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  • Question about car sticker

    I cleaned the car area and put on this car sticker and absolutely could not get all the air bubbles out. they turned into small little air bubbles across the sticker. i clumped the sticker down and kept trying with the credit card but theres nothing i can do.


    you can still see the sticker there and it looks fine but my question is, will the small air bubbles ruin the sticker and make it come off?

    the sticker seems very clumped down to the car and solidly stamped despite air bubbles

  • #2
    Can't see your photo so don't know exactly what you mean by ''Sticker''.

    When you put the ''sticker'' on, did you hinge it with tape and put it down from one side to the other being careful to keep your ''credit card'' in contact with the body surface?

    Depending on how the decal was printed, and on what, the air bubbles may or may not go away over time. Other than looking bad, they won't ruin the decal if they are small. The more you rub them though, the more likely chance you will ruin the decal by either burnishing the lam shiny, or burnishing the ink off. Sometimes too, if the thing is printed on vinyl, you may stretch the vinyl to the point where you will tear it or crease it as the air under there can't go anywhere and could cause a ballooning of the material that weakens it. If the edge is sealed down so well you can't get the air bubbles out, it probably won't fail for some time.

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    • #3
      I just spent about 10 minutes looking for an instructional video or step by step for applying a simple graphic to a car or wall.
      Almost every single one of them did something wrong.

      Don't use windex or any other ammonia based cleaner. Vinyl hates that.
      Do use a 50/50 mix of isopropyl alcohol and water (this removes wax, soaps, and in some cases will negate most of the effects of 'easy clean' wall paint-to which vinyl hates to stick)

      Dry method:
      1- Lay the decal down on a smooth flat surface, like a countertop. Burnish down the decal with a scraper like a credit card
      2- Make sure there is no transfer tape wrapped to the back of the decal backer
      3- Make sure one edge is cut using a straight edge so you get a nice clean hinge. (usually the top, but can be a side)
      4- Tab in place with small pieces of tape. BE SURE YOUR TAPE DOES NOT OVERLAP THE VINYL DECAL.
      5- Recheck your measurements, then apply a long strip of masking tape along the whole edge of the decal, again being sure the tape does not overlap the vinyl decal. If it does, you will get a line of bubbles where the tape ends.
      6- Flip the graphic up on the hinge and remove the backer.
      7- holding the transfer tape (don't touch the decal adhesive) away from the surface. Beginning at the tape hinge slowly burnish down the decal making sure your scraper always maintains solid contact with the surface.
      8- Once you have scraped it down, remove the masking tape, then remove the transfer tape.

      Wet method (use only if the vinyl manufacturer suggests it. some vinyls have a water base adhesive that doesn't work with water.)
      Same as above except between step 6 and 7, spray the surface and the decal adhesive with water that has just a dot of dish soap in it (mixed in a spray bottle)
      At step 8, wait about 1 hour before removing the masking tape and transfer tape to give the adhesive a chance to set.

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      • #4
        Hi Godoverall and welcome to GDF.

        Use a needle to poke a tiny hole in each bubble area. You should be able to smooth the bubbles out and the holes shouldn't be noticeable.

        We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
        Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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        • #5
          If the vinyl decal is lammed in any way, you are likely to get a white hole if you poke a bubble.
          If it's a window decal or backlit in any way, you'll get a pin hole light leak.
          Given time, small air bubbles in unlammed vinyl do go away, at least most of the time. They just look like crap for a while. For a client's job, I'd recut and replace, especially if it's a second surface install on glass, like an entry door, where the client's customers will see it at face level.

          If buying rally decals, always look for ControlTac or Air Egress in the product description. Those have micro-channels to let the air out for a perfect install. Car wrap vinyl is made that way too.

          Most cheap ''stickers'', not so much. A lot of times they are made on the cheapest vinyl available.
          Last edited by PrintDriver; 10-26-2017, 12:44 PM.

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