How to Apply Bicycle Decals

How to Apply Bicycle Decals
Applying decals to your bike frame is just a part of owning a bike. New bicycles come with decals that the owner must apply and even some accessory packs come with new decals. If you own an older bike, you may want to add new decals and replace the old, worn ones. Some owners may also need to apply decals after they paint their bicycles. Applying bicycle decals involves preparing the surface before placing the decal on the bike.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hairdryer
  • Tar remover
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Decals
  • Squeegee
  • Clear varnish
Step 1
Remove any old decals from the bike using a hair dryer 1 to 2 inches from the top of the decal. Run the hair dryer against one side of the decal until you see it start to peel. Pull up the edge of the decal and aim the hair dryer underneath, slowly pulling up on the decal. Repeat with any remaining decals on the bike frame.
Step 2
Clean the sticky residue from the bike frame with a tar remover. Apply a small amount of the tar remover to the residue and let it sit for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Wipe off the tar remover and any traces of the residue.
Step 3
Combine a small amount of dish soap with water in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray the surface of the bike frame with the mixture, being careful not to over-saturate the area. This lubricates the bike and prevents the decal from sticking to the frame immediately, which helps if you accidentally place the decal in the wrong spot.
Step 4
Apply the decal to the bike frame in the correct area and let it dry. The soap and water dries within 10 minutes. This gives you ample time to rearrange the decals if you don't like the placement. Squeegee the decal while still wet, to remove any air bubbles.
Step 5
Add a clear coat of varnish to the bike frame if you want the decals to last. Professional decal appliers always use a clear coat or clear paint, which prevents the decals from peeling. This is an optional step.

Tips & Warnings

If you don't have a squeegee, rub your fingers against the surface of the decal after applying it to the bike frame and gently work out any air bubbles or bumps.

Article Written By Jennifer Eblin

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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