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Old 08-18-2011, 08:29 AM   #1
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Applying large dcals - Windex?

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Hi Guys

I just got a nice set of large decals for my 80" Gas Contender - I just want to ask about spraying Windex on good/wet before laying the decal into place - I heard the windex lets you slide it around abit so you get exactly where you want then you squish the bubbles out and let dry the alch evaps etc. Did I hear about this method correctly?

I plan on applying tonight after work.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:48 AM   #2
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Re: Applying large dcals - Windex?

I never used windex ... I just applied 9 large decals on a 30% plane using soap and water and they all turned out very well

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Old 08-18-2011, 09:12 AM   #3
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Re: Applying large dcals - Windex?

Same here. I used a lasagna dish with some warm water and a bit of dish detergent. After soaking they came off the paper nicely. I gave the decal a last dip in the water and applied with no issues. A credit card was used to gently squeegee out the )minimal amount of) water and a towel to soak up the edges and give it all a final press to set.

The wing decal is all one piece.

There was a bit of an issue with getting it to stick around gentle curves. I read elsewhere that a covering iron on low heat will get it to stick.

I haven't tried that yet.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:12 AM   #4
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Re: Applying large dcals - Windex?

Hello There:

Windex works for me ,use fine spray. Use a soft paper towel to remove the excess and
old credit-card to remove possible air bubbles.
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:08 AM   #5
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Re: Applying large dcals - Windex?

I've been using the Windex method for more than thirty years; I'm sure that there are many other application mediums that work, like soap and water, but with a 100% success rate using Windex, I've never felt the need to change. Make sure you soak the subject (airplane), and then apply the adhesive decal. Once the design is in perfect position gently squeegee out the excess Windex. Drying time can be lengthy, up to two days, but the results are a permanent application. For a squeegee use a small soft rubber applicator, approx 3x4" by 1/4" thick. The rubber is gentle, unlike using an old credit card, and won't scratch the decal. My applicator came from an old car window tinting kit.

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Old 08-18-2011, 12:27 PM   #6
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Re: Applying large dcals - Windex?

I also like the Windex method, works every time.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Re: Applying large dcals - Windex?

windex and a small piece of balsa rounded off to squeeze out air bubbles..... john
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:43 PM   #8
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Re: Applying large dcals - Windex?


1 ) all of the above
2 ) lots of windex
3 ) sques and work from the center of decal
3 ) credit card with papertowel wrapped around it
4 ) make absolutly sure you area is grease free
5 ) have fun , and don,t count youre time

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Old 08-18-2011, 04:59 PM   #9
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Re: Applying large dcals - Windex?

I was shown the windex technique years ago by a professional sign maker when he applied the stickers on one of our aircraft. I followed his method and have never had a failure yet.

As mentioned the key is a clean, oil free surface and lots of windex. Spray both the surface and the back of the decal to ensure no adhesive sets until you align it and then start to squeegee out the excess. I too use a soft body filler applicator and have good paper towels handy, (relatively lint free) to soak up the windex that is forced out from between the decal and skin.

This method works well to ensure there are minimal or no bubbles present, but proper squeegee technique is a must if you want a good job. Working from the center make alternate passes to each side of the decal on an angle towards the edge. This keeps the decal tight and equal. Once done repeat the process for the other end, ensuring you start within the area already bonded down to force all the windex out.

If you find once the decal is set there are bubbles the only process is to carefully poke a hole in the center with a small pin and work the decal down towards the hole.

One thing not mentioned is that many of the adhesives used for these decals will not tolerate fuel, oil, especially if within the prop blast. You may need to seal the edges with something. I have used clear nail polish in the past, but find sunlight eventually alters it to make it visible.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:06 PM   #10
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Re: Applying large dcals - Windex?

don't mean to hi-jack the thread - which is excellent for an old newbe like me - but I thought that all the newer decals were a form of peel and stick and not like the old decals we used years ago. Back then you had to soak them in soapy water and gently slide onto the plane surface. Are you talking about the old fashioned kind and using windex with them? Or the newer peel and stick type and using windex with them? (offhand I don't see how that would work).

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