How To Put a Sticker on Your Car: A Basic Step-by-Step Guide

Custom car sticker Rear car window sticker with a cardinal bird graphic and text that reads Cardinal Football.

By: Naomi J. Myrick, Staff Writer

Let’s face it, custom car stickers are just mobile microcosms of entertainment. 

If the Romans had had chariot stickers, then they likely would’ve just read, ”non susceptus es” or in English, “Are you not entertained?!” 

They sure loved to entertain, and so do you. 

I’ve created this  simple guide to help you easily apply funny bumper stickers or cute stick families to your car! Read on to find out:

  • Tools needed to achieve perfect installation 
  • How to determine where the sticker should go on your car.
  • How to easily level the sticker to the ground.
  • The 8 easy sticker install steps.

Use tape to decide where your sticker should go

For finding the perfect location, one hack is to use masking tape to temporarily place the sticker where you think it would look best. Mark the spot with several pieces of masking tape, outlining the edges of the sticker. 

Masking tape, or painter tape, is nice because it is fairly inexpensive and rarely leaves any residue. It also peels easily and is super repositionable.  

You’ve probably invested a lot of time in designing your custom car stickers. So, you should definitely put some thought into where on the car the sticker should be placed.

Here’s some additional placement advice

Custom car stickers and truck decals can go many other places besides the bumper or window. In fact, vinyl lettering sprawled on car doors works great for mobile business advertising. (Think Jimmy John’s or plumbing and heating vans). 

So now that you’ve located the best spot for your sticker, you need to gather the proper tools.

Tools for the perfect install

Before we start installing, please gather your tools:

  • Scissors 
  • Paper towels 
  • Masking tape
  • Tape measure 
  • Warm soapy water or mild household cleaner 
  • Plastic application squeegee or credit card

The 8 easy installation steps

Step One: Clean & Dry

Clean the surface. Smooth, non-porous, surfaces work best like glass and metal. Thoroughly clean the area and remember to avoid using glass cleaner because it may leave some residue. Make certain that the surface is dry.

Step Two: Tape

Use masking tape to temporarily adhere to the intended surface and as a “hinge”. 

Step Three: Measure & Level

Use a line of text as a place to measure from —so it’s level.

Step Four: Peel & Cut

Peel and cut off the bottom half of the backing.

Step Five: Apply the Sticker

Using an application squeegee, press and apply the sticker to the intended surface in a back-and-forth pattern.

Step Six: Remove the Tape

Gently remove the tape hinge.

Step Seven: Peel

Peel and remove the upper half of the backing.

Step Eight: Press & Apply

Using the squeegee press and apply the custom sticker to the surface in the same back and forth motion as before.

You’re all done!

Roman Bumper Sticker

Somewhat authentic Roman chariot Bumper Sticker.

Ars longa vita brevis!

Or in English, Art is Long, Life is short! So now that you know how to apply a sticker to your car, go apply many stickers. Decorate your own chariot and entertain all that sit in traffic. 

Please share if this guide was helpful!