Adding vinyl car stickers for a completely different look!
"I'm getting stuck on you."
Stickers can give the quickest and cheapest transformation to your car. Performance part makers names and logos are popular as are sponsor style logos to give a ‘rally look’ NB:
If you are making the stickers up yourself always get permission of the copyright or trademark holder first!
Different colour vinyl stickers are now available and can create a car length splat or swish look. Complete custom wrap stickers are available to completely transform the appearance of a car or van.
Bonnet/hood stickers must resist the extra heat, which comes from the engine, so I would go for a metallic foil there but I know many stick to a good quality vinyl and seem to have few problems.
Some stickers are semi translucent so bear this in mind as a cool green sticker on a white car can turn into a muddy brown colour on a red car.
Most types will allow layers of stickers to be fitted in a variety of colours and the best ones require heat gun application so they shrink to the body contours and bond. The sides and low front of a car are subject to chips from stones so get a thick clear sticker made up to go over the top protecting the lower stickers or just get a good quality thick vinyl that resists stone chips.
Window Stickers always look good in the rear window and above the windscreen, and are generally reverse printed so you apply them from inside the car although on a heavy tint or sunstrip avoid reverse printed stickers and apply them to the outside of the glass away from the sweep of the wipers which can cause them to peel. TorqueCars have now obtained a range of window stickers with our logo on them - click here for details and see how you can support our site.
All types of stickers are available - including FUR and snakeskin, the only limit is your imagination with many companies offering custom one off car sticker printing to meet your requirements!!!!
Application of car stickers.
To apply a sticker clean off the paint work thoroughly first with water and car paint cleaner that will not leave a wax residue - washing up liquid is good for stripping off wax.
Apply a clay bar and then polish the paint with a mild cutting compound to restore the paint finish if it has degraded at all in the sun and then, using an alcohol based cleaner thoroughly cleanse the area to have the sticker applied (test on a small paint area first with a white cloth to ensure that the paint is not removed!!!)
The stickers are more flexible when warm so apply them on a warm day and take your time smoothing down the sticker to remove air bubbles as you peel away the backing. Cut in door seams and handles last - you will get a really odd line up if you try to do this as you go along and you must use a really sharp knife and be careful not to scratch the paint work.
Not all stickers are the same so you must check the fitting instructions that come with them. Small stickers are easier to apply than large ones and another pair of hands is often useful.
Removal is very easy - a hairdryer will warm the sticker and help to prevent cracking as it is peeled off. (Some old stickers may degrade in the light and can be a pig to remove so try to remove them before they start fading in the sun).
There are two main types of sticker. Vinyl print where any picture pattern or colour is applied to the whole sticker and it is applied to the car in a single layer.
Then there is the option of pre cut vinyl where shapes of coloured vinyl are cut and placed in layers to form the overall design.
Off the shelf printed vinyl can work out cheaper but you will not end up with a very original finish.
Many sign writers offer a custom design service where your own image or design can be printed on a sticker.
Most prefer a vector based EPS format image which seamlessly scales to a higher resolution.
It really does pay to have a professional attach your sticker, particularly if a special finish is required or it is a large sticker. Badly fitted stickers can make a car look really tacky and cheap so take your time and be patient.
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