How Do I Install A Reusable Vehicle Sticker?

Yes, you read that correctly! Reusable vehicle body stickers. Suppliers have found a way to make low-tack adhesives that can act similarly to a magnet. This is extremely helpful for aluminum body vehicles. Which seems to be a trend that most truck manufacturers are moving to. Perfect for contractors, HOA coverups, and any other area that requires temporary repositionable graphics.

What's in this article

Installing Reusable Stickers For Aluminum Trucks

Follow our installation guide to properly install your reusable stickers for aluminum body vehicles. By adhering to our guide (see what we did there), you’ll be able to get the longest possible lifespan of your vehicle prints.

We recommend reading this full article to make sure you are preparing your surface correctly, but if you are ready to install you can skip to install method videos.

Clean Your Surface

It is important to only apply your reusable stickers to surfaces that have been cleaned before each application. Removing all dirt, oil, or moisture from the surface using Sprayaway cleaner (recommended), soap & water, mild cleaning solutions, or just water or rag if absolutely nothing else is available. Make sure the surface is wiped dry before application.

Please read our surface preparation article if you are not familiar with installing vinyl.

Cleaning A Vehicle For Vinyl Print Installation

How To Position Your Print

There are a ton of ways to find the correct position and how to level or align with objects on your vehicle. We are not going to cover that in this article, because that is purely subjective.

Typically, professional installers will measure from an object in a couple of areas on a vehicle and place alignment markers with tape as registration.

Most commonly, door stickers and vehicle body stickers that are being reused and removed are just eyeballed during the installation. The installation is usually more of a function, not fashion.  Since it is a repositionable sticker material, you can just remove it and start again if it doesn’t look right.

Installation Methods

There are many types of installation methods, but we’ve limited it to three for this product type. Feel free to implement any method that you may find in other resources on the internets.

The main thing with this product type is to preserve the backing liner paper that it is shipped with. All of these methods demonstrate the installation methods without cutting the liner paper. This is to keep the backing liner a solid piece that the sticker can be returned to if you choose to use that as your storage method.

Quick Hinge

This is the easiest installation method. With a simple positioning and adhesive locking method, you’ll have your print installed in seconds.

Full Hinge

This is the most accurate method but does take a lot of prep and patience.

Freestyle

For very small prints this is pretty easy, but for large prints, it is a risky installation method, but if you know what you are doing it is the fastest method.

Click on tabs to view install method.

This method offers a quick and straightforward approach to installing a vinyl print. Essentially, you expose a section of the adhesive as you locate the correct (or close-to-correct) position. Once you’ve anchored your hinge in that initial spot, you can proceed with the installation until you reach the end. If the item is small, one person can install it alone. But for larger items, it’s a good idea to have a second person on hand. They can help hold the item in place while the other person sticks it on. If not, you will need to use tape to hold in place while you position your item.

 

These methods are for surfaces that are flat or with subtle curvature.

Quick Hinge Horizontal Item (Landscape)

 

In this video, you’ll see how to work with a wide, landscape-oriented object. This means it’s wider than it is tall, and you can apply it either from left to right or right to left, depending on which hand you prefer to use.

 


Quick Hinge Vertical Item (Portrait)

Use this method if your item has equal width and height dimensions, such as a perfect square or circle.

 

 

In this video, you’ll learn how to handle a tall, portrait-oriented object. This means it’s taller than it is wide, and you’ll be applying it from top to bottom.

 


 

After you’ve prepped your surface, here’s how to go about it: Start by peeling a small part of the vinyl away from its backing. Position it where you want it and create a hinge by sticking it to the surface near the edge of the liner. Once it’s securely in place, take your squeegee and start smoothing it out in the direction shown in the video. Make sure to angle the squeegee and work from the center towards the edges. Change the angle when you change direction. After you’ve tackled the first part, lift the liner from underneath and proceed to install the second section.

The hinge method, while not the fastest way to install, offers a more precise alternative to the quick hinge installation. You’ll need to use tape to secure sections and create a vertical or horizontal tape divider to act as a hinge. We’ll demonstrate this method, but in most cases, especially for repositionable print installations, it might be more than you need. In the video, we’ll be showing how a single person can install a small item. However, if you’re dealing with larger items, it’s advisable to have someone else around to help hold the item in place while you tape and squeegee.

 

These methods are for surfaces that are flat or with subtle curvature.

