we use soapy water and a squeegee (Gummirakel) to glue decals. spray the soapy water on the base, took the decal on it (on the soapy coat you can move the decal) and then use the squeegee to push the water away (under the decal). but it must be soapy water to work.
edit: I asked my son, which kind of soap they use at work and he said screen or dish cleaner
Just a few drops of liquid dish soap in a small spray bottles will work fine. Once you have done it would will be telling yourself how easy that was. Like stated get the soapy solution on whatever the decal will go onto and as long as it is wet you can move the decal around to your likes.
Yes, about 3 or 4 drops of dishwashing liquid, like Dawn, or similar to a cup of water. Apply the soapy water to the surface where decal will go, then apply decal with application tape. Squeegee water out, starting at center, working outward. Once you feel all the water & any air have been worked out, you can see if application tape will remove without lifting decal. If the decal tries to lift, just leave it be an hour or so, come back & squeegee down again, then likely the tape will come off without the decal lifting. Using this method enables getting any trapped air bubbles out, plus allows you to scoot the decal into exactly the right spot. Without the soapy water, if the decal makes contact....it's there for good, right place or not.
I used to put decals (emblems) numbers and stripes on Police Cars and Fire Trucks. We would make a bucket of warm water and dish soap. Immerse the decal in the soapy water and soapdown the area for the decal to be applied. It has enough water behind it to give you a little working time to get it just wjere you want it. Then use a small Bondo squeegee to get all the water and bubbles out. Works well this way. Roger.
Put large decals on Grinder Mixer Tanks for a while If needed you can put small strips of Painters tape in the corners to hold it in place while you work. You don't want a 3ft X 5 ft decal moving when your squeeging out the bubbles.
My wife works for a Specialty Advertising Company and they do a lot of Decals for Trucking Companies.
Driving down the highway she is always pointing out trucks and saying we do all their decals.
What I would really like to see is someone applying them to an 18 Wheeler, or doing a complete Wrap on a Nascar Stock Car.
Thanks a bunch guys! I still build model cars as a hobby and this sounds very similar. I'm a little freaked out by the size though and knowing when they will pull loose from the paper is always a "guess by golly" situation. From what I'm reading some of you soak the decal and the metal surface and some just the metal surface? :biting_nails:
If it's a long decal like a name I stretch out a piece of blue painters tape as a level guide. You can also put reference marks on the tape like the middle or where it should start or finish. Make sure you give us some pics!
Ok, started the process with the little grill decal. Soaked the grill and the decal (WRONG thing to do but I was fortunate). It's at this point I learned that these are NOT like out old plastic model car decals. Those, after soaking, released from the paper exposing the glue side. VERY IMPORTANT, you peel off the bottom layer to apply. I managed to rub off the layer but it was hard to tell what was glue and what was paper but I think I managed to get to the right surface. I had soaked the grill surface so I could move and got it in place and removed the air bubbles. I will wait for it to dry and seal it down with clear paint just to be safe.
NOW WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE: I called Maple Leaf Decals and talked to a very nice young girl and here's what she told me. First mist down the tractor surface with a water solution containing a few drops of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (she gave a couple of other choices but I don't remember them) then peel off the paper that is between the decal and the tractor and apply to the wet surface and position pull out the air bubbles then let dry. Then peel off the outer layer and you should be done. She mentioned that some who wet down the outer surface will have it clump and come off in small pieces making it difficult to complete. She did mention that you should also wait at least two weeks after you paint your tractor BEFORE you put your decals on as sometimes it can cause problems with them sticking if you don't. LAST piece of helpful advice she gave me was this: Go to YouTube and watch a very informative video of a guy actually applying an his set of their decals. Find YouTube then type in Case 446 Tractor Restoration Part 19. He talks about some headlight restoration first, so be patient. Hope this helps others. Now to impatiently wait a couple to weeks. :tapping_fingers:
P.S. you may think it was stupid of me not to know I needed to peel the bottom paper off but as I was growing up I was taught that decals released from the backing with water and we called those that had to be peeled off "stickers". Retired and still learning!
Ok, just finished. Additional tips (or least preferences). You've got maybe three to four shots at alignment even heavily wet down so careful and a steady hand the first time. I prefer to use a heavy plastic driver's license, credit card or such for getting air bubbles out. No matter how well you think you got the air bubbles out do it some more. I thought I was real thorough but still had some. If you've putting it on something that isn't perfectly flat you will have air bubbles. Don't fret though, just prick with a very small needle a squeeze your thumb over it (water may come out but that's ok. It may not be perfect but I'll take it.