What surfaces are recommended for installing decals or vinyl?

When installing vinyl, it is important that you apply the product to an adequate surface, one to which it will readily adhere. The good news is vinyl will stick to many surfaces. In determining whether your intended surface is adequate, keep in mind that, as a general rule of thumb, vinyl will stick to almost any surface that is clean and either smooth or nonporous. To demonstrate the necessary surface qualities, we use glass versus brick as a quick example. Vinyl will stick very well to glass because of its smooth surface. On the other hand, due to its rough exterior, vinyl will not stick well to brick. The following lists contain a brief summary of acceptable surfaces along with some surfaces that are not.

Acceptable surfaces

Glass; metals; vinyl; plastic; fiberglass; wood painted with a smooth, glossy enamel; other painted surfaces

Cement; raw timber; oxidized or faded paint; peeling paint; rubber; raw metals; oily surfaces

These lists are not comprehensive and there are other acceptable and unacceptable substrates than those listed above. Again, when in doubt, apply the rule that states vinyl will generally adhere well to smooth, glossy and clean surfaces. Rough, dull, peeling, porous or dirty surfaces, on the other hand, will likely not produce an acceptable vinyl application.


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