The Sign Maker for the very best in Bespoke Signs and Memorials - How to Apply Vinyl Lettering - Useful Application Tips and Techniques

Applying & Fitting
Vinyl Lettering

UK Sign Maker

Instructions for applying Vinyl Lettering and Graphics

These instructions are essential for applying self adhesive signs, wall words & quotes, vehicle graphics and window art.
Apply within two weeks of receipt.

Please read completely before you start!
We do supply test pieces with each order which you can use to practice with.

Vinyl  should be applied in a wind free environment at room temperature.
It will not adhere if it is too cold or it may stick but will lift off easily.

Make sure the surface is clean and dust free
The surface must be free of dust, dirt, wax and other contaminants. Multisolve is an excellent solvent to prepare the surface.

Do not touch the adhesive backing
The oils from your skin may prevent the vinyl from sticking.

Do not apply to fresh paint
Fresh paint must be left to cure for at least 3 weeks before applying words or graphics

Your Vinyl Lettering arrives to you with two or three layers

1. The top layer is the application tape.
2. The middle layer is the vinyl lettering or graphic.
3. The bottom layer is the backing paper.

You can apply vinyl using one of the two methods as described below.
Dry application is quicker, but does not allow for mistakes.
Wet application can be easier for beginners in that you have the chance to reposition the sign. It is essential for translucent window vinyl which must be bubble free. With the sandblast effect vinyls TR100 should be applied wet and TR111 & TR113 should be applied dry.
Wet application should not be used for wall words or reflective vinyl.
Wall words are normally cut from matt vinyl with removable adhesive so can be lifted and repositioned easily with the dry application.

With pressure sensitive vinyls the harder you press, the more they stick. Also the longer you leave them, the more they stick. Therefore when you first place your vinyl - place it lightly.

Vinyl Application Instructions - 2 Methods

Tools Required:
Squeegee (or two bank cards, back to back.)
Soft Cloth
Masking Tape
Wax pencil
For Wet Application - Spray Bottle containing luke warm water with a few drops of washing up liquid.

Preparation For Both Methods

1. The surface must be thoroughly cleaned and free of all oils, waxes, dust and dirt

2. On a flat table, with the application tape side up, use your squeegee to wipe over the whole of the lettering using plenty of pressure. This will stick the lettering to the application tape and release it from the backing paper.

3. Mark guidelines to the surface of the substrate, with the wax pencil.

Instructions for Dry Application using a Top Hinge

4. Place the lettering/graphic accurately on the surface.
Use a wide strip of masking tape to stick the top edge to the surface.
This becomes a hinge

  Vinyl Application 1

5. Lift the lettering/graphic, pull back and cut away the top section of the backing paper


6. Holding the base of the lettering/graphic, allow it to return to its original position.

7. Using the squeegee and light pressure, start from top centre and with horizontal strokes, apply the vinyl. Carry on this way removing sections of backing each time. (for large signs this can be done in sections between letters)

8. After removing all the backing paper you can apply more pressure.

9. Leave for 10 minutes

  Vinyl Application 2 10. Once you are sure the vinyl is securely attached to the surface, remove the application tape diagonally at a 180° angle back over itself then rub entire graphic with a soft cloth paying particular attention to the edges.

11. Remove any air bubbles by puncturing the bubble at one edge with a pin, then squeegee the trapped air towards and out of the puncture.

Can also be applied using a bottom hinge if preferred.

Instructions for the Wet Application Method

4. With the lettering face down on a flat surface, carefully peel off the backing paper away from the lettering

5.Spray generously the area where the vinyl is to be applied with your wetting solution. Spray the vinyl lightly.

6. Place the vinyl on the prepared surface using your guidelines to help position it. Lettering can be removed and repositioned as long as the surface stays wet.

7. When you are happy with the position use your squeegee to forces the bubbles and fluid out. Start at the centre and work your way out. Be sure to squeegee as much solution as possible from under the decal.  Take your time, because if not enough solution is removed from under the vinyl, it will not adhere to the surface. 

8. Allow to dry for about an hour.

9.Gently and slowly peel back the application tape diagonally, keeping your hand firmly on the lettering to prevent it pulling back up. Note : If the lettering is not sticking to surface, repeat the squeegee process and let dry longer.

10. Remove any remaining bubbles and fluid with a soft cloth and leave to dry for a couple of hours.

The hinge method as described above can also be used on wet application.

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