If you have installed vinyl before, you are probably aware of the frustrating battle to prevent bubbles and wrinkles that detract from the appearance of the final product. Many have tried different techniques such as wet application of clear or translucent vinyl only to have the vinyl appear warped and wrinkly once again. With a little know-how and extra care, though, you can become a pro and leave bubbles and wrinkles behind.


(Pixabay / paulbr75)

Understanding Vinyl

Understanding vinyl is a good first step in learning to apply like a pro. Vinyl needs to be stored properly for it to perform to its maximum capacity. Avoid picking up contaminants, especially when you apply pre-mask on the same surface where you cut the graphics. Vinyl also needs to be applied on a clean substrate, otherwise you will run into a whole host of problems.

Application Process

Bubbles and wrinkles can be avoided by squeegeeing the vinyl at a 45-degree angle using overlapping and firm strokes. There is no need to press hard; you will get good results as long as your squeegee glides smoothly across the vinyl.

Do not prematurely pull the pre-mask. After laying down the adhesive, make sure you properly squeegee the film to get the excess water out from in between the surface and the film adhesive. This will allow a good bond between your media and the substrate.

Use High-Tech Materials

Some people try to cut costs by using cheap vinyl that is difficult to work with, often times resulting in wrinkles. Instead, opt for high-quality materials. You can use dry application for premium vinyls. Their technology allows air to escape through micro-replicated channels under the film’s surface as the vinyl is applied. Look for No Bubble Vinyl for your next project.

No Bubble Vinyl

To avoid wrinkling and bubbling, opt for No Bubble Vinyl from Instant One Media. This as-good-as-it-gets vinyl combines all the good features of 3M, Avery and Oracal into one private-label laminate.

This vinyl is removable and uses air release, no bubble technology. It is available in gloss or matte. No Bubble Vinyl is good for wall graphics, floor graphics, directional signage, real estate signs, PVC, acrylic, and di-bond substrates.