How to Apply Car Window Decals

Written by gryphon adams
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Get the best results when applying car window decals by following expert tips. Whether you are applying a small decal such as a college sticker or parking permit or adhering a large rear window graphic, choosing the right tools, in the best weather conditions, and taking plenty of time will assure effective decal application.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Decal
  • Soap and water
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Masking tape
  • Squeegee or credit card
  • Knife

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  1. 1

    Pick the right conditions. Apply the decal on a warm, dry day or in the garage.

  2. 2

    Clean the glass with mild soap and water. Use a lint-free cloth (such as microfiber or a lens cleaner for cameras or eyeglasses) to dry window to assure no lint or dust specks get on the decal.

  3. 3

    Assemble the right tools for the job: masking tape, squeegee (or credit card) and a knife.

  4. 4

    Put the decal where you want it. Put masking tape across the top of the decal to hold it to the window.

  5. 5

    T&L Ink Custom Window Decals advises: "Use overlapping strokes to apply, starting at the top centre and working down and toward each edge" Use a smooth, slow stroke. Go over the entire backing.

  6. 6

    Watch as you peel off the backing. If any of the decal lifts off the glass, press it back down with the knife. Press all of the backing again with the squeegee or credit card. Go slower and use more pressure. Remove the backing and the decal is set.

Tips and warnings

  • Go slowly and apply a bit of the decal at a time to reduce the risk of air bubbles.
  • Don't use any chemical product (such as glass cleaner) on the window; it could damage the decal.
  • Check laws for your area before applying large window decals. These are prohibited in some places.
  • Don't attempt exterior window decal application (such as rear window graphics) in windy conditions.

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