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Applying Stickers - Not Decals But Stickers


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Is there anyone with knowledge on how to apply STICKERS to models?  There's lots of info on decals but precious little on stickers.

The stickers I'll be applying will be on chrome.  I'll need a foolproof method that allows me time to position the stickers as opposed to an all or nothing scenario of peeling, sticking and hoping that I got lucky re placement.

Of course, this method can't result in the chrome being dulled or marred in any way.

Thanks in advance.

Peter

 

Edited by showrods
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  • showrods changed the title to Applying Stickers - Not Decals But Stickers
23 minutes ago, oldcarfan said:

If it works like 1:1 stickers, maybe you apply them over a light spray of water and squeegee them down?

I'm not sure though what water does to the adhesive properties of the decal.

For regular paint surfaces, I've heard of people using a mixture of water and dish soap.  I've also heard of people using Windex.  This one scares me as I worry about what effect it would have on the chrome.

The problem I have is that I've never heard of anyone using anything on a chrome surface...

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I would recommend Rapid Tac: https://a.co/d/dftzdqR

It’s a solution made for the sign industry to aid in exactly what you’re asking about.  You spray a little on the surface, apply the sticker, move it until you’re satisfied and then use a squeegee to remove the excess fluid from underneath whatever you’re sticking down.

Won’t ruin the glue, have used it hundreds of times myself, doesn’t hurt any paint or plastic I’ve ever used it on.


DISCLAIMER: I would test it first and practice before using it on a prized project - but that goes for any new product we use

 

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If you go the water route just use trace amounts of dish soap, you don't need to see dish soap bubbles frothing up to get a little lube out of the mix.It should work fine but if you have a spare sticker test first. Same as with Jim's product you will want to squeegee out the excess along with any air bubbles in your sticker.

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1 hour ago, Dave G. said:

If you go the water route just use trace amounts of dish soap, you don't need to see dish soap bubbles frothing up to get a little lube out of the mix.It should work fine but if you have a spare sticker test first. Same as with Jim's product you will want to squeegee out the excess along with any air bubbles in your sticker.

I think that I'll start with this.  There's plenty of border beyond the stickers that I can use to test this method.  As well, the underside of the base is thankfully fully chromed so it should be a good testing ground.

Thanks.

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In the 1:1 world you would dilute some soap in water. Wet the surface. Apply the sticker onto wet surface, reposition as needed, and then squeege out the water.

This does not have an ill effect on the adhesive.

Now I can't tell you if this would work in scale or not. You would have to do a test run on a scrap part. You could wet it with soapy water, apply the sticker, reposition it, and then "squeege" the water out with a q-tip.

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One tip  - before removing the backing, hold the sticker where you want it, take a small piece of tape and tape one edge of the sticker to the model.  (preferably a low tack and not very sticky tape) Using the tape as a hinge, lift the unstuck sticker, peel off the backing and set the sticker down in perfect location. Remove the tape.

This trick works so well, there is probably a secret society guarding the secret.

Edited by Muncie
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3 hours ago, Muncie said:

One tip  - before removing the backing, hold the sticker where you want it, take a small piece of tape and tape one edge of the sticker to the model.  (preferably a low tack and not very sticky tape) Using the tape as a hinge, lift the unstuck sticker, peel off the backing and set the sticker down in perfect location. Remove the tape.

This trick works so well, there is probably a secret society guarding the secret.

The sticky portion from a Post-It note would work well for this. Very UNLIKELY it would bother the chrome.

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8 hours ago, Bills72sj said:

The sticky portion from a Post-It note would work well for this. Very UNLIKELY it would bother the chrome.

Or the sticker either hopefully LOL.  Thanks for this tip.

Edited by showrods
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11 hours ago, Muncie said:

One tip  - before removing the backing, hold the sticker where you want it, take a small piece of tape and tape one edge of the sticker to the model.  (preferably a low tack and not very sticky tape) Using the tape as a hinge, lift the unstuck sticker, peel off the backing and set the sticker down in perfect location. Remove the tape.

This trick works so well, there is probably a secret society guarding the secret.

I started thinking about this exact problem yesterday so the timing of your post was perfect.  Thanks!

 

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On 7/8/2023 at 9:50 PM, showrods said:

I'm not sure though what water does to the adhesive properties of the decal.

For regular paint surfaces, I've heard of people using a mixture of water and dish soap.  I've also heard of people using Windex.  This one scares me as I worry about what effect it would have on the chrome.

The problem I have is that I've never heard of anyone using anything on a chrome surface...

dont use windex use water with a little dawn   will not effect the the adhesion in any way when dry    ive been in the sign business my whole life and thats what i use

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1 minute ago, gary jackson said:

dont use windex use water with a little dawn   will not effect the the adhesion in any way when dry    ive been in the sign business my whole life and thats what i use

also if your worried about the tape dont use it the soapy water will let you move it around in position

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10 hours ago, Bills72sj said:

The sticky portion from a Post-It note would work well for this. Very UNLIKELY it would bother the chrome.

Bill -  Post-it, good idea.  I like it. I'm usually doing this in full scale and that is where I saw it first.  In that world I'm working with regular masking tape and post-its didn't even come to mind.

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I tried this method (with Sunlight instead of Dawn lol) and I'm very pleased with the results.

Curiously, it did not allow me as much time as I thought despite the application of a fairly liberal amount of the solution.  I had to get them in place quite quickly.

That said, I highly recommend this method but pay attention as sharp corners lifted for a time and had to be burnished down several time.  Everything settled down in the end.

Thanks Gary for this suggestion and thanks to all who responded.

 

Edited by showrods
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On 7/11/2023 at 8:37 AM, Muncie said:

Bill -  Post-it, good idea.  I like it. I'm usually doing this in full scale and that is where I saw it first.  In that world I'm working with regular masking tape and post-its didn't even come to mind.

In the 1:1 world, you could even write notes on it as to what dimensions and/or color layers the note is for. Just keep the wind away from them.

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