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GUIDE: How to apply new vinyl artwork to your cab

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muddymusic View Drop Down
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The Repro Guy

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    Posted: 17 Feb 2014 at 1:24pm
Since I started offering up the repro artwork I've had a few people ask me what the correct method of applying the artwork to their cabs should be, so I thought I'd write up this little guide to help. I'm no expert on this but these methods have worked for me many times now.

This will help you apply cpo's, side art and other decals on metal and plastic.

Kit you'll need

I've found the following tools to be extremely useful, and they aren't expensive so worth having in your tool box.

> A Vinyl Squeegee - I've found this 3M one to be perfect for my needs.
3M Squeegee - £2.99 delivered.

> A spray bottle with adjustable nozzle. Something like this.
Spray Bottle - £1.49

> A craft knife with a fresh blade - very important you use a clean blade as it ensures a clean trim of any artwork. I use one of these stanley knives, nice solid metal so you can put a good bit of force on it without it bending and segmented blades mean you can have a fresh blade for every time you use it.

> It's also useful to have a steel ruler and a cutting mat and also some microfibre cloths and Novus 1 for plastics, you'll also want some masking tape for larger artwork.

Prepare your surface

It's very important to make sure the surface you're applying the art to is smooth and free of any dust or crumbs of crap. Applying art to this:

Will never work as it won't adhere properly and will show up all lumps and bumps.

A light sanding down is sometimes adequate (and also helps 'key' the material for better adhesion) or you'll need to properly sand down and repaint your metalwork.

Plastics are great to apply to, I always give a quick squirt of Novus 1 and then a rub from the inside out with a microfibre cloth to remove any dust.

Prepare your art

Artwork almost always arrives rolled with the print on the inside. If you try and apply it now it will likely peel away from whatever you're sticking it to, so give it a few days either rolled in the opposite direction (print side out) or lay it on a flat surface with something heavy weighing it down until it starts to sit flat on its own.

Placing your art

Offer the art up where it's going to go and spend some time lining it up correctly. If it's a cpo cut a small cross in the middle of the button and joystick locations so you can see underneath for perfect placement. Once it's in the correct place tape it in place with some masking tape or use some small clamps.


Apply the art

Once it's in place you can start to apply it. Move back your clamps or take off the tape and hold the art back. I then peel off a section of the backing as far as the clamps then carefully cut the backing away with my knife. Give the metalwork a generous spray of water

then stick down the art from the centre working outwards with your squeegee so you're pushing any air bubbles towards the edges, any water will be forced out of the edges. Don't push too hard or you risk stretching the vinyl.


When working with plastics you'll find you can slide the vinyl around a little, this is very useful for pieces of artwork that need to be applied in one go.


Once that section is stuck put your clamps or tape back, this makes sure the art won't peel away.

Then work on the next part, removing the backing and again working from the centre out with your squeegee until the art is fully applied, and return the clamps/tape to hold it in place.


You may need to work in more sections depending on the size of the art, but always try to work from the centre outwards.

Once it's applied you can trim away any areas for buttons etc. with a fresh blade. Just let the knife flow round, the vinyl cuts very easily.



Once finished leave the clamps/tape on for a day to ensure it's properly stuck.



Edited by muddymusic - 16 May 2019 at 11:11am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chuckie egg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2014 at 8:23pm
I wish you had posted this before I did my punch out CPo
Nice thread dude very helpful as I always get it wrong
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote silverfox0786 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2014 at 8:27pm
awesome info
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dex-Jay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2014 at 9:16pm
Water AND a squirt of washing up liquid. That will help the vinyl slide.

Also a little (not much) heat if you're bending the CPO's. Otherwise years down the line the thing will crack like the original did. I have repro's from 10 years ago where this is happening on rolled edges. (bah)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bomjac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2014 at 3:17pm
I am in the process of sandng down my Sinistar CP to fit the CPO that came this week.  I had to fill two holes, which I used body filler to fill.  My question is should I sand the entire CP and then varnish it again before fitting the CPO or just fit directly to the now sanded wood (which I imagine will not give as good an adhesion as I will get to varnished).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote muddymusic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2014 at 4:42pm
I'd say varnish would probably leave a layer that vinyl might not adhere to very well, but sticking it on bare wood might not be that too either. Perhaps a couple of coats of spray primer might be the best prep.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bomjac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2014 at 4:43pm
Reason I said Varnish is that theoriginal panel seemed to be varnished
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote muddymusic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2014 at 4:45pm
Guess it will be ok then
Depends how good the adhesive on the new cpo compares the the original of course - apply it, and if it doesn't stay down properly use a bit of contact adhesive. Deffo clamp it down for 24 hours whatever.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote silverfox0786 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2014 at 10:27pm
oh also to note you will need these too

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/160918991275?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stegrey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2015 at 8:58am
im so confused lol is it only control panel artwork you have to wet? ... all the side art videos I have seen they just peel back and apply using a squidgy

Edited by stegrey - 15 May 2015 at 8:59am



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote muddymusic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2015 at 9:57am
You can use it on any vinyl, but you don't have too - it just makes it easier to reposition.
When I did the complete sides on my bubble bobble cab I just went straight on with it.

The reason it's good for cpo's is it gives you a bit of movement for lining up button holes precisely.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Raiden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2015 at 9:58am
Great info. Thanks for sharing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Vamino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Nov 2015 at 9:55pm
Thanks for the advice Olly.

This thread saved me from messing up big time! LOL

Cheers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote pezley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2017 at 10:24am
Originally posted by Dex-Jay Dex-Jay wrote:

Water AND a squirt of washing up liquid. That will help the vinyl slide.

Also a little (not much) heat if you're bending the CPO's. Otherwise years down the line the thing will crack like the original did. I have repro's from 10 years ago where this is happening on rolled edges. (bah)

Would recommend for anyone not to use washing up liquid. Things like fairy are heavily corrosive and will ruin the glue on the underneath, won't be apparent right away but can cause the adhesive to corrode. 

Use baby shampoo for something that will give you the same ability to maneuver the vinyl with out being harsh on the glue. 

Experienced from fitting paint protection film to cars.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LewisGamer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2018 at 11:37pm
I have a tip!
When tightening carriage bolts it can sometimes pull on the vinyl and make it look like a bit of a mess, however, if you put a piece of thin paper between the carriage bolt head and the art it will stop the head of the carriage bolt from pulling/stressing the vinyl! After you have tightened everything up, use some warm water to remove any paper poking out from under the bolt.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote susnet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2019 at 8:03am
Wish these images still worked, I'll be doing my control panel soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote muddymusic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2019 at 11:11am
I've restored the pics now Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adpolice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2019 at 6:43pm
Thankyou so much for this!
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