Are you looking to increase the face value of your storefront or office space? Whether you want to update your business hours or show off your new logo, applying vinyl decals on your windows and doors is a great way to visually enhance the entire façade of your building.
But if you’ve never done it before, you might be asking yourself, “How do I install large window decals by myself?”
The good news is—with the right tools, materials, and guidance—you too can apply a large vinyl decal on your glass surface with ease. Before you get started, though, it’s important you have everything you’ll need at the ready.
WHAT YOU NEED TO INSTALL A DECAL ON A WINDOW
Fortunately, there isn’t much you need to install a window decal. Just be sure to equip yourself with the following items before you begin:
- Window cleaning spray
- If you’re looking to save a few bucks, you can make your own solution in an empty spray bottle using a mixture of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water.
- A clean microfiber cloth
- Do NOT use a standard towel as this can leave behind fibers.
- Your window graphic
- For the best quality, be sure to get them printed by a reputable brand signage expert in your area!
- Masking tape
- If you don’t have masking tape, blue painter’s tape or any other tape that won’t leave behind a sticky residue will work.
- A vinyl wrap film cutter
- You can also use a standard utility knife or razor blade, but if you do, be extra careful not to cut too deep and scratch the glass.
- A plastic squeegee tool
- A credit card (or another hard, flat object) can also be used.
HOW TO INSTALL WINDOW DECALS
Thanks to today’s high-quality film, even a complete beginner can transform their storefront in no time. Check out the video below or keep reading for our simple 5-step guide on how to install vinyl decals on windows like a pro.
STEP 1: CLEAN THE WINDOW
Before you begin your window decal installation, the first thing you need to do is thoroughly clean the glass surface. You don’t necessarily need to clean the entire door or window—just the area you intend to affix the decal.
NOTE: Even if the glass appears clean to the naked eye, we recommend you clean it anyway because even a small amount of dust or sediment can affect the hold of the adhesive and lead to premature peeling.
Spray the glass with your cleaning solution until the entire area has been covered. Then wipe down the area with your microfiber cloth. Once the surface is visibly clean and dry, you can move on to the next step.
STEP 2: DRY MOCK YOUR DECAL
Now that the glass is clean, take your window graphic and attach a piece of masking tape on both sides of the center of the backing paper. If you’re installing a large window decal, you may want to use additional pieces of tape to ensure it will stay on the surface without falling off.
Place your decal where you would like it on the glass and press on the tape. Then take a step back and check to see if that’s exactly where you want it. If your placement is off or it looks a bit crooked, go back and adjust the tape until it looks right.
NOTE: If you don’t feel comfortable eyeballing it, you can use a tape measure and level to ensure it’s precisely positioned.
STEP 3: BEGIN REMOVING THE LINER PAPER
Once you have your window decal positioned exactly where you want it, you can begin peeling off the top of the paper liner. You’ll want to remove about one squeegee length (3–5 inches or so) of the backing at a time.
Now grab your vinyl wrap film cutter and carefully cut off the top section of the liner. After the top of the paper is removed, tack the top two corners onto the glass.
STEP 4: PRESS ON THE DECAL
Now grab your squeegee and press the decal firmly onto the glass. Use smooth, side-to-side motions, making sure you’re pushing your ear outwards as you do. Keep repeating this motion until all visible bubbles have been removed.
Now that the top section of the decal is securely affixed, you can remove the pieces of tape. Grab the bottom of the decal and hold it away from the glass. Reach under and slowly peel off another few inches of liner paper. If it’s a smaller decal and you’re comfortable enough, you can remove the entire liner. Just be careful not to let go of the bottom of the decal!
Now use your squeegee to press down on this section of the decal as you did before. Then repeat these steps until all of the liner paper has been removed and the entire decal is applied to the glass. Give it a full top-to-bottom swipe with your squeegee to ensure no spots have been missed.
STEP 5: SLOWLY PEEL OFF THE PRE-MASK
Choose one of the top corners and carefully peel back a small section of the “pre-mask” backing. Once you have a good hold, use both hands to keep slowly peeling it off against the window and at an angle.
NOTE: Do NOT pull the pre-mask backing straight away from the window at any point. Instead, pull it in parallel with the glass surface.
As you peel, look up and down the line to make sure nothing is coming off. If you see any lifting of the graphics, immediately stop and reapply it with the squeegee.
Once the pre-mask is completely off, give the entire decal one final swipe with the squeegee and remove any excess residue that may be left behind on the glass.
Congratulations—your window decal has been successfully applied! If you have any additional decals to install, go ahead and repeat the steps above until the entire job is complete.
LET BRAND INK BE YOUR WINDOW DECAL INSTALLATION EXPERTS
Too busy running your business to deal with signage installation? Let our national network of installers do the work for you so you can focus on what you do best.
At Brand Ink, we offer custom decal design, printing, and installation services. Whether it’s a small door decal or a full window graphic, our team is ready to apply your brand signage quickly, professionally, and outstandingly. Contact us today for a FREE quote.