How to Install Vinyl Lettering or graphics.
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How to install  vinyl lettering and graphics

Please read the following instructions carefully and fully. before you start you project.

Supplies : 2" making tape, level, squeegee (or credit card), scissors, Rule or tape measure, a cleaner like Windex.

If using the wet method you can use a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle of water or buy application fluid that is made for the installing of vinyl and decals.

We only use the wet method for very large graphics and do not recommend it for windows.


   Vinyl can be applied to any smooth surface; such as metal, glass, plastic, wood, wall board etc. Surface should be clean and dry before applying vinyl lettering. Mild detergents or solvents can be used to remove wax, grease, tar etc. Glass cleaners such as Windex can be used to remove dirt, grit and water soluble substances.
 Cleaning before applying vinyl
   Clean and Dry the smooth surface that the vinyl will be applied to.
Tip- never get the back of the carrier sheet wet.
   Initial placement can be done quickly and then adjusted with measurements and a level.
Lining up and centering vinyl graphic before installing
Place masking tape on each end of your graphic and tape in place.
Tip-vinyl should only be applied when it is above 45 degrees. This includes the surface you are applying to.
   Tape tabs at each end hold the lettering in place so adjustments can be easily made by lifting one end and repositioning for level. Level tools aids in determining when the lettering is straight. A final visual check before applying vinyl is also a good idea.
 using a level to install lettering
Use a level to get your lettering straight by repositioning masking tape.

If you are putting the lettering on a square or rectangle be sure to center the lettering


Tip- If using a level on a vehicle Make sure the vehicle is level.

Tip- mark the center of both the graphics and what you are applying it to. To help center faster.

   Excess material is trimmed off the piece to make hinging the lettering with masking tape easier.
 Trim graphic before installing
   Trim top or bottom leaving 1/2 inch to tape to.
    You are now ready to apply the vinyl lettering. This is done by 1st putting a tape hinge on the top of the lettering. The tape hinge should be attached securely to the surface of the sign (in this case the van) and overlap onto backing sheet of the lettering.
 use 2" masking tape to form a hinge
   Use 2" masking tape to form a hinge at the top or bottom of the lettering.


Tip- Try not to get masking  tape hinge on top of the graphic.
   Make sure the tape is pressed down firmly adhering to both the lettering (backing paper) and the surface above the lettering (sign surface).
 Press the tape down well.
   Press tape securely in place.
Tip-Make sure you have tape on both  the parts to form a strong hinge
   Now be sure to remove the tape tabs you used to do the initial positioning.
 now remove the positioning tape from graphic
    Remove tape tabs used for leveling and positioning.
   The lettering can be cut apart for easier application. Doing smaller pieces you can keep the adhesive back of the lettering from getting stuck down before you're ready. Only cut between letters not through the vinyl of the letter.
 cut lettering into smaller parts to install on truck
   For easier application cut into smaller segments.
    Press the lettering down prior to application as a precaution. The backing paper must be sticking uniformly to the top of the letters in order to lift them off the slick carrier sheet underneath.
 rub all the letters down well before peeling the back off
    Rub down all letters to make sure they are sticking to the backing.
    Now pull the lettering all the way back from the surface it is to be applied to. Visually inspect the surface to make sure no grit, dust etc. has gotten onto the surface below.
 removing the backing for the sign
    Lift the lettering that you are ready to apply all the way back.
    Now begin to peel away the back (slick carrier sheet). This exposes the adhesive on the back of the lettering. Take care not to let the adhesive stick to itself by flopping down.           ( Note: If using the wet application method lightly spray the adhesive backs of the letters at this point while holding the lettering up away from the surface.)
 Peel the back away form the Lettering
    Peel the back away from the lettering and transfer tape.
    Lettering must be held out away from the surface at about a  20 degree angle from the tape hinge point to position it for proper application.
 do not let the graphic touch the surface untill you are ready to apply the letter.
     Hold lettering out away from surface. Large piece may need 2 people. one to help hold the graphics out and other to squeegee
   Using a credit card or plastic squeegee held at about 30 degrees from the surface begin pressing the vinyl lettering down at the top. As the vinyl is pressed down air should be pushed ahead of the squeegee to insure smooth application. Continue in this manner working from top to bottom of the lettering until all adhesive surfaces of the lettering are applied.
 Squeegee from top to bottom using firm pressure.
  Squeegee from top to bottom using firm pressure. Or from the hinge out.
    The lettering is now applied  and if you are using dry method of application  you may be able to work out a  air bubble or two but will not be able to reposition . If you are using the wet method and your  lettering has apparent problems  it can be lifted and reapplied if it is done before the application fluid or soapy water has dried .
 Squeegee firmly again to insure good adhesion of your sign
    Squeegee firmly again to insure good adhesion.
   Now you can remove the backing paper using steady pressure at 180 degrees from the surface. This insures that the vinyl does not lift. Note: If you are using the wet application method you must wait until the lettering is sufficiently dry. This can take several minutes or several hours depending on the application fluid and the weather / temperature conditions.
 Remove transfer tape at a 180 degree angle.
Remove transfer tape at a 180 degree angle.
Photo 16 of 18
 Repeat previous steps for remaining letters.
Repeat previous steps for remaining letters.
Photo 17 of 18
 Completed vinyl lettering for phone number
Completed phone number.
Photo 18 of 18
 Completed sign.
Completed sign.

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Art Design & Sign     870335 S. 3470 Rd.      Chandler, OK 74834
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This page last updated   03/05/2013 02:26 PM