How to Apply Self Adhesive Vinyl

calendered vinyl rolls

Self-adhesive vinyl is used widely in the sign-making business, but has many other decorative applications.

From interior walls to exhibition stands, windows or vehicles, self-adhesive vinyl can be used to inject a bit of personality or reinforce your brand and corporate identity.

Although some types of self-adhesive vinyl can be easily removed if you make an error when applying it to your project, others are not so forgiving, so it’s important to try and get things right first time, to limit waste and spoilage.

Here’s our basic guide to applying self-adhesive vinyl and the tools you will need to make your project a success.


It’s important to take an accurate set of measurements of the surface you are applying your vinyl to, to ensure proper placement.

Take a tape measure and mark the centre of the area where the vinyl is to be placed, making sure you leave an adequate border around all of the sign edges.

Once you have those measurements, use them to mark the vinyl sheet by folding it in two and marking its centre point, so you can keep the alignment even it is transferred to the sign.



It is important to make sure the surface you are placing your vinyl on is clean from dirt and debris, before applying the vinyl.

Clean the surface with a cleaning fluid and allow it to air dry. Using an alcohol-based cleaner is best for removing contaminants without leaving a film behind.

A towel may be used for the drying process, provided the surface remains clean and lint-free after using it.



Before you apply your vinyl to the sign, lay it face down on a hard, flat surface and run the blunt side of a scraper, or other straight edge, over the back to ensure there are no air pockets between the vinyl and the backing that covers it.

Once you have removed any air pockets, separate the vinyl from the outer backing by removing the paper at one edge of the sheet, using a vinyl cutter to cut it off to the centre crease, making sure that no paper remains.

Centre the vinyl and gently allow it to make contact, before using your scraper or straight edge to apply the vinyl one side at a time, making sure that no air pockets get trapped underneath.


Rub down

Once your vinyl has been applied and you have got rid of all the air pockets, give it a rub down with a clean cloth to remove any surface dirt.



Applying vinyl is a relatively easy process. If the surface is cleaned properly and the vinyl is properly applied, it should, depending on where it’s used, last for many years.

To find the perfect vinyl for your next sign-making project, view our range today.


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