Decals are a fun way to showcase your personality. Customized car decals allow you to take pictures from your phone and place them onto your treasured possession, your car. Getting a custom decal lets you get a credible and consistent look that gets you noticed anywhere, anytime.
The following article details every piece of information you’ll need to know about custom car decals. Read on to learn more.
What is a decal
A decal is a cloth, plastic, or paper with a printed pattern or image on it. The design is made to be transferable to another surface and is usually done with water or heat. The decal technique was created and popularized by Simon François Ravenet in the 19th century.
A decal is typically made of four layers from top to bottom. The first layer consists of a film facestock. The top layer makes up the top side of the label stock. The second layer is the adhesive layer, which is applied to the bottom of the facestock.
The third layer consists of a release coating layer or a silicone film applied to the backing material’s top side. The last layer is a film liner or paper, which provides the label stock’s last layer. There are two common types of decals, called the vinyl peel-and-stick and the water-dip or water-slide.
The water-dip decal is a screen printed on a coating of water-soluble glue on moisture-resistant paper. The decal has to be dipped in water before it’s applied. When the material comes into contact with water, the glue loosens, and the decal is removed from its backing.
The vinyl peel-and-stick decal is more of a sticker than a decal. It, however, has an adhesive backing that is transferable by peeling off the base.
How to apply decals
If you are applying the decal by yourself, you can follow these steps to ensure that you get the most out of your design.
- Clean the car surface or area where you want to apply the decal
- Mix dish liquid and warm water, then place on the surface.
- Peel the decals backing and place the pattern on the wet area.
- The last step is to smoothen the pattern to work out any bubbles or liquid that might have been left on the area. You’ll need to use a straight surface or a squeegee and work from the center out for this step.
If you are afraid of peeling your car’s paint job when placing the decal, you should go for a decal with transparent polyacrylate. The substance doesn’t corrode the car’s paint and peels off smoothly. Decals with polymeric calendared vinyl are also a great option. This is because they have a unique air release lining that reduces wrinkling and allows for a smooth removal.
Things to note
Car decals are a matter of personal preference and have nothing to do with the pattern. However, there are a few things you need to remember when applying custom car decals on your vehicle.
- If your vehicle has been freshly painted, it is recommended that you give the paint a 30-day grace period before going ahead with the decal application.
- It is also always advisable to go with a decal with stark color contrast to your car. The difference will be more noticeable, and you will stand out more.
- If you’re going for a car window decal, don’t place the pattern on your windshield or side mirrors. The print will end up blocking your view.
- Although most car decals can be reapplied and repositioned, experts advise against regularly removing them and moving them. Repurposing and repositioning can cause dust and debris to build on the decal’s cling side, making the adhesive loose and causing bubbles to appear.