Adhesive Sign and Decal Installation Guide

adhesive vinyl

Adhesive signage has become quite popular in the past few years. From custom shaped floor decals, large adhesive wall displays for the home or office, to permanently adhered window displays or temporary static clinging window signage, using custom contoured decals is a perfect sign medium for both the home or business.

Applying decals and adhesive sign displays to your intended surface can feel like a daunting task, but if the proper steps are followed, and a little patience is applied, a successful installation can be achieved every time.

The Preferred Installation Method

There are two general methods for installing signs with an adhesive backing. One is the dry installation procedure, and the other is the wet installation procedure. We recommend using the dry method, because the wet method can reduce the adhesive properties used to make your signs stick and be much more difficult to handle during installation.

Making Sure Your Decals Fit and Stick

Initially, you will want to inspect the area where you plan to install your decal(s) to be certain there is enough space available, and the surface area's material is suited to allow for a good adhesion.

First time installers might not think to investigate whether your surface provides effective stickiness and is large enough to display your adhesive sign effectively, but this is the foundation to any good installation.

Surface Preparation

Once you have confirmed your surface is suitable for adhesion and size, it is time to thoroughly clean the location in order to remove all grime, dirt, oil, grease, and even car wax if you are installing decals on a vehicle. Your decals will not stick properly to un-clean surfaces.

Only use gentle soap and water to clean your surface as chemicals and ammonia products will leave residue that can cause decals to discolor and excessively leave bubble pockets after installation.

Measuring and Marking

After cleaning the surface, we recommend pre-planning the installation of your sign by measuring and marking the area where you intend to attach your decal.

For wall or window installations, we recommend measuring your decal's overall height and width and then measure and make marks to ensure the top, bottom and center of your sign resides in the area where your display will have optimal visual impact.

For floor graphics, measure from floor boundary points and use degrees for positioning your decal to make sure it is properly centered and perpendicular within a floor aisle way or hallway for the reader.

This pre-planning step will help you symmetrically and visually optimize your decal's presentation value, and help alleviate any re-positioning once you begin the actual install.

Installation Steps

1.) Now that your surface area is marked and ready, use your tape measure and a pencil to find and mark the center top of your decal.

2.) Align your center top mark of your decal to the surface area center top mark you made during your pre-planning step.

3.) Using a large enough piece of masking tape to temporarily hold up your sign, apply the tape so that the center top of your decal is aligned and attached to the center top of your surface area.

4.) Use additional masking tape to temporarily attach each top side of your decal to your surface area to ensure the decal is leveled and positioned as intended. If the decal is not level, make adjustments by unmasking the part of the tape attached to the surface on the sides of your decal, move your sign up or down accordingly, and reattach the tape to the surface. The taped center of your decal should pivot on its own as you finalize the position of your decal.

5.) Once your decal is temporarily positioned and level, peel back approximately 1" of the protected mask to expose the adhesive. Starting from the top center, run your finger across the top edge until the 1" exposed adhesive is attached to the surface.

6.) Starting in the center, place one hand behind the decal, grab the mask backing and slowly pull the pre-mask down on each side to expose more of the adhesive side of the decal. While carefully pulling down the protected mask, use the provided dry squeegee to apply gentle pressure on the print side of your decal to remove air adhering your decal to the surface.

7.) Once you are finished sticking the entire decal to your surface, inspect your installation for any potential air pockets where you can feel a bubble of air between your decal and the surface. Remove air pockets by using a sharp needle to poke a tiny hole in the middle of the bubble and squeeze the air out by applying pressure using your squeegee. Also be sure to re-squeegee any loose edges.


It is important to not attempt to install decals and adhesive signs in excessive hot or cold conditions as this could impede the installation and visual presentation value of your graphic. A safe temperature range for installing adhesive signage should be between 47° to 73° Fahrenheit. That is approximately 8.3° to 22.7° Celsius for our metric system visitors.

Always avoid installing or storing adhesive signage in direct sunlight as they will last longer and better preserve the adhesion qualities printed decals possess.

If you're seaming two or more decals together, be sure to butt your decals against each other, and do not overlap.