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Vinyl Decal Application Instructions


All surfaces must be cleaned. For boat or vehicle applications, ALL WAX MUST BE REMOVED, even if the boat or vehicle is new.  Consult your owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer of the boat or vehicle for guidelines for wax removal from the body surface. For window applications, the glass should not be cleaned with ammonia, or Windex, as this may leave a chemical that may cause the vinyl to not adhere well.


1.      You will need masking tape, a spray bottle, Joy or another dishwashing liquid, and a tape measurer.

2.      Use the masking tape to underline where you want to place the vinyl lettering.

3.      Mix a solution of 20 drops of dishwashing liquid (Joy, Ivory, etc.) in one pint of water. Carefully spray water on the area you want to place the vinyl lettering.

4.      Place the vinyl lettering face down and peel away the waxed paper. Spray the solution on the back of the vinyl lettering. Be sure the vinyl lettering is adhering to the application tape, which is the clear translucent tape.

5.      While the area is still very wet, place the vinyl lettering in the desired position. The soapy water allows you to slide the vinyl lettering into place. Gently rub your palm over the vinyl lettering. (The water has no bearing on the adhesion. It is only for positioning the vinyl lettering and removing the air bubbles.)

6.      Use a credit card or squeegee to squeeze the water out from under the vinyl lettering. Squeegee in all directions, and repeat several times. This process removes air and water from underneath the vinyl lettering.

7.      Let the vinyl lettering application dry completely. The amount of time needed to dry depends on the temperature and the humidity. Estimated time: 80 degrees – allow 30 minutes drying time, 70 degrees – allow 3 hours drying time, 50 degrees – allow 4 to 6 hours drying time.

8.      After the vinyl lettering application is dry, slowly peel back the translucent application tape. The vinyl application should adhere to the surface. If it does not, enough time was not allowed for the vinyl application to dry. Repeat the squeegee process and LET DRY!

9.      Finally, check for any bubbles. If you find bubbles, place a small piece of application tape over the bubbled area and squeegee to the closest edge. If you still have a small bubble you can pop it with a straight pin. Small bubbles will eventually disappear from sun exposure.


  • On a windy day be careful when you peel the vinyl lettering off the paper. The vinyl lettering is very sticky, don’t let it crease. Spray the soapy solution on the vinyl lettering as you peel off the wax paper.
  • Do not attempt installation in direct sunlight, on a hot boat hull or hot auto body.
  • If you need to remove old painted on letters from a boat hull, use Easy-Off oven cleaner. Please test in an inconspicuous area before using. Wear gloves and eye protection while cleaning.
  • If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us.

Thriftysigns will not be responsible or liable for labor, installation damage, incidental or consequential damages of any kind. Our maximum liability will never exceed the cost of the product.

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