How do I apply window stickers

Dry application of stickers - 5 steps and the sticker is in place!

Whether as advertising lettering, as a display of hobbies, fresh parents' happiness or simply for decoration - stickers can be found everywhere in everyday life and road traffic. To save money, many choose to do the installation themselves. Under certain circumstances, things can go wrong and “wrong” is certainly not the word that will later be used to describe the sticker. With the following, very simple tips, everything will finally stick where it belongs.

The Dry bonding is suitable for lettering and motifs that have been cut out of a film. These stickers consist of three layers, which are described in detail under "Structure of the sticker". Examples are above all bumper stickers with baby motifs, band names, sayings or even lettering on windows or signs. Small stickers such as labels or inspection stickers do not have a transfer film, but their small size means that they can be dry-glued without any problems.

Preparation - what do you need?

Before you can start the second step, you should have the necessary accessories ready. The following things are needed to apply stickers:

  • Plastic squeegee (an ice scraper with a water side or a kitchen spatula made of plastic or similar is also possible) to apply the sticker
  • Sharp knife (e.g. craft knife) or scissors
  • Folding rule
  • Adhesive tape (must be easily removable so as not to damage the adhesive surface), e.g. masking tape
  • Pin (to pierce air bubbles)
  • Possibly a hair dryer for uneven adhesive surfaces

Structure of the sticker

For the following instructions on dry bonding, it is good to know how a sticker is structured and what components it consists of.

  1. Backing paper (thick, white film on which the motif / lettering sticks)
  2. Adhesive motif (the actual sticker that sticks to the desired surface after gluing)
  3. Transfer paper / film (thin, often transparent film), not always available

Other general sticker application tips to keep in mind before you start:

  • Apply stickers at temperatures between 15 ° C and 25 ° C
  • Avoid direct sunlight and strong winds
  • Do not stick in a dusty environment
  • Do not cut the lettering into individual letters, this makes it much more difficult to apply it straight
  • Accept assistance from a second person
  • Plan enough time for bonding
  • Carefully pierce and smooth out small air bubbles with a needle
  • Heat stickers to be stuck on uneven surfaces with a hair dryer; this makes it more flexible and adapts to the ground
  • Avoid washing equipment or hand cleaning for at least 24 hours
  1. Clean the surface

The first and most important action is to clean the adhesive surface. Any contamination such as grease, dust, wax or silicone must be removed without leaving any residue. A greasy surface, for example, can greatly reduce the adhesive strength of a sticker. Contaminants increase the chance that bubbles and bumps will form. The following steps must therefore be carried out at the beginning:

  • Thoroughly clean the adhesive substrate
  • Clean vehicles completely with a sponge at the desired adhesive point or in a car wash
  • Clean windows with alcohol-based cleaner and a cloth
  • Professional cleaners such as industrial quick cleaners can also be used to gently clean almost all materials
  • Let the cleaned surface dry
  • Check the surface again for soiling before attaching it
  1. Cut the sticker / lettering

To make things as easy as possible for you, you can cut away excess backing paper along the edge. This way you can see the actual sticker much better and it is easier to measure and apply it later. If the lettering or the motif is particularly large, it is also possible to cut the sticker into individual subsegments. If you measure carefully, it will no longer be visible afterwards.

  1. Press the transfer paper into place

Before you align the sticker and measure the distances, stroke again vigorously over its entire surface. This increases the adhesion between the actual sticker and the transfer paper, which is important for problem-free application.

  1. Measure, mark and fix the adhesive position

These steps are very important so that the sticker is not applied crookedly at the end:

  • Hold the sticker in the desired position
  • Look for a straight line that you can use for orientation (e.g. the heating wires in the case of the rear window)
  • Hold the sticker with one hand and measure the distances with the other
  • The distances to the orientation line should be the same at the left and right ends of the motif
  • Fix the sticker in the middle at the top and bottom with masking tape
  • Measure whether the distances are still correct
  1. Attach sticker

The following steps sound more complicated than they are. The bonding is explained on the basis of pictures. Make sure you use the illustrations at the end of the text.

  • Lift the right half of the sticker and carefully peel off the backing paper up to the fixed center
  • Cut off any excess backing paper
  • Squeegee sticker with transfer film facing outwards
  • Remove masking tape
  • Fold the left half over to the middle and remove the remaining backing paper
  • Apply again from the inside out
  • Carefully peel off the transfer paper at a flat angle