The Ins and Outs of Vinyl Projects
Vinyl projects can be an effective and inexpensive way to market your business. Whether you’re applying vinyl to a vehicle or your storefront, it’s a great way to incorporate signage that’s durable and low maintenance.
Vinyl projects can be window perf (a perforated vinyl covering), solid lettering, “posters,” or decals. They also happen to be one of our favorite (and most popular!) marketing tools.
Vinyl Project Considerations
There are some considerations to take when ordering vinyl. Weather during installation, material you’re trying to mount to, and cleanliness all play a role in how well vinyl works out for you. Luckily, we’re here to help so you know everything you need to know.
The time of year (or at least the weather forecast) is important when installing vinyl. If you’re applying perf to the window or body of a car, weather is irrelevant if you have a bay or garage to install in. Car bays are climate controlled and outside of direct sunlight. So if you need your vinyl on a vehicle, this is the ideal setup no matter the time of year.
However, not everyone has a suitable garage to use. And others want perf on their storefront windows. In these cases, the installation window has preferred requirements for results you’ll be happiest with.
This is because when the vinyl gets too warm, the vinyl will stretch and become very Laffy Taffy-like in texture. This can happen both from the temperature outside, or from sitting in the sunlight for too long. Too much heat can cause your shapes and letters to distort and render the vinyl effectively useless.
If it’s too cold, the vinyl becomes brittle and will crack, snap, and tear when trying to apply.
Installation ideally happens when the outdoor temperature is between 60-70°F. If possible, the window in question should also be out of direct sunlight during the application.
For vinyl that is durable and doesn’t peel at the edges (or fall off completely), your window, vehicle, or wall needs to be squeaky clean. A rinse with soap and water and/or rubbing alcohol will make your application surface free of debris and dirt and allow the vinyl project to stick how it’s supposed to.
Maintaining your perf is easy too. To keep it clean simply rinse debris off with a spray of water, then use a sponge or microfiber cloth with warm water and a dab of dish soap (or other mild detergent). Try to avoid scrubbing or going over your vinyl with a squeegee to avoid snagging the edges of your project.
Window perf should be done with only water, if it can be helped. Even mild soap can leave a filmy residue in the holes that’s visible up close, and leaves the image looking cloudy. If it can’t be helped, be sure to rinse off with a spray of water after washing, and then wipe dry with a microfiber cloth to avoid streaks.
Vinyl can be applied to indoor walls or interior windows. However, walls need to be smooth (with no texturing), and clean before installation.
If your decal is going on sliding doors, it’s best to be able to prop the doors open 0r disable the automatic closing/opening function. It’s also helpful to schedule your installation during low-traffic times. There’s nothing worse than trying to scrape a vinyl piece flat only to have the door slide out from under you and ruin everything. We’re unfortunately speaking from experience, here.
Polarity Vinyl Projects
Polarity Design Team is a one-stop shop for all your design (and vinyl) needs. That means that in addition to designing and printing your vinyl project, we’ll also install and even de-install for you. This includes washing your windows beforehand (at an additional cost) and removing any remaining residue.
Installing vinyl projects – especially large ones – can be tricky in any environment, especially when unexpected circumstances arise. Polarity Design Team offers installation services for your convenience, and most of our clients prefer to hire this out to the professionals.
Of course you’re welcome to do any (and all) of the above on your own if you’re handy. We’re here for as much of the process as you need.