the best results, install your stickers in a shaded area away from direct sunlight. When possible, you should apply stickers when the temperature is above 10°C and below 32°C.

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Step 3: Use Masking Tape

Masking tape can help ensure that your sticker is positioned exactly where you want it. Leaving the white backing paper in place and facing the surface you’re applying it to, position the sticker where you want it to go. Place a piece of masking tape along the top edge of the sticker—this fixes it in the proper location. Then, lift the sticker as if it’s on a hinge, and peel off the backing paper. While holding onto the bottom edge, slowly lower the sticker, using the thumb of your other hand to press from the center out and gradually working your way from top to bottom.

Step 4: Use The Wet Method

You can apply most smaller decals without using water, but for large and very large stickers, this trick is a life-saver. After cleaning your surface area, wet the area again using a spray bottle and a solution of about 5% soap / 95% water. Apply the sticker while the area is still wet. This will keep it from adhering immediately and give you time to re-position if necessary. It also enables you to remove any bubbles using a squeegee or a plastic card. The soapy water will dry in a few minutes and leave your sticker firmly affixed.

Wet sticker on car window

Use the wet method.

Setting Up Your Stickers For Print

Are you having trouble setting up your stickers for print? It’s not as complicated as it may seem. Here’s a quick tutorial to help you!

P.S. Check out our other amazing display items and go big.


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