View Full Version : Laying large vinyl sheets

Wil Lambert
11-19-2007, 6:55 AM
Any suggestions on laying a 120" x 48" sheet of vinyl onto acrylic? I need to have this as bubble free as possible. This is considerably larger than I normally instal.


Joe Pelonio
11-19-2007, 8:18 AM
Anything that big can be pretty tricky. I did two Saturday that were 24" x 12', easier than yours because you can reach across. If I get one like yours I take it to a digital imaging place where I have a wholesale relationship, and have them run it through their 60" cold laminator.

I you can't do that, then it becomes one of the rare cases where I'd use application fluid (Transferrite). You can spray it onto both the acrylic and the adhesive side of the vinyl, and apply from the center to one end, then back to the center out to the other end. You may need to do it on the floor unless you have a table strong enough to hold your weight because you'll end up on top of it to do the squeegying.

Doug Bergstrom
11-19-2007, 8:46 AM
The easiest way is to lay this down wet. We use a small amount of baby shampoo in a sprayer with water. After cleaning the substrate with alcohol, wet both the substrate and the adhesive with the water solution. Position the vinyl on the substrate. Now wet the top of the vinyl with the same water solution, this allows the squeege to move easier over the vinyl. You could also put the loop side of velcro onto your squeegee or use a piece of the backing paper off of the vinyl to help allow your squeegee to slide easier. next start in the middle of your project with the squeegee and pull towards you, removing the water from between the two surfaces. Work from the center out until all of the water is removed. Let the piece dry, we usually wait overnight but if it is warm and sunny a couple of hours might work. Next go back and check your edges and squeegee down if needed. If there are any bubbles in the piece use a needle to put a small hole in the edge of the bubble and push out any remaining water. That should do it.
Another option is to use bubble free vinyl in which case you do not do anything above, put the vinyl down and squeegee.
Also try finding squeegees used for tinting. We are a certified tint shop as well and these squeegees are the best at laying down wet vinyl.
Good Luck!!

Joe Pelonio
11-19-2007, 11:23 AM
Very important point not to overlook is using a new squeegie, and if you hit the edge of the plastic check it for nicks or you'll get a lot of bubbles.

Doug, When you say to let it dry overnight, it's been my experience that you have to get all the moisture out with the squeegie, if any is left, when dry it will be replaced by air (bubbles). When I did my first window job back about '93 and used the wet method the next day (sunny and hot) it was full of big air bubbles where I hadn't gotten all of the moisture out. Since then I do most everything dry, except for these huge ones.

Also, it's far easier to remove the transfer tape on a large piece like that when it's still wet. Sometimes even with the dry method I'll wet it after to make removal of the transfer tape easier.

Wil Lambert
11-20-2007, 5:27 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. I have used the soap method in the past but it has been a while. Vinyl is not my primary source of income. I only do the jobs at special request for family and friends.


Doug Bergstrom
11-21-2007, 9:18 AM
You are correct, you do need to squeegee all of the water out, but even when you do the edges typically will still lift very easy until it has time to dry. The next morning we just go back and push the edges down. Also when doing large vinyl or graphics we do not use any transfer tape unless you need to keep items in place. Typically we use this for laying down large background colors or digital graphics.