A Step-By-Step Guide: How to Apply Decals on Your Car

Red car with Botanical Bloomers Business Car decal

By: Decals.com Staff

If you're looking to add a personal touch to your vehicle, applying decals is a fantastic way to do it. Decals can transform the appearance of your car, making it stand out on the road. In this informational blog post, we'll guide you through the process of applying decals on your car like a pro. At decals.com, we not only offer custom-made decals but also provide extensive information and helpful resources to make your decal application experience seamless.

Step 1. Gather Your Materials

Before you begin the decal application process, it's important to have all the necessary materials on hand. These include:

  • Vehicle Decal: The star of the show! Choose a high-quality custom decal from decals.com to ensure durability and a perfect fit for your car.
  • Squeegee: A flexible plastic or rubber squeegee will help smooth out air bubbles and create a seamless finish.
  • Masking Tape: This will assist in properly aligning the decal before application.
  • Cleaning Solution: Ensure the surface of your car is clean and free from dust, dirt, and debris before applying the decal.

Step 2. Clean and Prepare the Surface

Before applying the decal, it's crucial to thoroughly clean the surface of your car where the decal will be placed. Use a gentle cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth to remove any grime, wax, or residue. Make sure the surface is completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 3. Position and Secure the Decal

Using masking tape, position the decal on your car without removing the paper backing using the masking tape to create a hinge for easy application.Take a step back and visually assess the alignment and placement. This step allows you to make any adjustments before the final application. If it looks good, move on to step 4!

Step 4. Peel and Apply the Decal

Once you have confirmed the decal's position, it's time to peel and apply it to your car. Start by peeling off the backing paper from one corner of the decal. As you peel, ensure the adhesive side of the decal doesn't come into contact with any surfaces.

*Optional Step*
Once the backing is removed, lightly mist an application fluid (a spray bottle filled with water or water with a few drops of dish soap if you would like your application surface a bit more slippery) onto the adhesive side of the decal and the surface of your car. This step will prevent the decal from sticking before you have it positioned correctly. But, be sure to squeegee out any excess fluid when applying!

Carefully place the decal on the surface, ensuring it aligns with your desired position. Gently press down on one edge of the decal, gradually working your way across. Use a squeegee or your fingers wrapped in a soft cloth to smooth out the decal, starting from the center and moving outward. Be sure to remove any air bubbles that may form during this process.

Step 5. Remove the Transfer Tape

*If you are in the process of removing a transfer-cut vehicle decal please follow this step. If you are working on removing a die-cut decal please ignore this step.*

Once the decal is securely applied, it's time to remove the transfer tape. Peel off the transfer tape slowly and at a sharp angle, working from one corner towards the opposite side. Take your time to ensure that the decal remains adhered to your vehicle and doesn't come off with the transfer tape.

Step 6. Finishing Touches and Maintenance

After removing the transfer tape, gently smooth out any remaining air bubbles and ensure that the edges of the decal are securely adhered to your car. Allow the decal to cure for at least 24 hours before exposing it to extreme weather conditions or washing your vehicle. The longer the decal rests, the more the adhesive will set in. For ideal decal application, we recommend applying it at room temperature or 60 to 74º Fahrenheit.

To maintain the decal's longevity, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials when cleaning your car. Instead, use a mild soap and water solution and a soft cloth or sponge to clean around the decal gently.

Confidently Apply Your Car Decal

With these simple steps, you can confidently apply decals on your car and give it a personalized touch. For a wide selection of high-quality custom decals and helpful resources, decals.com is your go-to source. Explore our website to find die-cut decal application tips, vehicle decals, custom car decals, and much more. Remember to always take your time, follow the instructions, and enjoy the transformation your car will undergo with the addition of a stunning decal.