FAQs

So you’ve got questions. . .

Applying Decals

Will these decals stick to a kayak, canoe or ATV?

This is a tricky question. The plastic used on some recreational items (4-wheelers, kayaks, plastic canoes and coolers) is often made of “low energy plastics”.  The benefit of low energy plastics is that they tend to keep dirt and mud from sticking to the surface. Well the same property that helps keep them clean also makes it harder to get any decals to stick.

The good news is that not all of these items use low energy plastics and you can test for it. If you have a decal or sticker lying around, give it a try and see if it stays attached, that’s the best way to know for sure.  To make sure a decal adheres properly follow these steps:

1) Clean the surface. DO NOT USE WINDEX!  Dish soap works well to cut the grease, just be sure to rinse well.  Once it’s clean, clean it again.  The cleaner it is, the better the decal will stay stuck.

2) Be sure you’re working in a warm area.  The adhesives found on most decals work best when they are applied in warmer weather.

3)  If the area is rough, sanding lightly with a 400 grit or higher sandpaper will help.  Be sure to clean the surface again afterwards.

4) Be aware that despite all your hard work, the edges may lift on some plastic surfaces.

#atv #canoe #kayak #4wheeler #decaltroubleshooting #lowenergyplastics

Removal: How do I remove old stickers or decals?

Getting an old sticker or decal off can be a pain if you don’t know how.  Here are a couple of Pro Tips:

  1. Adhesives hates heat. When a decal is warm the adhesive gets gummy and it’s much easier to remove. Carefully use a hair dryer to warm up the decal before scraping it.
  2. If you’re peeling the decal off, fold it back over the top of itself.  Pulling straight up at a 90 degree angle will leave a lot of adhesive on the item. The sharper the angle is, the better chance you have of the sticky stuff staying on the decal.   So if you’re peeling that embarrassing “Twilight Team Edward” glitter sticker from your car window, grab a corner and nearly fold it over before pulling.  Your fingers should be sliding across the still-stuck sticker and glass as you pull.
  3.  Be careful scraping!  While a razor blade is fine on the outside of a window, never use one on the inside of window unless you want to destroy your tinting.  And never go near anything not made of glass.  Use a good stiff nylon squeegee. They work great on the adhesive and they are fun to pronounce. Come on, say it with me, “squeegee.”  Now try to say it without smiling. See, it’s fun. But I digress…. use a squeegee to coax the adhesive off the surface as you pull.  Then use the squeegee to remove any leftover sticky stuff.  Our Premium kits come with a great little squeegee to help you install your fantastic new graphics (we won’t tell anyone if you use it to remove the old stuff, just be sure to clean it before using it to apply the new decals).
  4. Do Not Use Windex!!! The residue left behind will make the new decal’s adhesive all squishy. Squishy adhesive means a shorter life for your sticker.
  5. After all the decal and adhesive is gone clean the area thoroughly with a little soapy water. Dish soap is good. Rinse and rinse and rinse.
  6. Take your time and do it right. I know you’re all excited to put your new graphics on {And who wouldn’t be?!?! They’re crazy cool!!!} but if you want your reflective decal to last then you need to take your time and do it right.

#applyingdecals #squeegeesqueegeesqueegee #removinggrafics #removingdecals

I’ve got a mess, what do I do?

Take a deep breath!

You are applying a decal, not performing a triple bypass.  Remember, it will all be alright in the end and if it’s not alright, then it’s not the end.

  • Drag the squeegee, don’t push it. If you push on the squeegee like you’re scraping an icy windshield you can make the vinyl decal stretch.
  • Squeegee from the middle towards the outside.  Move any smaller bubbles together, one larger bubble will be easier to remove than a bunch of smaller bubbles.
  • If you end up with a bubble you can’t remove, take a sharp pin and make a small hole in it. Let the air escape on it’s on, don’t force it. It may take it a few days, but the bubble with disappear.
  • You may be able to gently raise the edge of a decal and reposition it, but do this delicately.
  • If all else fails and you can’t recover, it may be time to throw in the towel.  Send us a picture of your mess and we’ll see what we can do about offering you a replacement at a discount.

#troubleshooting #wonkydecals #decalbubbles

How do I apply a vinyl decal?

INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS

  • Thank you for buying from a small business and supporting a dream!
  • Clean the surface with warm, soapy water and dry with a clean, lint-free cloth. DO NOT use Windex or other window cleaners!
  • Your decal is made up of 3 layers:
  1. Backing Paper – solid sheet that you can’t see through.
  2. Vinyl – the image you will be putting on your item.
  3. Transfer Tape – you can see the vinyl through this layer
  • Place the decal on a flat surface with the image facing up so you can see it. Drag a nylon squeegee (or Driver’s License) across the decal to ensure the Transfer Tape is stuck to the Vinyl.  Sometimes the decal will curl in shipping, if it has, just place a book or other flat item on top of it for a few hours until it flattens.  Our Premium decals come with a squeegee to help with your installation.
  • Lay the decal onto your item with the Backing Paper against the item. You should be able to see your decal image through the Transfer Tape.
  • We try very hard to cut the top and bottom edge of the Backing Paper so that they are parallel to the design, making alignment easier. Your decal may also have two or more star shaped pieces of vinyl along the top that aren’t part of the design. If you have these, we have added them to help you align the image and they can be scraped off after the decal is applied.
  • Align your decal and attach the top edge to the item with masking tape. The tape will act as a hinge and you can now flip the decal upside down.
  • With the decal upside down, remove the Backing Paper to reveal the sticky backing of the vinyl. If you have problems getting them to separate, just rub the decal with your squeegee and try again.  Now the exposed vinyl is going to stick to anything it touches, so take your time and be careful.
  • You always remove the Backing Paper from the Transfer Paper, not the other way around. So the Transfer Paper and Vinyl should remain still while the Backing Paper is pealed away.
  • It’s much easier to remove the Backing Paper if you pull it at the sharpest angle possible. It should be almost doubled over on itself, with your fingers sliding along on top of the Backing Paper that is still attached.
  • Slowly flip the decal back over, but don’t let it touch anything. Starting from the top center, slowly squeegee the vinyl onto the surface, being careful not to leave bubbles or wrinkles. Work slowly, applying small sections at a time. Squeegee it down until it’s good and stuck to the surface.
  • Grasp a corner of the Transfer Tape and slowly peel it away from the surface, revealing the finished product. It works best if you fold it completely back against itself as you peel it. If the vinyl doesn’t want to release, just lay the Transfer Paper back down and rub that spot with your squeegee.
  • Enjoy!
  • If you have problems check out our  FAQ.

#applyingstickers #installingdecals

Reflective Decals

What are the specs on your reflective vinyl?

At Wander And Reflect we use 3M Scotchlite 5100 vinyl for all of our reflective decals.

  • 7 mil Engineering grade reflective vinyl. This is an enclosed lens, retroreflective, engineer grade film. (Trust me, the Engineer in your life will geek-out over this!)
  • Up to 7 year outdoor durability. With care, this material is known to last much longer.
  • White and red reflective vinyl meets ASTM D-4956 type 1.
  • White, Red, and Black meet NFPA 1901: Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus.
  • This 3M vinyl is approved for use by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) for the lettering and marking of railcars.
  • 5100 Black reflects white at night.
  • Do not apply wet.
  • Similar daytime and nighttime appearance that retains most of its reflectivity when wet.
  • Unprocessed film resists fuel vapors or occasional spills.

These were the specs on the day we wrote this, but if it’s really important, shoot us an email and we’ll verify any information you need.

Decal vs Sticker – What’s the difference?

Vinyl decals and stickers are very different things. Some general rules of thumb.   .  

  • A decal can typically be used outdoors. A sticker is most often meant to be used inside.
  • Stickers have something printed on them.
  • Often, a sticker is “contour cut.” This is when an image is printed on it and then the overall outline is cut so the sticker is in the shape of the item printed.
  • A vinyl decal is cut from a roll of vinyl without printing.
  • Typically a decal is one color, using the surface it’s on as the secondary color. However, multiple colors of vinyl can be layered within one decal.
  • Decals are a solid color. There are no shades or tones or blends like you would find in a printed product.
  • Decals typically have a 5 to 10 year life outdoors.
  • Since a decal is cut, there are limits to the detail you can achieve. A printed sticker can be very detailed but is often inconsistent with large color blocks.
  • Decals can be made using specialty vinyl. Our reflective decals use the same vinyl as fire trucks, ambulances and police cars. It has very specific properties and meets strict government regulations.

Now there are exceptions to all of these rules, but you get the idea. Just keep in mind that a decal is usually placed on the outside of a vehicle and a sticker is something your kid brother gets out of his cereal box.

Shipping & Returns

How long does it take to get my super neat sticker?

We make each decal when you order it. These are hand-crafted, artisanal, free-range, gluten-free vinyl decals that have been lovingly created just for you. And that kind of craftsmanship takes time.

Which means I’ve got to get up out of my lawn chair, fire up the computer and customize your name. Some of you have hard names to spell and then I start second guessing myself and have to keep re-checking the email. The new file gets sent to the cutter, but nothing happens. Then I remember I’ve got to load the vinyl. After it cuts, the magical decal fairies have to weed it, which is removing all the little pieces that aren’t part of the decal. Then we apply the transfer tape and cut off all the excess.  Finally we box it up with the instructions, a squeegee, maybe a little freebee sticker and a mailing label.   So this takes a day or two.

And then there is the whole Post Office thing and they are only open on weekdays. Going to the Post Office means driving back to civilization, which has been known to make me break out in a rash.

Then they have to deliver it. And it’s in a box and they don’t seem as excited about delivering boxes.  So you have a couple of days there. Maybe more with that whole rain, snow, sleet or dark of night thing thrown in.

All in all, at least 3 business days but usually less than 7.  So figure on a week and then you’ll be excited when it shows up early.

 

#decalShipping #stickerShipping

How do I return this?

RETURN POLICY

Returns are authorized for defects in material, misspellings and shipping damage reported to the carrier.

Returns will not be accepted for improper installation.  Installation issues are out of our control. We may be able to offer a replacement at a reduced cost.

Refund or replacement is at the sole discretion of the management.

If you’re needing to return a decal, please send us a message with details of why you’re returning it. We may need pictures.

  • All returns must be approved.
  • All materials must be returned: decals, squeegee, instructions, etc.
  • Package the items in such a way that they are protected in transit.

Once approved, return to:

Wander and Reflect
PO Box 236
Ash Flat, AR 72513

#decalreturns