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Apply stickers correctly

Dry application of stickers - 5 steps and the sticker is in place!

Whether as advertising lettering, as a display of hobbies, new parental happiness or simply for decoration - stickers can be found everywhere in everyday life and on the road. To save money, many choose to do the installation themselves. Under certain circumstances, a lot can go wrong and "wrong" is certainly not the word with which the sticker is later to be described. With the following very simple tips, everything sticks where it belongs.

Dry gluing is suitable for lettering and motifs that have been cut out of foil. These stickers consist of three layers, which are described in detail under "Structure of the sticker". Examples are above all car stickers with a baby motif, band names, sayings or lettering on windows or signs. Small stickers, such as labels or test plaques, do not have a transfer film, but can be glued dry without any problems due to their small size.

Preparation - What is required?

Before you can tackle the second step, you should have the necessary accessories ready. The following things are needed to apply stickers:

  • Plastic squeegee (an ice scraper with a water side or a plastic kitchen spatula or similar is also possible) to apply the sticker
  • Sharp knife (e.g. cutter knife) or scissors
  • folding rule
  • Adhesive tape (must be easy to remove so as not to damage the adhesive surface), eg masking tape
  • pin (to pierce air bubbles)
  • Possibly hair dryer for uneven adhesive surfaces

Structure of the sticker

For the following instructions on dry application, it is good to know how a sticker is structured and what components it consists of.

  1. Backing paper (thick, white film on which the motif/lettering is stuck)
  2. Adhesive motif (the actual sticker that sticks to the desired surface after gluing)
  3. Transfer paper/foil (thin, often transparent foil), not always available

Other general decal application tips to keep in mind before you start:

  • Apply sticker at temperature between 15°C and 25°C
  • Avoid direct sunlight and strong wind
  • Do not stick in a dusty environment
  • Do not cut lettering into individual letters, this makes attachment considerably more difficult
  • Accept support from a second person
  • Allow enough time for bonding
  • Carefully prick small air bubbles with a needle and smooth them out
  • Heat stickers to be stuck on uneven surfaces with a hair dryer; this makes it more flexible and adapts to the surface
  • Avoid car wash or hand washing for at least 24 hours
  1. clean surface

The first and most important action is cleaning the adhesive surface. Any contamination such as grease, dust, wax or silicone must be removed without leaving any residue. A greasy surface, for example, can greatly reduce the adhesive strength of a sticker. Contamination increases the chance of blisters and bumps forming. The following steps must therefore be carried out at the beginning:

  • Thoroughly clean the adhesive surface
  • Clean vehicles completely with a sponge at the desired adhesion point or in a car wash
  • Clean windows with alcohol-based cleaner and cloth
  • Professional cleaners such as quick cleaners can also be used to gently clean almost all materials
  • Let the cleaned surface dry
  • Check the surface again for dirt before applying
  1. Cut sticker/lettering

To make it as easy as possible for you, you can cut away excess backing paper at the edge. This way you will see the actual decal much better and it will be easier to measure and apply later. If the lettering or the motif is particularly large, it is also possible to cut the sticker into individual sub-segments. If you measure carefully, it will no longer be visible afterwards.

  1. Press transfer paper firmly

Before you align the sticker and measure the distances, stroke it vigorously over its entire surface again. In this way you strengthen the adhesion between the actual sticker and the transfer paper, which is important for problem-free application.

  1. Measure, mark and fix the adhesive position

To ensure that the sticker is not applied crookedly at the end, these steps are of great importance:

  • Hold the sticker in the desired position
  • Look for a straight line that you can use for orientation (e.g. the heating wires on the rear window)
  • Hold sticker with one hand and measure distances with the other
  • Distances to the orientation line should be the same on the left and right end of the motif
  • Fix the sticker with masking tape in the middle at the top and bottom
  • Measure whether the distances are still correct
  1. attach stickers

The following steps sound more complicated than they are. The bonding is explained on the basis of pictures. Therefore, be sure to use the illustrations at the end of the text.

  • Lift the right half of the sticker and carefully peel off the backing paper to the fixed center
  • Cut off excess backing paper
  • Squeegee the sticker with the transfer film outwards
  • Remove masking tape
  • Fold the left half over to the middle and remove the remaining backing paper
  • Firm again from the inside out
  • Gently peel off the transfer paper at a flat angle


Our brake caliper stickers can also be painted over with clear lacquer for even more protection and longer durability.