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Truck Decals: Tips for Application and Removal

by Leanne Arnold on November 16, 2013  in Category_Vehicle Graphics

Truck decals offer a temporary option for those who want to personalize their vehicle without committing to a custom paint job. While decals can be used as a decorative element, they also can be used to draw attention to business trucks. According to Wheels research, 91% of individuals who saw a graphic placed on a truck were able to recall the image several days later. This means, that a strategically placed decal is guaranteed to make an impression. While truck decals will make a truck stand out, it is important to make sure they are applied properly to ensure a smooth appearance. Here are the top tips for truck decal application and removal that will lead to perfect results every time.

Clean the Area Before Application

When applying a decal, it is important to make sure the area of application is smooth and free from contamination. Begin by washing the area with a soap and water solution designed for the vehicle. Then, wipe down the area with rubbing alcohol to remove any leftover detergent. As a final step, use a lint-free cloth to make sure the area is completely dry.

Check the Temperature

It is important to make sure that surface of the vehicle is within the range of 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because the adhesive will change consistency if it is too hot or cold (and most especially if temperatures are higher). By making sure that the temperature is just right, the decal will be able to adhere correctly to the surface of the vehicle.

Prepare the Wet Application Fluid

While there are many commercial decal application fluids available, a person can make their own by mixing a few drops of dishwashing liquid with a quart of water in a spray bottle. This will then be used to spray the surface before applying the decal.

Placing the Decal

For small decals or for beginners, it is helpful to hold the decal in place by using masking tape on the top edge. Those placing larger decals may need to recruit the help of a friend to hold the decal in the correct place. The waxy layer can then be peeled away from the adhesive side to begin the application process. Next, make sure to apply the application fluid to the surface of the vehicle as well as the adhesive side of the decal. With both surfaces wet, place the decal onto the area of the vehicle that has been designated for application.

Smoothing Out Air Bubbles

Once the decal has been placed on the vehicle, it is important to leave the pre-mask layer in place while using a squeegee or plastic card to smooth out any air bubbles. This should be done by starting in the middle and using an outward motion to smooth out bubbles and remove excess water. Any remaining bubbles can be pricked with a pin to remove extra air. After the decal has been smoothed, it should be allowed to sit for five minutes before the pre-mask layer is removed. An additional hour should be waited before the decal is considered to be fully applied.

Removing Decals

Decal removal is a simple process that can be accomplished using heat. Simply use a blow dryer, hot water or a heat gun to loosen the adhesive. Once the adhesive has been softened, the decal can then be slowly peeled away. Use the right solution to remove the residue. Rubbing alcohol and DIY solutions won't cut it. Use a citrus adhesive remover to get the job done right. Applying and removing truck decals is a fun and easy way to add personalized touches to any vehicle. With only a few simple steps, truck decals can be applied while making an impression that will be sure to garner attention anywhere a person travels.
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