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How to apply vinyl graphics in colder temperatures

by Leanne Arnold on January 13, 2010  in Category_How To...

The colder the temperatures, the longer it takes for everything to occur! Good application steps should be followed to ensure secure bonding when applying vinyl graphics and vinyl pinstriping in cold, wet weather. Remember, vinyl reacts differently in temperatures below 50 degrees. Following curves becomes more difficult, and the adhesive process time may double or triple!

Tips for applying vinyl decals in cold weather:

  • Store your graphic in heat and climate controlled environments. Do not expose material to temperatures below freezing. Application becomes nearly impossible in this scenario. The higher the temperature, the greater the initial bond.
  • Garage your vehicle overnight and keep your shop area heated where vinyl will be applied.
  • Use a heat gun to warm surface of the vehicle, making sure to distribute the heat evenly. Hot spots will cause problems.
  • Always make a clean, dry surface a priority. The application surface must be clean and dry, as in any application. In damp weather, a solution of isopropyl alcohol and water or Rapid Tac application solution can help eliminate wetness and promote adhesion.
  • Use more pressure when applying vinyl. More direct pressure may be needed in applying vinyl products in cold weather. Do not expect the vinyl to react the way it would on a 70 degree day.
  • Squeegee a second or third time after removing premask, using a squeegee sleeve or small towel to protect vinyl from scratching.
  • Allow proper bonding time! It is not advisable to wash the vehicle by hand or in a car wash until the adhesive has had enough time and heat to bond. It could take three days, a week, or more.
For more "how to" information on vinyl graphics, visit!
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