I was working on my Commander this afternoon and among the chores was to “freshen-up” the billboards… remove some old decals and replace them. Below is a step by step of the process I employ and some helpful little tricks to get them on straight and smooth.
First step is obviously to decide where I want them, but I then make some measurements and using masking tape I clearly mark the spot; each piece marks each end of the decal. After I have clearly definded the spot, I then get a fresh piece of Wet n’ Dry 600 grit sandpaper and lightly “knock down” any little burrs, scrapes, or molding marks. You will see in these photos my little pieces of masking tape clearly marking the “spot”.
Then using 91% Alcohol (NOT 50% rubbing alcohol) I carefully clean the spot, making sure to leave nothing but plastic behind. FYI, that bottle of alcohol came from Wal-Mart for less than $2.
Then using a Sharpie and tape measure I find both the horizontal middle of both the decal (marking each end with a small mark)
and the layout lines on the boat to match up to those marks on the sticker. This way, there is no “eye-balling”….just line up the marks and it’s done.
After carefully peeling off the backing on the decal, I simply line up my lay-out marks and lightly “tack” down the decal, making sure it is straight with no wrinkles, tugging, or stretching. Then simply take a credit card and work out the decal from the center out to the edges.
After this, I take a smooth clean rag, and vigorously burnish the back of the waxy paper backing, making sure to generate alot of smooth even pressure, as well as a little heat.
The final step is simply to slowly, smoothly, and steadily pull the backing paper at an acute angle (see photograph) as a shallow angle of pull will lift the decal.