 

Full Hinge Horizontal Item (Landscape)

 

The video features the installation of a landscape-oriented item, which means it’s wider than it is tall. You can apply the item from left to right or right to left, depending on your dominant hand preference.

 


Full Hinge Vertical Item (Portrait)

Use this method if your item has equal width and height dimensions, such as a perfect square or circle.

 

 

In this video, you’ll learn how to handle a tall, portrait-oriented object. This means it’s taller than it is wide, and you’ll be applying it from top to bottom.

 


 

The basic idea here is to use tape to keep the print in position. First, secure it with a solid vertical piece of tape to create a hinge. Then, release a small section of the vinyl from the backing liner and lock it onto the surface near the liner’s edge. Once it’s in place, start squeegeeing in the direction shown in the video, angling the squeegee and working from the center to the edges. Change the squeegee angle for each direction. After you’ve installed the first section, grab the liner from underneath and continue with the second section.

Get ready, folks! This method might seem bold, but when executed correctly, it’s quick and efficient. Here’s the scoop: you peel off the entire backing liner and go in without any cover. Just keep in mind that it’s repositionable (unless you are using a super aggressive adhesive – on a high surface energy installation), so as long as your surface and hands are clean, you won’t mess up the adhesive. And remember, don’t let that sticky side make contact with itself. If you’re dealing with a big item, having an extra set of hands can be a lifesaver.

 

These methods are for surfaces that are flat or with subtle curvature.

 

Freestyle Horizontal Item (Landscape)

In this video, you’ll see how to work with a wide, landscape-oriented object. This means it’s wider than it is tall, and you can apply it either from left to right or right to left, depending on which hand you prefer to use.

Freestyle Vertical Item (Portrait)

Use this method if your item has equal width and height dimensions, such as a perfect square or circle.

 

 

In this video, you’ll learn how to handle a tall, portrait-oriented object. This means it’s taller than it is wide, and you’ll be applying it from top to bottom.

 


 

Here’s how this method works: first, peel off the entire backing liner paper. Next, carefully place your item onto the surface. You can gently tack down the corners or other areas of a custom-shaped item. Once the vinyl is positioned close to the “glass” without any wrinkles, it’s time to set up your hinge. In the video, you’ll see a vertical locking hinge placed near the center. Then, start squeegeeing at an angle, moving from the center outward in the first section. Once the first section is applied, you can move on to the second section.

Other Variables

You’ll find some helpful topics related to this installation type below. Some of these are covered in our how long do reusable stickers last article.

Removal and Reinstallation

When removing you’ll want to make sure that you are pulling edges/corners as cleanly as possible. If you introduce dirt or oily hands at this point it may affect the adhesive upon the next installation. You may want to use a thin flat tool that can lift the corner first before grabbing it with your hands. This way your fingertips are not immediately adding contaminants to the adhesive.

Slowly, start peeling/pulling from a corner. If it is a smaller print (~24″ x 24″) you can just peel the entire print away and prepare it for storage.

If you are working with a very large piece, you may need a second person to help hold the print at then end when it fully releases.

Storage

To store your print there are many options. The main thing is to preserve the life of the adhesive. The most common storage methods are:

  • Lightly tacking on to a clean surface (drywall, desk, substrate, etc.) You don’t need to fully apply without wrinkles as this is a temporary storage area. Hopefully, with not a lot of environmental factors. If there is a lot of humidity in these areas then you will want to make sure it is fully applied.
  • The backing liner that it was shipped with. The liner that came with your print has a greater dimension than the print itself. So you can lay to on the liner paper and store it flat or rolled up. It will want to tunnel if rolled up, but this is fine as it is a temporary storage space.
  • Anywhere you deem necessary that does not promote dust or moisture that could compromise the adhesive side.

Squeegee or No Squeegee

This material is so nice to deal with. Unlike some very thin vinyl. You don’t need a squeegee like most vinyl materials, but can be used if you feel necessary. With proper methods, it can be applied flush to the surface without a squeegee. Just use the methods described above, by pushing the air from the center out with the edges/palm of your hand and you’ll have your print installed in minutes.

Reusable Truck Stickers for Business or Personal Use!

Follow the link below to get started with your order. Whether your vehicle has a aluminum body or is a steel body vehicle, these stickers work well for reusable purposes where traditional magnets don't work.

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