Fitting Large Stickers
1) I always find a ‘Pink Gin’ steadies the nerves before I start work, (a Pimm’s may be substituted in warm weather or the colonies), although stickers should not be fitted in bright sunlight or to hot coachwork.
2) After your driver has brought the vehicle around from the motor house carefully decide where the sticker is to be located – mark a suitable datum point, say the baseline, with a piece of masking tape.
3) Clean the area scrupulously. I find that seldom can your chauffeur be trusted to do a really thorough job. ‘Panel-Wipe’ or similar is very good but stickers will stick well to very clean polished automobile bodywork.
4) A proprietary application fluid whilst unnecessary for small items may help fit larger stickers, or you may mist spray a weak detergent solution onto the paintwork and after applying the sticker carefully squeegee the fluid outwards from the centre (I get cook to mix some up at about 1/5th the strength she uses to wash up). This method is useful if final positioning is not known.
5) Flick the edge of the sticker clear of the backing paper but do not touch the sticky side with your fingers. Peel the backing paper partly back and line up the bottom edge of the sticker using the markers you have previously applied to the car. You may apply and remove the sticker several times if you don’t get it right first time – just be careful not to stretch the vinyl or touch the sticky back.
6) When the first edge is satisfactorily in place use a soft cloth (an old cravat is perfect) to smooth the vinyl onto the paintwork removing the backing paper as you go – don’t rush and don’t be afraid to peel gently back off if an air bubble is trapped underneath. Really good sorts can apply quite large stickers to double curvature panels by carefully stretching and bending the vinyl as they go. The golden rule is not to rush and smooth with a cloth as you go.
7) If you are really rubbish and the whole thing ends up looking like Binky Carringtons face after a wet week in Brighton you can often rescue the situation by pricking the bubbles with a pin and squeezing the air gently out of the hole. Good luck old chap!