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How to install stained glass window graphics like a pro

Stained glass vinyls are an ideal way to install a bar name to the front of your bar without causing any other permanent changes. A high-quality stained-glass window vinyl from a reputable sign company such as Two Fat Blokes Bar Signs will also be easy to remove — with little-to-no adhesive residue, it can be quickly cleaned leaving no trace behind.

View our range of stained glass window vinyls here

All of our stained-glass window graphics are for installation on the inside of the glass facing outwards, so remember, the text will be reversed when you apply from inside.

Proper Installation Temperature and Lighting

The best temperature to install your tinted window is around 16 – 27 degrees Celsius. You can install decals at slightly cooler or warmer temperatures without much of a problem though. However, you should try to avoid applying your graphics on extremely hot or cold days whenever possible. This will help ensure your decal stays secure long term. You should also make sure lighting conditions are sufficient to see any dirt or dust, allowing the glass to be properly cleaned prior to installation.

Wet Method vs. Dry Method

Whether you use the wet method, or the dry method will probably depend on the size of your decal or sticker. A decal smaller than 30cm can be installed using the dry method, which simply means carefully applying the graphic to a clean, dry surface. With larger decals, you’ll want to go with the wet method – which requires making an application fluid out of soapy water.

Things you’ll Need for the Wet Method
  • Squeegee/sponge or piece of plastic with a hard straight edge, such as a credit card
  • Spray bottle
  • Mild dish detergent or liquid dish soap
  • A level (optional but recommended for larger graphics)
  • Measuring tape or ruler

Making the Application Fluid

To make the application fluid, simply add 1-2 drops of a mild dish detergent or liquid dish soap to between around 750 millilitres of water and place in a clean spray bottle. It’s important not to use too much soap. One or two drops per 750 ml spray bottle are usually enough to produce a properly functioning application solution.

Measuring the Application Surface Glass

This is important for larger decals. You’ll need to take a ruler or tape measure and make sure that there’s enough room to fit and centre your graphic. It’s also advised that you use a level and some type of straight edge such as a ruler to ensure your decal is straight and level when it’s installation time.

Cleaning the Application Surface Glass

Before applying your decal, you will need to ensure the application surface, (or simply the glass window), is clean. This is to prevent your decal from not being securely fastened to the surface — due to bubbling, dirt or dust particles. Surface cleaners such as ammonia or other types of degreasers and glass cleaners are not recommended as they can leave residues that will produce air bubbles. These bubbles will form under your decal, ruining the aesthetic and finish. The best thing to use is soap and water. Your application fluid is an effective type of residue-free cleaner you can keep on hand to use.

Pro Tip: Your application fluid can double as an effective glass surface cleaner

Applying Your Decal

In order to apply your decal, first find the protective sheet that covers the adhesive surface. For an inside stained glass decal, the adhesive will be located on the front side. Keep the protective sheet on until you’re ready to apply the decal to the glass.

Positioning and holding the decal in place

First, make sure your decal is level and properly centred using a level and/or ruler. For a larger decal being installed using the wet method, you can hold the top of the decal in place with a piece of masking tape.

Make sure the top half of the tape is covering the glass, with the bottom half holding onto the top of the decal. Make sure you are able to lift the decal up from the bottom, using the tape as a hinge. For a larger frosted vinyl, you’ll need two people in order to hold and position the decal in place.

Wetting the Decal with the Application Fluid and Pushing Out Air Bubbles

If you’re using the wet method, remove the protective layer and spray the adhesive surface with the application solution. While the decal is wet it will be easy to adjust and move around to ensure it is properly positioned. Use your level to double check the positioning if necessary.

When the graphic adhesive is properly placed in contact with the window, use your piece of plastic or squeegee to push the soapy water out, starting from the centre and working your way out. This will also push out those pesky air bubbles in order to prevent any bubbling.

Drying the Decal

Once any excess water has been removed from under the decal, allow it to dry for 1-2 hours. After it is dry, carefully remove the tape at the top of the decal, starting from the portion covering the decal and working your way up. This ensures you won’t accidentally remove the graphic. Slowly and carefully remove the tape by rolling it upward with your thumbs. Once it’s entirely removed your decal installation should be complete.

Allowing the decal to set

Allow your window vinyl decal to set for 24 hours. Once it has spent a full day without moving, it should be secure for long term use. If you’d like, you can keep the application tape on until this setting process is complete. Once the tape is removed you are now the proud owner of a beautifully installed frosted vinyl decal. Now you’re free to stand back and admire the Fat Bloke’s creativity and your hard work. Crack open your drink of choice and get ready for the summer evenings admiring your new stained-glass window vinyl.

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