Vinyl Tailgate Letter Installation Instructions:
Materials Needed: Cleaning supplies to prepare the surface, Spray bottle with a mixture of soapy water (2 tablespoons dish washing detergent per quart of water), Drying Towel, Hair Dryer (optional).
- The tailgate surface must be clean and free of dirt, grease, oil, road film, wax or other contaminants. It is recommended to use HOT soapy water to wash the surface. Wax, grease, and oil can be removed with solvent (paint pre-cleaner, bug and tar remover..etc.)- but be sure to choose one that will NOT harm your paint.
- Once cleaned and dry, inspect your Tailgate Letters carefully for flaws such as scratches, dents, chips, or "trash" trapped in the paint. Some of these will show through the vinyl lettering if severe enough. You may wish to remove these flaws prior to installing the letters.
- Peel off the heavy white backing paper from the Vinyl Letter you wish to install- leaving the reverse (adhesive) side of the letter exposed- but still attached to the semi-transparent transfer paper.
- Spray the reverse (adhesive) side of the Vinyl Letter to be installed, and the appropriate letter on the Tailgate with your soapy water solution.
- Place the Vinyl Letter in position over the embossed Tailgate Letter- and peel the Vinyl Letter free from the transfer paper. Be careful and avoid touching the adhesive area. The soapy solution will allow you to adjust the positioning of the Vinyl letter- to center it over the raised Tailgate Letter.
- Once centered, let the Vinyl Letter just "rest" on top of the Tailgate Letter relief- and allow the soapy solution to dry completely. You can aid by patting the area dry with a towel. Do not be alarmed if the edges of the Vinyl Lettering do not stick- they will when the soapy water has evaporated completely. At this point, you can move on to other letters-to begin their installation- while your first few letters are drying.
- Begin at the center of the Vinyl Letter and work outward -toward the edges of the letters- with your fingertips. Do not use any hard or plastic tools to try to work the letters down. This may tear the letter. By working from the center out, you also will avoid trapping any air under the Vinyl Letter. At this point, it may help to use a hair dryer to speed the drying process, and soften the Vinyl Letter so you can smooth the edges and corners more easily. DO NOT heat the letter to the point that it stretches while trying to work the edges down.
- If you find that you need to reposition a letter- CAREFULLY peel it back off- the hair dryer will help in this situation, BUT avoid stretching the vinyl. Reapply the soapy solution to the Vinyl Letter (adhesive side), the Tailgate Letter, and begin again at step 5.
- Once all the edges have been stuck down- PAT the area dry (do NOT rub!)- and allow the Tailgate to sit for about an hour. Then you can return and rework any areas that may have loosened.
- When completed, the Vinyl Letters should not require any special care. They will adhere to the surface as good as painted lettering. Try to avoid using a high pressure washer directly on the Lettering- but spraying over them from a reasonable distance should not cause them to lift.