Applying Vinyl to Glass

by MyVinylDesigner 11. April 2011 02:09

Using vinyl letters on the glass of your favorite picture frame, a shower door, a glass block, or a beautiful mirror is quite fun. The interior metallic colors like silver, copper, and gold, have a soft satin-look finish that makes glass and mirrors quite elegant. Etched vinyl is another fun finish to glass and mirror projects.

1- Always wipe your glass or mirror down well so that dust particles do not create bumps under your vinyl lettering. Cleaning the glass with a diluted vinegar/water mixture is better than using household products like Windex; the vinyl tends to stick better.

2- Products such as Rapid Tac and Action Tac (available at local sign shops and larger vinyl suppliers) can be sprayed on the glass beforehand. They give you the ability to adjust vinyl on the glass or mirror before it sets, and the ability to press out tiny bubbles, which naturally form between vinyl and glass. The products then dry clear.

It isn't necessary to use these products because they are kinda expensive, but they do save time and heartache if the vinyl isn't placed just right.

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Vinyl Tips & How-To's

Weeding Vinyl / Applying Transfer Tape

by MyVinylDesigner 25. October 2010 07:15

When working with vinyl film where your graphics are cut instead of printed on, you have several postive and negative spaces on the sheet of cut vinyl.  The term "weeding" means that you remove the negative spaces of vinyl off of its backing, leaving just the cut design (or postive spaces) attached.  Once the negative spaces are removed (or "weeded"), the transfer tape can be applied.

There are several types of tools that one can use for "weeding" vinyl, but we prefer the long, straight pointed tweezers that can be purchased from most vinyl suppliers.  They are generally held at a 45 degree angle, between the thumb and forefinger.

CLICK HERE for more info related to transfer tape

CLICK HERE for info related to clear transfer tape

CLICK HERE for info related to vinyl not sticking to all surfaces

CLICK HERE for info related to contact paper, masking tape, and other alternative "transfer tape" options

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Vinyl Tips & How-To's

Preparing Surfaces for Vinyl

by MyVinylDesigner 25. October 2010 02:56

Walls - Vinyl can be used on a multitude of surfaces, provided the surface is clean, dry, and basically flat.  There are some paints, glazes, wallpapers, and finishes that won't hold vinyl well, so make sure you try a sample before you begin a project.  High humidity, particles of cooking oil, dirt, grime, wall finishes, and texture will affect the "stickability" of vinyl.  If you need to wipe your wall down, just use a little dish soap and warm water.  Then make sure the surface is well dried before applying vinyl.

Tile - Tile can be used in a variety of settings .... in a bathtub or shower, on a backsplash in the kitchen or bathroom, or simply as a single tile shown on an easel.  As with all surfaces, the tile should be wiped clean with a damp rag and allowed to dry well.  Choose low to moderate textures on the tile if you wanting to apply vinyl.  Raw, unfinished sides can be left as is or have a black, sharpie marker line drawn all around them.  Backs can also be left as is, or have some kind of backing like felt applied. 

Glass - Glass and mirrors are not as forgiving as other surfaces so be extra careful when you're laying vinyl.  Also, cleaning glass with a diluted vinegar/water mixture is better than using a household product like Windex because the vinyl sticks better.  Just make sure you wipe the glass down well or dust particles will create bumps under your vinyl.  Products such as Rapid Tac and Action Tac can be sprayed on the glass beforehand to give you the ability to adjust vinyl on glass before it sets, and the ability to press tiny little bubbles which naturally form between vinyl and glass.  They are somewhat spendy and not a requirement for smaller, around-the-home glass projects, but they are definitely required for high performance exterior vinyl and large glass/mirror projects.  The products then dry clear without a residue.

Picture frames - To convert a favorite glass-enclosed picture frame into a see-through wall hanging, simply remove the backing and pull out any little metal brackets.  Place the frame face down on a flat surface.  Then run a thin bead of clear silicone along the inner edge where the glass rests, place the glass on the adhesive, and run another thin bead of clear silicone along the top edge of glass, adhering the glass to the frame.  With a wet finger, smooth the thin bead of caulk so that it presses into all the crevices, and let harden, or cure, for 12-24 hours.  Leave the frame laying face down during the curing process.  Then with a straight-edge razor, scrape off the excess silicone and clean the glass.  The surface is now ready to apply vinyl. 

Glazes & Topcoats - Using a glaze or a finishing product on top of vinyl gives a different look to your project, but it is not necessary.  We suggest that you avoid all aerosol (spray) finishing topcoats, as they cause your vinyl letters to curl upward.

CLICK HERE to view photos of finished glass vinyl projects

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Vinyl Tips & How-To's

Removing Vinyl

by MyVinylDesigner 24. October 2010 06:14
Vinyl lettering is easy to remove with your fingers or a pair of tweezers.  Just gently lift up the corners and slowly remove the lettering from your surface.  If you have had the lettering on your surface for a long time, use a hair dryer on a low setting to soften the letters before removing.  Just go slowly ... for safety!  You'll know how fast you can remove the letters after the first few are done.
 
HINTS:  Razor blades work well for removing vinyl off glass.  Products like Goo-B-Gone and OOPS! help remove stubborn, sticky vinyl residue. (Be sure to test a small area first --- these products also remove paint.)

