When you apply car window decals, it is perhaps the fastest and cheapest way to add 10 horsepower to any vehicle. That’s the word on the street anyways. Wink, wink. Today, I will be going through the whole process. If this is your first decal installation, this step by step guide will help set you up for success!
Decal Application Tips
Before I get into the application, I would like to go over a couple tips on placement and vinyl survival tips. First of all, make sure you place your decal in an area that doesn’t obstruct your view for safety. Next, if you are putting this on a rear hatch window, make sure you avoid the range of motion where the rear wiper will scrape to lessen the wear and tear on the decal. Also, if you live in a northern climate like I do, make sure to consider having to scrape ice off in the winter. I place mine in the corners and make sure not to scrape there in the winter. Finally, take care when washing your windows. Permanent outdoor vinyl should last approximately 5-6 years, but there will be wear and tear if it is abused a lot.
Decal Selection & Design Tips
I have noticed that more rounded designs and fonts hold up to the wear and tear much better than sharp corners, so keep that in mind when selecting or designing your decals. Here is an example of my favorite decal: The Escape Velocity Decal. The legacy version is on the left and upgraded version is on the right. The rounded corners help! If you’re interested in the new version, you can find it in the studio shop here in several colors.
Instructions: Apply Car Window Decals
Step 1: Surface Preparation
It’s extremely important to clean the window well of all debris, water spots, etc. Use a window cleaner and microfiber to scrub your decal area. Today’s model is an overlanding truck so scrubbing is a must.
Step 2: More Surface Preparation
We want this decal to stick to the window for the full life of the outdoor vinyl. Yes, that means one more cleaning step. Use rubbing alcohol, or an alcohol prep pad, to do one more final glass cleaning.
Step 3: Remove Backing Paper
The backing paper is the thick paper behind the sticker. Slowly peel the backing paper off. All of the vinyl should stick to the clear transfer paper on the front of the vinyl decal. If you notice any vinyl sticking to the backing paper, smooth the decal back onto the backing paper and use a squeegee or something similar like an ID badge or card to rub over the transfer tape. This helps the transfer tape stick to the vinyl decal so it will lift off of the backing paper.
Step 4: Apply Car Window Decals to Window
Stick the decal to the window with the transfer tape. Use a squeegee, plastic card, or similar, to rub over the transfer tape. Apply pressure to activate the adhesive on the vinyl decal.
Step 5: Remove Transfer Tape
Carefully remove the transfer tape. I find pulling it off at about a 180 degree angle works the best to keep edges and corners down. If any edges or corners on the decal start to lift up, smooth the transfer tape back down and use the squeegee to apply more pressure and then try to remove the transfer tape again.
Step 6: Cure Time
Your decal is now applied! Congratulations!! For best adhesion, please wait at least 24 hours before washing your windows or taking your car out in the rain/snow.
Step 7: Admire Your Application Job
Look how great that looks! Bonus, now you can find your car easier and it’s personalized for YOU. Enjoy your freshly applied decal!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and tips for how to apply car window decals to customize your car and stand out from the crowd! You can check out all the decal designs in the studio shop here. Decals are all packaged with everything you need to do the installation, check that out here!