How to Get Bubbles Out of Vinyl in 4 Different Ways!
After spending countless hours deciding on how to best customize a project like a home decor, drafting the design and cutting the vinyl or decal, bothersome air bubbles can definitely ruin your project and might even cause a bit of frustration.
Why does my vinyl have bubbles?
Sometimes the culprit to air bubbles is the way the decal is applied. Rule of thumb, when you peel the sticker to apply to the surface of your project, ensure that you remove the backing of the transfer tape gently, applying even and small amount of pressure as you work your way from one edge to the other edge. Make sure to wipe the edges clean with a scraper or teflon squeegee.
However, even doing the procedure properly cannot guarantee a seamless decal application as some bubbles can still find their way into your sticker..
Nothing to be worried about! This can be easily fixed using any of the 4 ways below.
How to Get Bubbles Out of Vinyl Projects
There are many ways to get around to saving your vinyl projects from unwanted air bubbles.
Sometimes all you need is to apply pressure with your thumb directly onto the bubble of your decal or sticker to remove the unwanted air. Wipe the surface clean with a soft cloth to remove any finger prints.
Straight Pin or Razor Blade Method
- Lay the project on a clean surface
- Gently flatten the vinyl sticker with a scraper or squeegee.
- If you see a large bubble, with a scraper or a plastic card, move the bubble to one side or spot
- Gently use the tip of straight pin or the edge of a sharp razor blade to poke a tiny hole on the bubble at a sharp angle. Do not poke directly on top of the air bubble. This technique will also prevent the tiny pin from hitting the surface of the object.
- Finish off by gently using a scraper or squeegee to flatten the vinyl sticker.
Another convenient way to remove air bubbles is by exposing them to natural sunlight.
- Arrange your vinyl decal or project in a smooth, clean and flat surface, like a tray.
- Secure the decal with a masking tape on the sides to prevent it from flying off
- It is best to place under direct sunlight, but another option if this isn’t possible is to position stickers or decals in areas with sun exposure whether indoors or outdoors like next to a window
- Should you notice some bubbles shrink considerably but not totally, you can try using your thumb to press on the remaining bubble.
Hair Dryer Method
A hair dryer can be used to get rid of air bubbles on vinyl stickers when the sun method is not a suitable alternative.
- Arrange the stickers on a smooth flat surface.
- Start with low heat on vinyl decals to get the bubbles out.
- For stubborn bubbles, you can use high heat. Just make sure you don’t apply too high a heat that might destroy the adhesive backing of the stickers.
This technique can be used for stickers applied on a vertical glass surface like a window, where you can simply point the hair dryer directly to the sticker attached to it. Smoothen with an application tool and clean the surface with a glass cleaner after.
Do not wait for the last moment to remove air bubbles from your decal projects. The longer you wait,, the more likely the bubbles will remain in their expanded state, and when popped, will be harder to flatten or it might affect the adhesive property of the backing, or make the hole more visible. You will also probably expend more effort to press on the decal over and over again to smoothen it out.
To prevent bubbles, make sure your surface is clean, and in the case of fabrics, iron the fabric if possible to flatten it as well as remove any moisture. That way, adhesion of the vinyl is better.
Prevention is key, employ the right application technique on the onset. Peel the adhesive correctly, from the tip gently to the end slowly, gradually, and proceed to smoothen the decal in the same fashion, from the tip to edge with even pressure.And at the first sign of an air bubble in your decal projects, employ any of the techniques mentioned above as soon as you can.
Remember to not only smoothen out the spot with the bubble but drive the application tool till the edge of the sticker to give it a seamless finish.
The more you practice applying decals on different types of surfaces, the more you will be adept in eliminating the occurrence of bubble formation. And if it cannot be helped, and bubbles still find its way in your projects, you can easily determine the adequate technique to use. And hopefully, bubbles will just become a thing of the past.