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  • Pulling my hair out installing window graphics

    Posted by Karen White on October 5, 2023 at 7:22 pm

    so today a one hour job turned into nearly three hours!
    i almost gave up several times but i kept at it due to a very sympathetic customer who could see something wasn’t right.

    I fitted the etched vinyl panel with grey text in the middle. the grey vinyl fitted ok, but the etch was horrible. it applied ok, but it didn’t feel like it had a good hold on the glass. and when i tried to remove the application tape, it was impossible. the etched vinyl just kept lifting.
    it was worse around the lettering but even the solid flat areas with no text or graphics were lifting.
    i had to remove the tape at a snails pace but it still lifted.
    the only good thing about it lifting was once i had the tape off, i could lift vinyl back and reapply it.

    the vinyl was image perfect and i have used it multiple times in the past without any problem but today???!! 😫😭

    any advice would be great because i have another to do at the back of the building on Monday and i am not looking forward to it. is it me or has anyone else had problems with it?

    i am now having a large glass of wine! 🍷😃

    Karen White replied 5 months, 1 week ago 9 Members · 18 Replies
  • 18 Replies
  • Martyn Heath

    October 6, 2023 at 4:54 am

    Hi karen, this is not uncommon with frosted. I’m assuming you are laying it wet?

    some suggestions are –

    less soap

    Leave for half an hour or longer before removing tape (some guys even return next day)

    soak the outside of the application tape and rub it in with your handle (helps release the glue)

    Depending on where you are and conditions, the glass temperature has a lot to do with it.

    • Karen White

      November 1, 2023 at 3:44 pm

      thanks martyn

      fitted it dry, but was very cold

  • David Hammond

    October 6, 2023 at 5:00 am

    Is it air release vinyl?

    Did you install dry or wet?

    Did you clean the glass beforehand and with what cleaner?

    If you fitted dry, once laid down I’d go over it again with a hard squeegee & lots of pressure.

    Wetting the application tape can help it come away, spray and let it soak for a while… but the vinyl below needs to stuck firm.

    • Karen White

      November 1, 2023 at 3:44 pm

      thanks david

      i applied it dry because it has the bubble free vinyl. i did go over and over it again firm but got this same result.

  • Simon Worrall

    October 6, 2023 at 8:09 am

    I always apply etch vinyl wet, and I always leave it overnight before removing the app tape.

    I learned the hard way. (your way!)

    • Karen White

      November 1, 2023 at 3:46 pm

      thanks simon

      i fitted it dry. i did leave it for a bit and kept going over it. but i don’t think my customer would accept me to leave it overnight. 🙄

  • RobertLambie

    October 6, 2023 at 10:21 am

    Hi Karen

    I will wait till you reply to the others as I have the same questions.

    What I can add now, is that we only use Oracal Glass Etch and Image Perfect Glass etch and never have any problems.

    • Karen White

      November 1, 2023 at 3:47 pm

      thanks rob

  • Phill Fenton

    October 6, 2023 at 11:41 am

    If applying wet on glass, I always leave the application tape on and come back the next day to remove the tape

    • Karen White

      November 1, 2023 at 3:51 pm

      thanks phill

      simon suggested this also but i have never did that before and i don’t think my customer would have been happy. maybe i should start telling them it will be 24 hours. 🙂

  • Gary Austin

    October 6, 2023 at 4:30 pm

    Only thing I would add to the other comments, if applying dry might be a case of condensation/misting on the window. As we break into the colder months windows become more of a pain (pun intended).

    • Karen White

      November 1, 2023 at 3:59 pm

      thanks gary

      i fitted it dry and i think your answer is what the problem was. the condensation!

      when i went back, i took a small blow heater with me from my office and sat it back from the window to try and take the chill off the glass and it went on much easier. some parts did lift but went back down with a little teasing and lifting and laying.

      my main problem was the application not separating from the vinyl but with the heater there this was much better.

      thank you so much for everyone’s suggestions.

      thank you everyone ❤

  • David Wilde

    November 1, 2023 at 6:25 pm

    Bit late to this thread by the look of it, however we often don’t weed the graphic and only tape over the plot sections. This helps preserve the integrity of the sheet whilst we squeegee out application fluid (the tape can become soggy quickly). Allow to dry a little (not too long). Spray the applications tape to loosen it and remove it slowly. Finally weed the graphic on the glass.

    Doesn’t work for all graphics but we find we have fewer issues removing the app tape and laying the vinyl perfectly flat this way.

  • Myriam Garrido

    November 8, 2023 at 9:23 am

    As others have said, if applied wet, especially when cold best to leave overnight. When removing the application tape we always squeegie back over it again just before removing and then tear in strips as pulling it all off in one whole sheet there’s a lot of force needed and more chance of pulling the frosting off. The adhesive on the application tape is more aggressive than the the adhesive on the cold glass !

    • Karen White

      December 20, 2023 at 10:53 pm

      thank you Myriam 🤗👍

  • RobertLambie

    December 19, 2023 at 2:12 am


    I never apply anything wet, but that is a clever solution to that problem, David. 👍

    Now that you have me thinking on this, It would also help people apply DRY, large panels of etch window graphics with sections cut out in the middle.
    Leaving the vinyl in place, as you have said, will prevent irregular surface tension and also prevent puckering of the tape which then can lead to creasing of the vinyl.

    • David Wilde

      December 19, 2023 at 8:35 am

      Hi Rob, We use this method on dry applications also from time to time. Usually on a large sheets and where the majority of the vinyl would be removed. Like you say, it provides a consistent surface tension and makes things a little easier to position. 👍

  • Karen White

    December 20, 2023 at 10:59 pm

    thank you @david-wilde1
    that is a good tip and worth trying in future. although i do think this was down to condensation on the cold glass. even though it was not there when i cleaned the glass and started applying the vinyl. 🙄
    i will certainly be taking my little blow heater with me in future.

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