posted by Ahijoy on November 17, 2022
How To Apply Adhesive Vinyl?
Adhesive vinyl is a dream come true for all DIY lovers. With so many colors and variations in texture and finish, it provides ample room for creativity and helps transform any space into a beautiful work of art.
Available in two types, removable and permanent, it comes really handy for both indoor and outdoor applications. It is not only for decoration but is also essential for advertisement through banners, posters, vehicles and so on.
Adhesive vinyl is the need of the day. It is now used everywhere by all kinds of crafters for every level of project? If you are a newbie, rest assured that applying vinyl is no rocket science. It might give you a little tough time initially but after two to three tries you will get the hang of it.
To help you along the journey, we present two techniques for transferring vinyl decals onto a substrate, but first, you must know what tools would be required for applying it.
Tools Required For The Application Of Adhesive Vinyl
Behind every successful project is a set of tools that is a must-have for the smooth operation throughout. The same is true for the application of adhesive vinyl as well. This is what you need:
- A project you want to apply the vinyl on.
- Automated cutting machine or a pair of scissors if the design is simple.
- Cutting mat.
- Weeding tool.
- Transfer tape.
Before you start utilizing these tools, prepping the substrate is crucial for the best adhesion of the vinyl.
Preparation For The Application Of The Adhesive Vinyl
The most important step when you prep your surface is to clean it and make it completely dirt free and smooth. A smooth and neat surface results in a better grip on the vinyl. If there will be any dust particles left on the surface, the vinyl will not adhere properly and this will affect its longevity. Clean the space with a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water. Dry it out completely before applying the vinyl.
A dry surface is preferred but not if you are going with the wet technique. There are two ways for applying the vinyl: the dry and the wet method. Let’s first talk about the common application factors.
The Common Steps
No master which method for vinyl application you go for, there are some steps that are common to both:
- Come up with a design and finalize it on your favorite software, setting its dimensions. User-friendly softwares are also available with the automated cutting machines such as Cricut or Silhouette.
- Put the vinyl on the cutting mat which also comes with a grid to ensure correct placement and accurate dimensions. It has different tack levels so that the vinyl doesn’t leave its place when cutting.
- Put the vinyl glossy side up as with adhesive vinyl, you do not have to mirror the design.
- Load the mat into the automated cutting machine and after choosing the blade setting according to the vinyl you have used, cut the design.
- Now it’s time to weed off extra vinyl. Using a weeding tool, preferably Ahijoy’s weeding pen, take out the negative vinyl pieces to bring forth your actual design. Once this is done, it is time to apply the design on the substrate.
The Dry Technique
This is a commonly used technique for a majority of projects. Here’s the process:
- Once your vinyl is all ready to be applied, put the transfer tape over it. Smooth it out with a squeegee to remove creases or bubbles.
- Now starting from the corner, slowly remove the paper backing from the vinyl.
- Place the vinyl on the substrate making sure to put the center first. Press the middle of the vinyl with a squeegee and then go for the corners.
- You must be certain about the placement for if you will try to reapply the decal, it will get all stretched and messy.
- Once you are sure that the adhesion is strong, remove the transfer tape from the vinyl and your beautiful craft is ready to flaunt.
The Wet Technique
This technique is best suited for larger adhesive vinyl projects. Before applying it, you must have one more tool with you, A spray bottle filled with water and a small amount of washing liquid. You might even take a little help if the vinyl decal is huge.
- For this process, you first need to spray on the surface and damp it with the water solution.
- Once it is all wet, remove the paper backing from the vinyl starting from the edges, and gradually start shifting the vinyl to the project.
- Keep looking out for bubbles that might appear. For that, your squeegee would come in handy for smoothing out bubbles and creases.
- The purpose of dampening the surface is to make repositioning the vinyl easy in case there is any error in the application. When applying a large decal, there is a chance of inaccurate placement, the wet base will make it easier for you to correct this.
- This method is helpful when one is applying large decals to glass. mirrors, cars, furniture and so on. It is best for glass since it bonds strongly and quickly with the vinyl, hence repositioning it would be easier.
- You must keep in mind that with a dampened surface, the vinyl takes around 48 hours to fully adhere. Leave it until it is completely dry and adhered properly no matter how that may take.
Frequently Asked Questions
As we now know, both the wet and the dry techniques are quite easy and can help with the application of your vinyl design. It’s time to transform your surroundings so get the tools needed and start crafting!