Installation Guide: Basic
Application Type: DRY method
IMPORTANT: THIS IS NOT A WET APPLICATION:
Material Type: Metro M Series, 3M Di-Noc, 3M Controltac, Oracal RA series.
1. Squeegee (Felt edge squeegee recommended)
2. Low Friction Sleeve: Smooth cloth to wrap squeegee, this prevents scratching of decal during application
3. Razor Knife: Exacto or similar (Sharp new blade)
4. Masking Tape: 1” or 2” width is appropriate
5. Tape Measure
6. Marking Pencil: Grease pencil if possible
7. Air Release Tool (Straight Pin)
8. Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA): Depending on surface condition you may need other solvents see: Cleaning and Preparation below.
Proper cleaning and preparation of substrate prior to decal
application is critical to the success of the decal. The following
cleaning and surface preparation conditions must be followed immediately
prior to application. Failure to adhere to these requirements can cause
adhesion failure and therefore reduce the durability and performance level of
Pre cleaning recommendations (before preparation) The surface
to which the films are applied must be completely cleaned,
smooth, and dry before final preparation.
• Remove all dirt and grime with a commercial detergent solution and water
• If grease, oil, wax etc. are present, the substrate must be scrubbed
with a solvent wipe isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and or other solvents if
necessary ie: (Xylene, heptane, ethylacetate.)
CAUTION: prior to cleaning with solvents, test the
cleaning solvent on an inconspicuous area of the application surface to
check for potential damage from solvent usage.
Final surface cleaning and preparation
• After proper cleaning, the substrate surface should be
thoroughly wiped using a clean rag saturated with a cleaner such as
rubbing alcohol or Windex.
• After thoroughly wiping with the cleaner, dry wipe the surface
completely using a clean, soft, lint-free cloth before the solvent
evaporates. NOTE: there must be no dirt, oil, grease or solvent residue
remaining on the substrate prior to decal installation. “SQUEAKY CLEAN”
Decal application size- under 8 square feet
1. Ensure that the application surface is clean and dry before application of any graphic film
2. Be sure the air, film and substrate are within the temperature range
recommended for the film. The recommended application temperature for
optimal performance and ease of use is 60-72 degrees Fahrenheit. The
surface should be out of direct sunlight, indoors in a well lighted
3. Experiment with what tool and technique works best before applying
graphics. The mentioned films are designed to work with a variety of tools
and techniques. Whatever the tool or technique, it is important to use
enough pressure to make sure the graphic adheres to the substrate. NOTE_
pre masked graphics require additional pressure.
4. Overlap all strokes by about 50%
5. If a squeegee is used, hold it at a 50-70 degree angle to the surface. The flatter the squeegee the better
6. Locate where to position the graphics and mark the spot using either a grease pencil or small piece of masking tape.
7. If the graphics are less than 8 square feet, remove the entire
liner. Position the graphic on the marked points using light tacking
8. If the graphics are large, tape it into position securely with masking tape and use the masking tape hinge method
9. Squeegee the film using moderately firm overlapping strokes, making
sure the applicator (squeegee) edge is flat with the substrate along the
entire length of the stroke.
10. Remove air bubbles and tenting around rivets by using an air release tool. (straight pin)
Final squeegee pass
1. Wait at least 10 minutes after application to allow the adhesion to build a functioning bond level.
2. remove pre-mask if you decal has it.
3. re-squeegee all graphic edges, overlaps and seams (if any) using
firm pressure. Use a squeegee with a low friction sleeve to prevent
scratching or damage to the decal.
4. Re-squeegee is an absolute must on ALL edges of the decal.
Decal application size- over 8 square feet
1. Application temperature: minimum surface/ambient air application
temp- 45F (7 C) flat surfaces with/without rivets 50 F (10 C) for
corrugated surfaces. Maximum application temperature: 100 F (38 C)
2. measure and position the decal, use masking tape to hold it in
place. It is a good idea to mark the position of the panel in case the
graphic comes loose using a grease pencil or a small piece of masking
tape. Make sure the graphic is completely smooth and taut.
3. Determine the best starting point based on the shape of the vehicle
and the graphic elements to be applied. At this point the liner can be
removed to expose the adhesive on the desired starting area. (it is not
necessary to remove the entire liner at once, in fact it is usually
better to remove it at bit at a time as you squeegee)
4. Hold the decal smooth and taught, away from the application surface
with one hand and squeegee horizontally from the center towards the
outer edges. Continue squeegeeing , using firm, overlapping strokes from
the center, out working away from the starting point.
5. Re-squeegee the entire decal using very firm squeegee pressure,
including all edges. Puncture any air bubbles with a straight pin and
re-squeegee from the edge of the bubble towards the puncture hole.