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  1. #1

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    Decal Application Technique

    Anyoone have advice on applying the "sticky-back" decals to planes, especially foamies, without wrinkles. In the old days I soaked the decals in warm water, slid them off the backing onto the plane, then smoothed them out. The newer decals (especially large, intricate or curved) want to stick to themselves or "grab" the surface with wrinkles before I can get them properly positioned and wrinkle-free. It's then hard to pull them off and retry. I've heard mention of using "Windex" but don't know how it would be used. Any ideas would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    RCU Forum Manager/Admin RCKen's Avatar
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    RE: Decal Application Technique

    The easiest way is to use Windex like you have already mentioned.  You simply spray the area you are going to apply the decal to with Windex and then lightly lay the graphic (without the backing of course) on the area you want to apply it to. You use the Windex to "float" the decal into place. When you are happy with where it is placed use a piece of cardboard or a wad of tissue to squeegee the Windex out from beneath the decal. You will have to work a bit to get all out from beneath it. When you are finished do not disturb the decal for 12-24 hours for it to full attach in place.

    Hope this helps

    Ken
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  3. #3

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    RE: Decal Application Technique

    Thanks, Ken!
    I'll try that. It sounds as if a considerable amount of Windex would be needed in order to "float" the decal in place. I appreciate your help!

    Duane

  4. #4
    RCU Forum Manager/Admin RCKen's Avatar
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    RE: Decal Application Technique


    ORIGINAL: Strummer68

    Thanks, Ken!
    I'll try that. It sounds as if a considerable amount of Windex would be needed in order to "float" the decal in place. I appreciate your help!

    Duane
    It actually doesn't take that much Windex to get it done. Just enough to wet the back of the decal. If you have extra you might want to practice a few times to get to the feel for it.

    Ken

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  5. #5

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    RE: Decal Application Technique

    Thanks, Ken
    Practice is always a good idea. Too bad I don't have a bunch of extra decals. The ones in question are quite thin and prone to tearing, even when getting them off the backing!
    Duane

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    RE: Decal Application Technique

    another way of doing which works well after practice, is to carefully separate the backing from the sticky portion of the decal at the bottom middle of the decal. You can use the point of a scissor or xacto knife. Slide a scissor up from bottom to top and cut out about 1/2 of the backing. You now have the backing in sections with 1/2" of sticky exposed in the middle of the decal. Place the sticky portion exactly where you want it and slowly pull back the backing on one side of the secured decal, running a tissue over the face of the decal, pushing the air out to the side in front of you as you progress towards one side. When finished do the same working the face of the decal while pulling the backing off to the side.

  7. #7
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    RE: Decal Application Technique

    I do like Ken, but I also windex the back of the decal. If the dry decal ever touches back to back it can be ruined trying to get it apart.

    David
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  8. #8

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    RE: Decal Application Technique


    ORIGINAL: daveopam

    I do like Ken, but I also windex the back of the decal. If the dry decal ever touches back to back it can be ruined trying to get it apart.

    David
    There is little chance of sticking. If the decal is 6 1/2" long, there is 1/2" of uncovered decal in the middlel with 3" on either side with the backing still on. After the 1/2" is secured, one end is lifted up and the 3" of backing is peeled off as you move the air out. No air is trapped, and you can get the decal secured precisely where you want it with the 1/2". Do all my 42% graphics that way, and they are significantly bigger than 6 1/2"

  9. #9
    Moderator daveopam's Avatar
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    RE: Decal Application Technique

    Much of it depends on the decal. A vinal decal is much easier to work with than a kit supplied mylar decal. At least IMHO.



    david
    I never want to see a crash. But I don't want to miss one either.

  10. #10
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    RE: Decal Application Technique

    I take a clean pan.. usually a baking pan.. large enough for decal to slide through and get saturated. Put about 3 drops of dish-washing liquid in it, with luke-warm water(or cold, doesn't matter)..about 2" of water or so.. give or take.. not rocket science really.

    Make sure the area you want your decal is clean and ready.. Have your decal trimmed and ready.. Run the decal through the pan of water/soap.. making sure to saturate it, and that it gets totally soaked... don't worry about the adhesive. Place your decal where you want it, it will slide for adjustment easily. Take a paper towel and working from the middle of the decal out.. start lightly blotting and working it, laying it down, working the moisture out.. etc.. and getting all you can get out without damaging or pressing hard on your surface. You don't have to worry about getting it absolutely dry,. you won't be able to.. as long as its place correctly.

    Then leave it alone... sometimes for a few days with larger applications. The moisture will simply disappear, if you have any clear backing it will also turn clear again.. its pretty amazing. This has worked for me with vinyl and mylar.. works particularly well with Trimkote.

    The water/soap will not affect the adhesive in the slightest other then when wet. Matter of fact, I'm a believer it actually creates a very nice seal for the adhesive. I've got a few plane over 10yrs old that I used this technique on.. and the last thing on them will probably be the decals and graphics.. seriously works well. Just a few drops of soap is all though. I hope you give it a shot.. good luck.

  11. #11
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    RE: Decal Application Technique

    What DGrant said, and if you use a credit card CAREFULLY, you can squeegee the excess liquid out from under the sticker.

    Les


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