How to Make Stick-On Stripes Stay on Your Car

Written by si kingston
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How to Make Stick-On Stripes Stay on Your Car
Save money by installing stick-on racing stripes on your car. (taking it in image by John Sfondilias from

Racing stripes often are applied to sports vehicles. Racing stripes can be painted on or, to save money, you can install stick-on stripes. Before applying the stick-on stripes, place the stripes on the vehicle and preview how you want them situated. Proper installation and maintenance of the racing stripes will help prevent them from peeling off and unseating from the body of the car. Replace the stripes once peeling begins.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Spray bottle
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • X-Acto knife or razor blade
  • Squeegee
  • Towel or rag
  • Painter's tape
  • Measuring tape

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  1. 1

    Arrange the racing stripes and mark off where you want to place them with a piece of painter's tape. You also may need to use a measuring tape to help measure the distance between two or more stripes.

  2. 2

    Wash and dry the entire car thoroughly. This is purely to clean the body so no debris will be stuck between the racing stripe and the car body. Debris stuck in between will prevent the stripe from adhering properly.

  3. 3

    Mix a solution of water and a few drops of dishwashing soap in a spray bottle. Make sure to shake up the mixture in the bottle.

  4. 4

    Spray the area of the car where the stripe will be placed with the solution. Spray some solution on the adhesive side of the stripe as well. Keeping both the stripe and vehicle wet will allow you to position the stripe easier.

  5. 5

    Peel away the vinyl backing from the adhesive side of the racing stripe. Leave the transfer tape on the face of the stripe in place. Turn the stripe over so the face of the stripe, or the design side, and transfer tape faces down and the adhesive side faces up to prevent it from accidentally sticking to anything.

  6. 6

    Carefully turn the stripe over and place the adhesive side face down on the car in the exact position you want it. Remember, since the adhesive and car are moist, you can peel the stripe up and begin again if needed.

  7. 7

    Spray more solution on the transfer tape covering the face of the stripe. The solution that you just sprayed on the stripe will prevent the squeegee from creating scratches in the design.

  8. 8

    Use a squeegee to remove any excess solution and air bubbles from the stripe. Start in the middle of the stripe and work your way outward to remove any excess underneath.

  9. 9

    Remove the transfer tape from the design side or face of the stripe.

  10. 10

    Cut away any excess stripe with a razor blade or X-acto knife.

  11. 11

    Repeat the process with any additional stripes.

  1. 1

    Allow the soap and water solution adhering to the racing stripe to dry completely before moving or washing the car.

  2. 2

    Seal the racing stripes to the vehicle with wax. Once the racing stripe is in place, wax over both the vehicle and racing stripes to help seal the stripe to the body.

  3. 3

    Clean the vehicle often. Keeping the vehicle clean will keep debris from inching its way underneath the stripe and unseating it.

  4. 4

    Spray power washers away from racing stripes. A power washer can unsettle the adhesive under a racing stripe. When washing the car, use a sponge or rag, soap and water to wash around and on the actual racing stripe. Use a regular garden hose with normal water pressure to rinse the soap from the vehicle. Stay out of automatic car washes. The machinery used in automatic car washes can scratch and unseat racing stripes.

Tips and warnings

  • If the racing stripe begins to peel, avoid applying additional adhesive or glue to adhere it. Additional glue can damage your vehicle's paint.

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