How-To: Apply and Remove a Decal

February 8, 2019

Applying or removing a decal yourself can be a tricky task, especially if you’ve never done it before. Following the steps below should allow you to remove or apply any decal with ease. You could also consider having us install for you. 

Apply a Decal

  1. Clean the surface where the decal is going to be applied with soap and water. If there is grease or wax that the soapy water can’t remove, then try some rubbing alcohol. If doing the installation outdoors, the temperature should be between 10 and 25 degrees.
  2. Using masking tape, hang the decal where you want it to be placed. Note: If using tape on painted dry wall, be careful that the paint does not come up with the tape when removing it afterwards. 
  3. Run masking tape along the top edge of the decal (half on the decal, half on the sign / vehicle surface). Two inch tape is best to use. This will act as a hinge to hold the decal in place while you work it down.
  4. Flip the decal up and remove the backing paper. 
  5. Hold the decal firmly at the bottom and just off the surface of what you are applying it to. Starting at the top, press down the decal with an application squeegee (or an old credit card if you don’t have one). Only do the top few inches and work from the middle towards the sides, pressing the decal down while continuing. 
  6. Remove the two-inch tape then peel back the mask off the face of the surface. Remove any bubbles with a pin. And done! 

Remove a Decal

  1. The trick here can be heat. Use a hair dryer to heat up a small corner of your graphic making it easier to lift as a starting point. Most decals can be removed without causing any damage to the surface that they have been applied to. 
  2. Carefully pick up the corner with either your finger, or a utility knife. Continue heating to loosen the adhesive as you go and pull up the graphic slowly. 
  3. If residue remains, do not try to scratch it off. Use warm soap and water to clean the surface; if this is not strong enough, try some rubbing alcohol or a product like Goo-Gone.

Have questions for us? We’re happy to provide you with specific recommendations based on where you will applying your decal – ask us about booking a no-cost consultation with one of our visual communication experts. Contact Speedpro Imaging Burloak today. 905-582-4873


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