Installing Graphics

Installing Graphics



Bob’s Signs uses the following for graphics installation:

Heat Gun – Painters Tape – Utility Knife – Sealant – Crayon Pencil – Alcohol – Tape Measure – Cloth Towels – Microfiber Rag – Squeegee.

Some of the things listed above you will not need for your installation. It all depends on the material and process of which you will be installing.

Step 1: Before applying any vinyl be sure to prep your vehicle. If you have not done this before you can look at our Prepping Vehicle How-Tos for instruction.

Step 2: With each decal there will be a different process. For smaller decals you want to place two pieces of tape on either side of the decal horizontal to the image or text.

Step 3: Next you will place it approximately where you are intending to apply it. Take your tape measure and measure the side to side measurements first. If you want to center the decal in a specific area you will make sure the measurement is the same from either ends. 

Step 4: Once you have the side to side measurement you will measure the top and bottom. Typically you are doing this to make sure the graphic is straight. For instance: If you are repairing a piece of stripe on an ambulance. You will want to measure from the drip rail to the top of the stripe to make sure the measurement is the same from left to right on the top of the graphic.

Step 5:  To apply the vinyl you will want to place a piece of tape in the middle of the graphic. Depending on how you want to apply this it will be vertical or horizontal to the image of the decal. Typically it is vertical if the decal is wider than it is tall. If the decal is taller than it is wide then you will want to place a horizontal piece of tape. Now that the decal is secure you can take the utility knife and carefully cut the tape on the sides so that you can line the piece of tape up that is on the decal back to the piece of tape left on the vehicle. If you do not feel comfortable doing that in fear of cutting into your vehicle we recommend using the crayon pencil. Simply draw a vertical line flush against the side of the decal to make where the decal will line back up. Next draw a horizontal line that starts at the edge of the decal and goes onto the vehicle. The product of this should look like a plus sign (+). Make those marks on both sides. Only remove the tape from one side.

Step 6: Peel back the backer and tear it off right before the center piece of tape. When tearing the backer off make sure no pieces of backer gets on the decal. If it is easier use the utility knife or a pair of scissors. Just be careful not to cut the vinyl.

Step 7: Once the backer is off you want to grab each corner of the decal with one hand on each corner. Pull the graphic taught and at an approximate 45 degree angle to be sure not to tack the graphic. If it does tack and the graphic is reflective then you cannot pull it back up. Doing so will damage the vinyl. If it is non reflective and is product that allows for slide-ability then tacking will not be as much of an issue. Guide the graphic to the marks gradually so that the graphics ends up being perfectly flat on the vehicle. Tack the corners so that the vinyl does not fall from place.

Step 8: Use the squeegee to press the air out from underneath the decal. To do so you want to start from the center piece of tape you placed. Overlap the squeegee onto the tape to be sure you are not trapping air. Place the squeegee in the middle of your first pass pulling up with the squeegee at an angle against the decal. Then you will want to press downward the graphic from the top. Repeat this motion until you reach the end of the graphic. Take of the center piece of tape but still leave pre-mask on the graphic. Repeat steps 5-8.


Helpful Hints:

If you are installing large pieces of vinyl we recommend having an extra set of hands. 

These instructions do not go over the process of applying graphics to curves. If you need more instruction please feel free to send an email or give us a call.

We do not guarantee our instructions will make for long lasting application. If you are in need of graphics installation we recommend you have Bob’s Signs install your graphics. 

Contact Us with any questions