Unfinished Walls: Wall decals stick poorly to unfinished or unpainted walls (including brick walls). There is a common misconception that vinyl needs to breath and that therefore you shouldn’t apply any sealant. If you have ever tried making a DIY wood sign by applying an adhesive vinyl decal to a piece of wood, you may have experienced some frustration. Add one light coat of clear automotive urethane to the decal. Step 2: Squeegee in Place. Tape the top edge of your decal to the surface with masking tape. There are different trade names for these, but if you look for Alumacore, Alumalite, or DIBOND®, you’ll be able to find a reliable substrate for long term outdoor signage. So here are the bullet points for better adhesion of vinyl on wood. How to get vinyl to stick to wood using heat. Supplies Used when Ironing Vinyl onto Wood Peel away a corner of the backing, and see if the vinyl sticks to the wood. My best advice is to start with the smoothest piece of wood you can find. Then, carefully position your decal over your surface. With the application tape still intact, squeegee the decal to the surface by applying pressure with smooth even strokes. How To Apply Vinyl Decals Each decal will arrive as three layers of material. Paint Your Sign. Gently place one end down on the surface and smooth it out with your fingers. One thing many people struggle with is how to apply vinyl to various surfaces. How to Iron Vinyl onto a Wood Surface. Otherwise, you may not be able to apply the decal evenly. When applying any HTV to a wood surface you will use a temperature of 300°F and hold for 40 seconds. Pay careful attention to the squeegee step to promote adhesion to difficult surfaces like finished wood. When applying a vinyl decal to finished wood consider using the finger squeegee method for best adhesion especially if the vinyl decal lifts away from the wood during application (see step 4 for recovery from a minor error). I am considering putting a coat of varnish on first to seal the wood then apply 2 or 3 coats after the decal has been applied. by Jerry | Design and Layout, Vinyl Cutting, One of the most frequently asked questions we receive deals with substrates. (this step can vary with the ambient temp and it is more important when very warm to let the glue settle in place for best final adhesion.) • If none of that works, try the stencil option and just paint the wood instead. What you'll need: Step 1. To avoid this, never apply vinyl … In addition to being an unsightly nuisance, the trapped solvents can interact chemically with the vinyl’s adhesive causing it to fail. You can purchase vinyl lettering at craft stores or online, or you can cut your own at home. Simple up-cycled paper Christmas tree🌲. In this video I show you how to stain wood and apply polyurethane, finish it properly and apply vinyl. To achieve that longevity, the adhesive must have a firm bond with the substrate. This requires the use of very smooth substrates like glass, corrugated plastic, foam core, and painted aluminum. It would have to be clear since I will also be wood burning a few clipart pictures also TIA Lago. Consider leaving the decal in place without sliding anything over it for at least 5-15 minutes. Spray it on, spread it around and give it five minutes to soak into the tape. Any thoughts on how successful this would be. Vinyl lettering can add life to an old chair or wood sign. The challenging thing with paneling is the grooves; should you form the wall decal into the groove, or not? If you’re having trouble, try a different kind of vinyl, or purchase one with a solvent-based adhesive to give yourself the best chance of success. For more tips about suitable substrates, visit ORACAL.com and read the FAQ. From plain to summer ready in almost no time at all! The best paints to use are those developed for sign making, like 1 Shot brand. I used the Iron-On Protective Sheet with each additional layer after the first just to make sure that my previous vinyl didn’t melt and stick to my Easy Press. • If the vinyl letters are coming up with the transfer tape, give it some time, and/or moisten the tape. The same tips apply for sticking to a raw wood surface as the painted and stained above. You need to add some sort of coating or primer that the vinyl can grip to. There are differences in the performance of acrylic and solvent-based adhesives that can affect adhesion to non-standard substrates. Your surface must be clean and dry for the product to stick well. Be sure to sand well and you might even seal the wood for additional success. Here I made a slight error and the left leg of the letter "A" started to pull away.  When this occurs simply put the plastic sheeting and the vinyl decal back into place, apply finger squeegee technique (and/or rigid squeegee) to re-adhere decal to surface.  When an error occurs make a special effort to slow down and repair the problem rather than giving up and wasting a decal or creating an imperfect application.  In a pinch you can use a knife or a rigid squeegee to "pull" the vinyl away from the plastic sheeting and to stick it in place. For long term outdoor graphics, the smooth substrates mentioned above are the best choice. How to Clear-Coat Decals Wipe down the area where you are applying the decal with a clean, dry cloth. The top edge is the edge at the top of your decal. • If the wood is rough or porous, sand it so that the surface feels smooth to the touch. With this Revamped Wooden Planter project that we made, we will show you How To Apply Cricut Vinyl To Wood. Trapped VOCs can also cause bubbles to appear under the vinyl. Regardless of your vinyl sticker or decal, there are a couple of general rules to follow: You should always clean the application surface with a isopropanol cleaner before applying the decal—remove all dirt, dust, grease, etc. As you may know, wood is a bit of a tricky surface when it comes to putting vinyl on it anyway. Do you have