I have acquired club logos from MTFCA and others. 12" to 24". I have never applied a logo. Any hints out there? None came with instructions.
Hi Harry, I am not sure what you are asking.
I stuck the 24" logo to a piece of acrylic and hung it on my garage wall.
duh, I read it so fast I missed the 'trailer' part. Sorry Harry.
Just make sure the surface is clean
Apply from one side & work across making sure you work out the air bubbles
I use real soapy water. Wash the area and leave a lot of soapy water and place the vinyl decal on the wet soapy surface. Smooth out the air bubbles and move it around until you like the orientation, then let it dry. Did I tell you to use a lot of soap in the water?
Water with a drop or two of dish soap sprayed to the surface and back of decal will allow you to position it a little better if needed. Use a squeegee to remove the water and smooth out air bubbles. Easiest way in my opinion to apply large decals.
You should be able to google "apply decal" but its easy to do.
Good idea to mark on the decal and the panel with a pencil or masking tape so it goes exactly where you want it.
All you need to do is get a bowl of water add a small amount of detergent wet the surface to be applied and to the rear of the decal when you remove the backing paper.
Place the decal on the surface, the detergent water will allow you to slide and move it around if you need to.
Flatten out he decal with a squeegee to remove any water and air bubbles.
I rub the area with alcohol anytime I need to apply a decal or sticker. It cleans the area well and doesn't leave behind any residue.
As far as lining it up so that it's even and straight, I suggest a chalk line.
Thanks. I Googled it but found nothing about soapy water. Sounds like a good idea. I had planned on using rubbing or denatured alcohol for cleaning but like the idea of the soapy water so I can move it around if needed. Thanks again.
Having applied large decals to painted metal (is4' x 4' large enough?) I can testify that the soap and water trick works great. It gives you a real good chance to apply without air pockets too.
Put a level across the running board of decal ,mark outside of logo with a #2 pencil Then it is at least level. The soap trick is good and an old credit card makes a good squeegee.
Just a bit of trivia for anyone interested.
As an apprentice Auto painter I was at college in the period when Ford released their Squire wagon.
The wood grain panels on the sides were a set of decals. The panels were not flat but had a wave type shape through them. The glue is so good if you touch them to the paint they instantly stick and boy do you end up in a mess.
No one knew how to put them on properly. My tech teacher made arrangements for an "expert" to come from the local Ford dealer to show us how to do it. He tried freighter Jims method.
After 3 goes we had three panels with wrinkles/bubble and bridged over hollows in the doors and guards. Boy what a mess and the decal sets were over $100 then.
The teacher then contacted a decal maker and he came out with a great big decal which he put on a hood of a sedan. used the detergent and water and when he finished it was perfect.
All the class went back to work we had the idea up our sleeve for when we needed it. One guy even bet the work foreman he could do it with out any faults and won. One of those things easy if you know how, disaster if you don't.
As you can see its a well know process, can't believe its not on the net somewhere.
It seems that most decals are large enough that when applied to the sides of trailers, it will cover at least one screw or rivet. Smoothing the decal over the protrusion was a problem for me. It left an air pocket and the only way I could see to eliminate it was to slit the decal around it. Anyone have a better idea??
I forgot to mention, and doesn't look like anyone else did either, squeegee from the center towards outward. Also, if you have an air bubble you just can't get out, you can "pop" it with a sharp pin and then work the water and air out of it. Most times though you can push the air bubble out to the edge of the decal.
The plastic applicator for body filler works great as a squeegee when applying decals or a window squeegee. If you use the body filler applicator as a squeegee don't hold it at 90* to the surface as you may tear the decal. The soapy water works good but leave enough drying time before moving the trailer or it may move. As for rivets I poke it with a pin and work the air out from under and seams I slice with a very sharp knife and tuck the decal in the crack. Sometimes if you have a large seam to go over it's best to cut the decal while it is dry with the backing paper still on it and apply it in two separate pieces.
Great info on putting on a decal. Does anyone have an idea how to remove an unwanted decal. I have been told to use vinegar--but will it hurt the paint?
Heat gun makes it easy Dave in Bellingham, WA
Heat gun will get it off easily, but then you need a solvent to remove the adheseive. Lacquer thinners works well but not on paintwork. Believe it or not, eucalyptus oil works well too, without damaging paintwork. My wife can even tolerate its smell!
Allan from down under.
When I worked for Mulberry Railcar Repair, we used to apply massive logos, made by 3M, to the sides of railroad boxcars. The 10' x 20' Tropicana decal shown below were made of plastic, with a super adhesive on the back and once it touches any surface, it is there to stay. Some decals we applied were much larger. They came in several sections that had to be perfectly matched up with the other sections, so we had to come up with a way to be able to adjust each section as we applied them. First of all, do not use a level to make your straight line, as the ground you are sitting on might be unlevel and the logo will appear at an angle when the car is on level ground. Measure at 2 points from a straight edge on the vehicle, such as the bottom of the door or the bottom of the car, that you know should be straight across and make a straight line with masking tape between the two points. Be sure to clean the area of all dirt and road film with Windex. Make up a large quantity of soapy water and keep it on the surface (we put the soapy water in a Windex spray pump bottle) so that the decal sits on top of the soapy water and can be moved around until you are satisfied where you want it. Be very careful when you are removing the back. This is the time when most mistakes are made such as when a portion of the adhesive back touches another area of adhesive or if it touches a portion of the dry surface prior to spraying on the soapy water. If this happens, kiss your decal goodbye. It is best to have an assistant hold the decal from the two upper corners as you remove the backing, then as you take it from her, have her liberally spray the soapy water on the area on which the decal is to go, as you gently place the decal on top of the film of soapy water, then slide it back and forth and up and down until it is exactly where you want it. As soon as you are satisfied that it is exactly where you want it, take a 3" long new squeegee (like the ones used to apply Bondo). I say use a new, (not used) squeegee, because a used squeegee might have a rough edge that could fail to remove all the water or worse, tear your decal. Starting in the middle of the decal, gently work towards the outside, working the soapy water out toward the edges. Do not be in a hurry and do not skip over areas, leaving water trapped under the decal. Work in a circle radiating outward like a spiral until you get to the edge, making sure the decal does not slide, wrinkle, bunch up, or tear. Position a light source so that it shines on the decal at an angle so you can immediately see if any bubbles of water have been left. If there are, go back and work that bubble out to the edge before it is too late. Gently dab it dry with a soft cotton T shirt, then let it dry and cure out. If done correctly, you will have a perfectly smooth surface as if it was painted on. Jim Patrick
Yep, that's the way to do it! Jim, the large decal I was applying was on an historic WP RR diesel Locomotive cab!
BTW, my first job here in Oroville was with Solano Rail Car, but I did special projects for the owner, usually restoring his antique automobiles, but I did do some RR projects, like the open platforms for the Napa Wine Train.
Sounds like you are a very talented individual, David. I could have used you at Mulberry Railcar. Jim Patrick
Like I said SOAPY WATER...lots of SOAPY WATER