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Vinyl Tips & How-To's

Helping Customers with Transfer Tape Problems

by MyVinylDesigner 24. October 2010 05:42

We highly recommend using the Transfer Rite Ultra Transfer Tape (high tack) or R-TAPE Conform 4075-RLA Transfer Tape for all your Oracal vinyl projects.  If you or a customer has difficulty hanging a project using this transfer tape, there are really only two reasons why it might be difficult:

1- The vinyl is being cut too deep The cutter blade should only lightly score the glossy side of the vinyl backing.   If it cuts too deep, it will be very easy to weed, but very-very difficult to hang.  Check often by lifting up letters and hanging sample letters on walls where vinyl is already hung.   Then adjust the depth of your cutter blade to see if this resolves the problem.

2- The surface of the wall has poor tactile properties.  Vinyl lettering does not adhere well to all flat and satin finishes and wallpapers.  It also doesn't hang well if the wall is soiled with grime or damp from humidity and cooking oils.  It is best to encourage customers to hang a couple sample letters on their wall first, before hanging a finished design, just to see if the vinyl lettering hangs well.  It's also a great way to use those letters from the designs messed up during the cutting or weeding process. 

If you use the true combination of Oracal 631 vinyl and the Transfer Rite Ultra Transfer Tape (high tack) or R-Tape, you will always have the perfect combination for home decor vinyl projects.

CLICK HERE for info related to clear transfer tape

CLICK HERE for info related to vinyl not sticking to all surfaces

CLICK HERE for info related to contact paper, masking tape, and other alternative "transfer tape" options

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Vinyl Tips & How-To's

Looking for New Ways to Use Vinyl

by MyVinylDesigner 25. May 2010 06:02

Vinyl lettering adds richness, focus, and interest to your home in an endless number of ways.  For walls, a vinyl lettering "stencil" can be used within a plaster for an embossed look, reversely hung with different finishes, or directly hung on a finished surface.  Try using vinyl lettering on or around surfaces with a faux finish (French for fake), trompe l'oeil (an old European painting technique that implies a three-dimensional illusion), crackle, aging, stain, or paint.  It's fun!

Since all surfaces have different tactile properties, be sure to sample small letters first.  The effects are visually stunning!

Besides the finished walls of a home, vinyl can be placed on most finished woods (ie. painted, crackled, sanded, stained), cabinet doors, old windows, the glass of picture frames, glass blocks, mirrors, shadowbox pictures, tiles, shower doors, lockers, doors, decorative plates, plexi glass, sheet metal, mailboxes ... to name a few!  Just make sure the "substrate", or surface, is clean, dry, of moderate temperature, and relatively flat.

CLICK HERE ... for more ideas in how to use vinyl in home decor

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Vinyl Tips & How-To's

Welding Vinyl Letters

by MyVinylDesigner 23. May 2010 23:22

What is "welding" in the vinyl world?  Perhaps the most important feature of your vinyl cutter software in home decor vinyl!   Your finished vinyl designs should hang like one great big sticker, all connected in the overlapping sections.

"Welding" is a feature that allows you to take overlapping text and/or elements and combine them into a single, cuttable object.  If the overlapping text (like loopy l's or y's) are not joined or "welded" together, the cutter will disect the crossed lines creating little removable intersections.  Welding is a professional feature that makes vinyl letters easier to hang and to remove.

Not all cutter softwares use the term "welding" for this "combining" or "joining" feature, so make sure you understand how your software welds letters.  It is almost a requirement for doing custom interior design work (unless you prefer to purchase premade, ready-to-cut vinyl designs.)

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Vinyl Tips & How-To's

Making Vinyl Stencils

by MyVinylDesigner 28. April 2010 02:11

Vinyl stencils are often created for use with commerical or homemade etching creams, like when you want a graphic, name, or monogram permanently etched on a piece of glassware.  The steps for making a vinyl stencil are:

 

Some of the wonderful benefits of etching glassware are:

1- it keeps glass pans and casserole dishes from being misplaced at group functions

2- it's an affordable way to personalize wedding and celebration glassware

3- it's a fun way to redecorate glass tables, mirrors, and windows around the house

4- it's an inexpensive craft ... a little etching cream goes a very long ways

5- it makes an excellent large group project because from start to finish, it only takes about 15 minutes to make.  A finished vinyl stencil for a last name going on a casserole dish generally retails between $2-$4 per last name.


Just follow the application instructions for your etching creme, which can be commercially purchased at most craft stores.  Or, make your own etching cream from the various recipes found online. 

CLICK HERE to view our how-to etch glass tutorial

CLICK HERE to view an inspiring slideshow of etched project photos

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Vinyl Tips & How-To's

Removing Bubbles

by MyVinylDesigner 27. April 2010 05:32

Bubbles naturally form under vinyl, especially with glass and mirrors. The best way to remove little bubbles that don't press out under your vinyl, is by using a fine-needled straight pin or safety pin. Just poke a little hole, and press it smooth.

CLICK HERE for tips related to applying vinyl to glass

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Sealants & Vinyl

by MyVinylDesigner 11. November 2009 19:03

coming soon


love your plate designs! Curious though, if a customer wanted to use the plate, how do I seal the vinyl? Could I use Mod Podge (which I love!) to seal it? Dollar Tree here has plain white plates that would be adorable with a red or green plate design....but customers will want to use the plates....hmmm..any ideas on this? Thanks! Cindy

 
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FAQ | Vinyl Tips & How-To's

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