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When installing large decals its best to use the hinge method.
In this FedEX Installation you can see there is a vertical masking tape running up and down, and that is a hinge. That is where one half of the decal will be hinged to the other.
The decal is already laid out, the corners are taped down. Our installer is peeling the corners back so he can begin the installation.
First step is to peel the backing paper off of the decal. In this case he is peeling it back completely to the hinge. The purpose of the hinge is you can work on one half (section) increments of the decal at a time.
So the backing paper is removed from the first half of the decal, and our installer is simply tearing it off. You can also use a pair of scissors and cut it off.
Once the backing paper is removed the adhesive is revealed or exposed, and this half of the decal is ready to be put on.
Our installer tacs the corners down and is ready to begin the squeegee process. He is using medium pressure up and down, and will be going over rivets. The best course of action with rivets is simply to ignore that they are there. Don’t concentrate on trying to get the vinyl to go over the rivets or there is a good chance that you may cause more harm than good. So just ignore that they are there, and continue your install process.
As you can see it is beginning to bunch up so he is going to reposition the corner of the decal. That is one benefit of using 3M Control Tac Vinyl, “Control Tac” means that it is a repositionable vinyl.
The squeegee process continues, but now he is using more pressure. Making sure that all the corners are squeegeed down and adhere real well. The pressure that he is using, is causing that adhesive to set real well onto the newly painted truck.
The second side of the decal is ready to install. He is actually going to remove the hinge. The hinge is no longer needed because the first half of the decal that’s installed actually acts as your hinge.
Remove all the tape holding your corners and top, and the second half of the installation of the decal will be ready. The process is identical to the first, where as you peel the decal back to reveal the backing paper which is removed and you will actually remove the entire backing paper in full and that does expose all the adhesive on the back side.
Again this is a repositionable vinyl so if you get it put in the wrong position you can peel it back and put it exactly where it belongs.
So our installer is setting his corners, and he will begin the squeegee process on the second half. The squeegee process goes vertically, up and down, and when he does hit the rivets he is just going to ignore that their there and if he does have a problem where the vinyl wants to bunch up, he will actually peel the vinyl back and reposition it.
Again it is control tac so he sees that he has a possible problem right now, so you can peel the vinyl back and reset it exactly where it goes.
On your first pass of the squeegee process don’t use too much pressure you’re going to go back afterwards and set the decal real well using a lot of pressure. The squeegee process continues and he is going to complete this step, and then go back over it and use a lot of pressure and set that adhesive real well. Set down his corners real well.
Once the squeegee is done you are ready to begin the removal of the application tape. He is actually removing the application tape, pulling it back against itself as we call it, at about a 90 to 45 degree angle.
It is very important that you watch the vinyl when you are peeling the application paper back. If you just grab the application paper and yank on it you are liable to pull a corner of vinyl that you may have missed installing. If that happens and you are not paying attention you’re going to find that it is too late and you might very well tear the vinyl that has pulled away from the truck. So again it is very important that you continue to watch the vinyl is you remove it (application tape). As you go he actually set the rivet at one of the corners or edge of the vinyl, so you aren’t peeling it back off of the truck running the risk that you are going to tear the vinyl.
Once the application tape is removed you can remove any of the excess masking tape that was holding the vinyl down, and you can begin the process of setting your rivets.
Professional installers often times use heat to set the vinyl to the rivets. You can use a heat gun or a propane torch, this is what professionals use. In the case of control tac sometimes that heat is not even required. Especially here in Arizona the vinyl does tend to get somewhat warm and it can be worked into the rivet areas. If you find that there are air bubbles around the rivets or air bubbles around the decal as you install, you can use a small pin and actually prick a hole in the vinyl to release the air that is causing the bubble. It is customary that this is done, so once your rivets have been set you have a newly installed decal using the hinge method.
At All Pro Fleet Painting we do more than just truck painting, we are a full service truck body repair shop and can take care of all needs including insurance accident claims, truck painting, large truck frame repair, truck lettering and more. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready to help. Call us today, or visit us online for more information, and a free quote.