Questions & Answers - FAQ
Vinyl Graphics Info
Elite Limit has created automotive restyling concepts that have received awards and more 1st Place trophy winners then we can count. Our custom graphics have been used in the silver screen, film, car show events including SEMA. With well over 20 years hands on gained skills working with vinyl from brands long gone to today’s industry leaders. We have been creating eye catching and trend setting designs that get noticed.
Our high level production ability using our precision machines together with our graphics design attention to detail, is why our concepts are purchased by most of the competition in this industry. That’s what happens when you create cool stuff.
The majority of the custom vinyl decals and graphics stripe kits found available today are cut vinyl. These decals have a negative background which is weeded away. This type of product has no clear outline, no background color and is manufactured using plotter machines. The plotter machine has a blade which when run across the vinyl material in combination with pressure applied cut the vinyl. The cut lines create the letters and shapes and after the weeding process, both the positive and negative space collectively create the final product.
We hope this info helps you feel confident with your DIY automotive vinyl car and truck graphics and decal installations.
Vinyl Decal material is a self adhesive rubber like sticky sheeting. Decal makers cut various designs shapes into the material with a computer and plotter cutter machine system. The vinyl decal or stripe is a one layer adhesive design typically sandwiched between a paper protective backing layer and a top masking tape layer.
Well, I suppose it all really depends on how confident you are in your own abilities. If you are a skilled person who works with your hands you might do better then someone else who works at a computer for a living. When in doubt always simply call your local sign shop on an estimate to install your stripes. We do not recommend a body shop. They simply don’t work with decals and signs consistently enough. Decal and sign shops are highly recommended.
The best practice is to use the proper tools for the job. The end result can be the difference between a good or poor application. Nobody is happy with a bad install. Not the installer, not the product seller and most definitely not the owner of the vehicle looking at bubbles kinks or patched up botched splice work.
Rule of thumb, just spend the 5 bucks to get the right tool and use it. However if this is not possible there are a few alternatives like: Cake Icing Spreader, Driver License that has been wrapped in felt, Same goes with credit cards. Cut a bondo squeegee in half to make it stronger and less bendable. Make sure to sand the edges of anything you attempt to use so the edges are not sharp. There may be some other ideas we haven’t heard of, I’m sure.
Highest recommendation is spend the 5 bucks for our shop squeegee tool if you plan on doing a diy application. Here is the direct link to our shop squeegee. Go add it to the cart now so you don’t forget later after browsing around.
Typically is you use the wet application method to install your vinyl graphics and the environment is around 70 degrees inside a garage. The dry time can be relatively short around 15 to 20 minutes. Add more time when it is colder and if it rained and there is high humidity in the air.
Depending on your areas competition would play a factor. Call a local Sign Shop, Detail Shop, Window Tinting Shop, Lettering Shop, but dealerships. Dealerships typically charge a lot for labor. You might want to avoid that high hourly rate.
Average professional decal and stripe installations at these various shops can range from $10 to $75 one time single price. Some shops like to charge by the hour. Hourly rates can range from $5 per hour up to $75 per hour.
So, if you are going to have your order installed professionally, keep this in mind. Some individuals are not big shops and do this stuff on the side and work for much much less money then an established business.
Shop around! In my experience and local installs I do myself, typically I can install a complete kit for the ram truck within 60 minutes from start to stop. Call around and do your homework before you spend the bucks for professional work.
Yes you can, use a hair-dryer or if you have a professional heat gun. Keep the heat moving and don’t stay in one spot or you risk burning and melting your stripes.
This is no means an exact science or exact mixture. The basic principle here is to have enough dish-washing soap so that when you spray it onto the vehicle or glass, you want to see small soap bubbles. Too little soap and the vinyl doesn’t slide around easily and too much soap makes the drying process longer. In a nutshell you can do a one Mississippi count as you squeeze the soap into the empty full size spray bottle then fill it with typical tap water. If you have very harsh water or very rusty water use filtered water, because you don’t want some kind of foreign mineral messing with your mixture or the adhesive on the back side of the vinyl material. We’ve used Dawn Dish Soap for the most part. If it’s safe enough to clean wildlife it’s good for vinyl applications.
There are simply way too many factors involved when you really dig deep into this topic honestly. To mention a few are geographical location on the planet can determine how hot it is year round and how much sun you have on average over 365 days. The season or time of the year you order and install. Old dirt vs new dirt, meaning how dirty is your vehicle and how often do you clean it. This will determine the level of grit, oils and residues present. Additionally older vehicle have more wear and tear on the paint which cause imperfections.
Really there are a huge amount of factors that come to play for your specific application, install environment and season of the year.
Sure you can we have the same tools we use available for you in our shop under tools category.
If you are a verified buyer of a product that is made available in two or more pieces that complete a set or kit yes. You can order parts of the kit if you only need one or some of the parts in the kit.
For most kits this is true however there are some which are not due the plotting space available on the material roll. These kits are arranged and cut as it is in the most efficient use of material and can’t be taken apart for parts. Any kits like this are mentioned in the products description.
We use a variety of vinyl materials for the job required. For the good majority of our auto graphics decals and stripes made available online, we like to use 3m ScotchCal.
For signage and non vehicle related projects Oracal is a good material. The thing with Oracal is the focus of this brand to be the easiest vinyl to weed and work with at the production end. It was coined by an Oracal Rep. like this, “The marriage between the paper liner and the adhesive is merged in such a way to make the weeding process way easier with less over-pulls with faster speed”. So, Oracal has the decal maker in mind and why shouldn’t they, we are their clients after-all.
For wraps we like to go between Vvivid and Avery. Wraps can be part of a vehicle or the entire vehicle. We have wrapped 60 ft trailers, refrigerated roll up door delivery trucks, camouflage wraps, motorcycles, helmets and so much more.