a hard time getting your adhesive vinyl stencils to stick to your stained wood? This should keep the decal free of dirt and debris, making it easier to apply. Applying Vinyl to Wood. This example of the DATATIST decal was used to show that even complicated decals can be applied successfully to finished wooden surfaces. Personally, as much as I try to write neatly on every single gift tag, my hand … HERE IS THE EASY PART! Even when you have everything right, sometimes the challenges of the porous substrate make it hard for the vinyl’s adhesive to bond or ‘wet out’ quickly. Yes, our wall decals will stick to your plain wood or painted paneling. If you absolutely must use unsealed wood for your vinyl graphic, keepsake, or bit of rustic restaurant decor, sand it first to get it as smooth as possible. thank you for reading about how to put vinyl decals onto finished wood. Vinyl on rough surfaces such as wood or stainless steel; Moreover, besides making your vinyl last longer, some sealants can also give a nice finishing touch as well. Finished. So, can you use HTV on wood? Vinyl stickers, otherwise known as decals, are fun ways to decorate your window, car, laptop, and other sturdy surfaces.First, wipe down the surface of your choice to get rid of any dirt and dust. This is very simple and saved me so much wasted vinyl/product! Place the left side of the decal down on the surface, taking care to line up the lines you drew in the previous step. The surface is very important to getting vinyl to adhere well. To give it a summer twist, I added this adorable bicycle decal and some beautiful bright flowers. While this is traditionally a papercrafting tool, Glossy Accents is perfect for sealing those small vinyl (or other) designs. But can you actually stick vinyl to wood? Step 3. It might be just as pretty. • If you have a choice of paint, use 1shot or an enamel paint. After a minor error make sure that the decal will remain in place before pulling the plastic sheeting fully away from the decal. Sometimes the wood’s texture can make it really difficult to get the vinyl to actually stick to the wood. Give the vinyl a fighting chance. Step 2. These products are comprised of a sheet of aluminum laminated to a thick, flex resistant core made of a corrugated composite or plastic product. Continue holding the sticker securely as you place it on a wet or dry surface. To begin to remove the plastic sheeting start from the right side and lift at an angle to the surface.  If you maintain a constant 45 degree angle to the stencil (see image) and pull back (165 degrees plus to initial surface) instead of up and away (~90 degrees to surface) you will get better final results. We have also included some of our tips to achieving the best results when applying vinyl to wood. Do not apply to cracked, crumbling or peeling plaster or paint. I used to have the same issue until I figured out a trick that might save you time AND frustration! Once you have followed the steps and done a great job to apply your stencil you can carefully promote adhesion by further "finger squeegee" pressure slowly and carefully to one piece or one letter at  a time. Another question we hear often is about what kind of painted substrates are suitable. While this is traditionally a papercrafting tool, Glossy Accents is perfect for sealing those small vinyl (or other) designs. The vinyl may stick initially, but sooner or later (probably sooner), it’s going to come off. Part 2: Make Vinyl Stencil and Apply to Wood Sign Backing 1. • If the wood is rough or porous, sand it so that the surface feels smooth to the touch. Some adhesives take more time to bond. The most popular color? If your walls are unfinished or unpainted, take care of that before applying your decal. One thing many people struggle with is how to apply vinyl to various surfaces. As craft and hobby vinyl enthusiasts discover the appeal of rustic substrates, we receive more questions about putting vinyl on wood blanks. Step 5: Apply the Vinyl Stencil to Your Wood Sign. Actually unsealed wood, plywood and even painted plywood are not good substrates for vinyl. With this Revamped Wooden Planter project that we made, we will show you How To Apply Cricut Vinyl To Wood. When removing the transfer tape be careful not to lift any of the interior parts of the letters. The surface is very important to getting vinyl to adhere well. Can i apply any kind of transparent paint or varnish on top so i can make sure it does not peel of ?! Line up your vinyl on your wood sign and use a scraper tool to apply the vinyl to the wood. Either way, applying the lettering to wood needs to be done on a clean, even surface. The vinyl has a tendency to want to lift up if you don’t have a surface that’s perfectly smooth. Also, make sure the surface area is completely dry before applying the decal. If it has a rough surface, make sure to sand it down—the smoother the wood, the better your vinyl will stick. 1) When applying a vinyl decal to wood work slowly and methodically to get the best final result.  Some wood finishes will not accept a vinyl decal while other wood finishes will allow vinyl decals to stick well. Demonstrated on a signboard but the technique is the same if you are applying decals to a cornhole set. From plain to summer ready in almost no time at all! Apply Big Decals Without Wrinkles or Bubbles: Here's how the pros put decals on.Ever turn a nice decal into a wad of crap and wreck your paint job in the process?Learn the true secrets … But, of course, shoe clips put up with a lot of wear and tear, so the vinyl didn't last long. Pinch the vertical edges of the vinyl sticker as you place it down. Modern decoupage uses a simple white glue to adhere paper to the surface and protect it at the same time. Aim to do this in a fluid motion to prevent any air bubbles from forming. Take a look below to find out. How to Apply Vinyl to Wood | Craftables. How To Apply Vinyl Wall Decals ... Wall decals will stick best to hard, clean, dry and smooth surfaces such as walls, windows, painted metal, finished wood, glass, plastic, appliances, crafts and more! When vinyl doesn’t stick to wood, the problem is usually with the wood. Don’t remove the top lining or the backing on the decal yet. If you can’t find One Shot, try an enamel paint. YES! Wipe the decal off with a dry, clean cloth. You can absolutely used heat transfer vinyl on wood. Vinyl will stick to most woods depending on the surface of the wood. Any thoughts on how successful this would be. Sometimes when you remove the transfer tape, the letter come up with it. When applying the decal it is smart to treat it like something that you just glued in place. Here’s how to use vinyl on painted wood. Also, what would be the best varnish to use. There are two things to watch out for; porous paints that won’t make a good seal with the adhesive, and uncured paint. Remember, the vinyl’s adhesive is activated through pressure, so give it a good rub to get it to stick well. For best adhesion make sure each letter is applied perfectly before moving on to the next.  Most errors that occur with vinyl decals applied to wood can be reduced by making a stencil which is better suited to difficult surfaces through smart design and fewer small pieces. But If you choose MDO, please make sure it’s properly prepared and painted. After applying the decal remove the application tape. But, of course, shoe clips put up with a lot of wear and tear, so the vinyl didn't last long. Ornaments, That Smell Like Christmas and Will Warm Your Heart. Process-wise, applying heat transfer vinyl to wood is very similar to that of applying heat transfer vinyl to a t-shirt or other fabric project. If that doesn’t work, you may be dealing with a substrate that’s just not compatible with vinyl graphics. If you apply a vinyl graphic to a substrate that’s still curing, those solvents will be trapped, causing bubbles under the vinyl. My final step is applying two large vinyl decals. And I thought applying vinyl decals to wrapping paper sounded like a fun way to use up some scrap vinyl. About: Based in San Francisco I strive to incorporate custom lettering in the art that I design, print, and make. There are 25232 decals for wood for sale on Etsy, and they cost $5.82 on average. You can read the full story in our Adhesives 101 article, but the short summary is this. This is my first time building a set of boards, I have stained the wood and coated with polyurethane. Protect a decorative sticker or decal on wood with a decoupage technique, a very old practice used to seal or adhere types of paper to wood, plastic or metal surfaces. Then make sure there’s no sawdust or residue on the wood before applying the vinyl. If you like this technique, be sure… It’s only right people want to stick vinyl to it. But there are ways to make it work and things to avoid.Â. Once you have decoupaged a sticker to wood, go the extra step and seal it with clear polyurethane. Make sure if you’re putting vinyl on any painted surface that the paint is completely cured. MDO plywood composite is also a commonly used sign substrate. So if you’ve been making t-shirts for any length of time, this HTV project will be a piece of cake. If it’ still not working, and if you’re using paper transfer tape (not clear), you can  moisten the back of the tape with application fluid to soften the tape’s adhesive and weaken the bond between the tape and the vinyl. Many people call asking why their vinyl won’t stick to the wood and assume there’s a defect with the vinyl.  As the old Porgy and Bess song says, “It ain’t necessarily so”. Did you make this project? Last July, we made a project using shoe clips with a cute vinyl design. Textured Walls: Some vinyl types don’t adhere to walls with any sort of texturing. You can go ahead and paint it or spray paint it but just be sure to give it a really long time to dry before applying the vinyl. For larger graphics, heavier substrates are required. Often times you will have to peel the backing off at just the right angle, and then coax the rest of the vinyl … Most everything I have read recommends to apply another coat of polyurethane over the vinyl decals. Copyright © 2015-2020 by SignWarehouse, Inc, All Rights Reserved. Does vinyl need to breath? Because we are using the vinyl to create a stencil, we want to weed (remove) the positive space or the lettering/design that we are transferring to our wood sign backing. Also, what would be the best varnish to use. • Try a vinyl with a solvent adhesive. … This can cause adhesive failure after application. Scrape it down really well to adhere it well and form a good seal. I made it at Techshop http://techshop.ws Submitted by SFlettering for the Instructables Sponsorship Program. • If it’s been painted or sealed, allow a few weeks for the paint or sealant to cure before applying vinyl. To give it a summer twist, I added this adorable bicycle decal … I am considering putting a coat of varnish on first to seal the wood then apply 2 or 3 coats after the decal has been applied. The most compatible options will be aluminum composite materials. Install each decal on the motorcycle or other vehicle. The most common decals for wood material is wood. Last July, we made a project using shoe clips with a cute vinyl design. Vinyl Decals on Finished Wood - a Careful Application Process Step-by-step Step 1: Place Decal on Wood Without Backing : DATATIST Decal. If your sign is originally raw wood, you’ll want to paint it. Old, peeling paint can also keep your decal from sticking. Did you scroll all this way to get facts about decals for wood? Consider using a test vinyl piece to test adhesion rather than a sacrificial decal to check if you chosen spot will work. Take a look at this super quick how-to video before you apply your vinyl decals to a wood surface. 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