How to Use Vinyl
Vinyl is like the thickness and consistency of several layers of paint. It comes in a variety of colors and can be cut into just about any design or wording. The vinyl is similar to the shelf paper that you would put in a cupboard in that it has a sticky back and comes with a backing paper that protects the sticky surface.
It can be used for crafts on wood, tile, glass, plastic, etc. (For helps with vinyl problems click HERE)
It can also be used for decorating rooms by putting the vinyl directly on the surface of the wall. Popular wall decorations are words and pictures.
1. Clean Surface - First you want to make sure that the surface to which you will be applying the vinyl is clean. The smoother the surface the easier to transfer the vinyl but semi rough still works...like wood, walls, or tile (wash tiles and walls and remove dust from wood - make sure the surface is dry before applying vinyl).
2. Transfer to clear tape - After we cut the design, we put a transfer tape on the surface of the vinyl. You would take something hard and rub the clear top to transfer the vinyl to that clear tape (you can use a credit card, popsicle stick, formica sample from a hardware store, or even your thumbnail). You will then carefully pull off the white backing paper being careful to make sure that the vinyl has transfered to the clear tape.
3. Adhear to new surface - After you have prepared the final surface of where you are putting your vinyl (wall, tile, board, etc - paint, wash or whatever to make sure the surface is clean and very dry), you line up the vinyl image (being careful as the vinyl now has the sticky back exposed) and lay it into position onto your project. You may want to draw a straight line on top of the transfer tape so that you will have a guide. The line will be removed when you remove the transfer tape so don't worry.
NOTE: try not to lay the whole vinyl down at once as it may stick to the new surface incorrectly and be very difficult to remove. I usually begin at the bottom and line up that area then slowly adhear the vinyl to the new surface trying to make sure it is even and not bubbling. (It is really not that hard and if you go slow enough and only put small portions down at a time, you can usually pick up and move the image if necessary.)
Note: Vinyl may stretch out of shape if you try to move it around very much. Carefully work with delicate patterns. You can use a flat razor knife to help realign small sections.
4. Remove Clear Tape - Once you have the vinyl on the new surface, rub the clear tape carefully from the center out to remove all bubbles and to adhere the vinyl securly to the new surface. You may have to keep rubbing as you remove the clear tape - start at a corner and go slowly.
When you have the clear tape removed, you may lightly rub with your finger (or back of your nail) to adhear the vinyl smoothly to the new surface. If you feel that it needs a good rubbing, turn the white vinyl paper backing over using the grid side down, place it over the vinyl and use your rubbing stick carefully over the surface.
Bubbles - If you find bubbles in the vinyl, take a pin and prick the bubble then use your thumbnail and press the bubble down until it no longer shows.
Protective Finish - If you have put your vinyl on wood, you may want to spray a sealing spray over the surface of the board and vinyl...that is okay. It is not necessary to put anything on the vinyl unless desired.
You can also overlay the vinyl for some special looks.
If you are making magnets, you may even want to modpodge over the entire vinyl surface. We have done that and it looks nice and makes it so the surface can be washed.
If you are putting the vinyl on a dish, you may want to put it on the under side or get a sealing substance to cover it so the dish can be cleaned. Vinyl should not be put into anything that is damp or causes heat (like steam filled area or a dishwasher) as it will soften and distort (but it can be used in a well ventalated bathroom or kitchen).
Cleaning - Do not wash the vinyl. Take a light cloth and dust carefully.
Stencil - If you are using the vinyl as a stencil, make sure that you have a clean surface. Be sure to securly adhere the vinyl around the image that you will be using as the stencil so the stenciling material such as paint or etching paste will not seep under the vinyl. You will only be able to use the stencil one time as it will distort and rip when removing it from the surface. Be sure to order a reverse image if you are putting it on a surface such as the under side of a dish.
Car Vinyl - This vinyl may be used on cars and has a normal exposure life expentancy of 2-3 years. Actual car vinyl is a little thicker and the expentancy is 2-5 years (under normal exposure)
Removing Vinyl - Vinyl can be easily removed off of glass or wood if heated slightly. Use a hair dryer to soften the seal and lightly scrape. For removing from walls, be careful to not scrape too hard so as not to ruin the finish. If vinyl has been left on a wall for a time, you may need to repaint as paint colors do change over time and the paint that is covered with vinyl will remain the same. This will cause shadowing on your wall when the vinyl is removed. (This is the same effect that hanging a picture on your wall may present.)
Note: Very seldom can vinyl be removed in one piece to be used again.
Problems with vinyl - If you are experiencing difficulties when using the vinyl, please check our information page that may help - click HERE.
DISCLAIMER - We are not responsible with application of vinyl should it get ruined in the transfer from tape to project. We will correct any problems we may have made in the cutting of the item but can not be held responsible for damage made by a client.
We will also take great care in shipping. Unfortunately, if items become damaged from sitting too long in an unnatural situation or under stress of heat or cold, they may become distorted. Please contact us if there has been a problem on our side (anything happening prior to leaving our shop).
Vinyl is so much fun and can make some beautiful gifts. Use your imagination. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you for stopping by our website.