Get the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about decals and stencils. If you have a question that is not listed here please submit your questions using our contact form.
A. Decals are the end result and stencils are used to create the end result, usually using paint.
A. Yes you can use a decal as a paint stencil. This is considered a positive stencil and we recommend using stencil vinyl not decal vinyl. The removable water based adhesive will not damage the underlying surface or color. The positive decal stencil uses the design to protect the surface while you paint over it. See the photos that were kindley provided by one of our customers.
A. Although regular vinyl material that's used to make decals can work in some instances it's not made for this purpose. Stencil vinyl has a water based removable adhesive that's not supposed to damage the surface or first color layer. Standard vinyl material used for decals has an acrylic based permanent adhesive and bonds strongly to the surface.
We offer two different adhesive based materials for paint stencils. The opaque white paint stencil vinyl is a thin material good for use on light textured surfaces and surfaces with curves. The translucent blue stencil material is a little thicker and is better suited for flat surfaces and when you need to slightly see through the stencil for alignment purposes etc.
A. Dry hinge method of applying a decal or stencil is when you tape one edge using masking tape to create a hinge that allows the decal to fold and not loose its place.
Once this is done remove the non stick backing sheet and then using a hard flat pltastic surface such as a squeegee. Starting at the hinge apply the decal or stencil by smoothing the transfer sheet that the decal/stencil is still attached to down onto the surface. Smooth out the whole thing a few times applying pressure. Then remove the transfer sheet carefully by pulling it off the stencil/decal at a sheer angle.
You can also place the tape hinge diretly down the midle of the decal or stencil. This works well on large or long decals/stencils. You create the hinge in the middle and remove half the backing paper then apply using your squeegee. You then remove the tape and lift the end not attached remove the remaining backing paper and smooth it all down, finally removing the tarnsfer tape at a sheer angle.
A. The difference between a positive and negative stencil is that the positive will protect the surface using the designs shape while you paint over it and a negative allows you to paint the design onto your surface. The default is a negative stencil so that you can paint the design onto your surface but if you need a positive you can shop the decals and select the stencil material or if the design is not available you can use the "special instructions" box to request that your order be for a positive.
A. Yes and no. What makes a stencil reusable or not is the design. Most designs do not allow for reusability due to the inner parts not connecting to the outer parts. Think of the letter O since the inner part of the letter is not connected to the outer part it's not reusable. If you connect the inner part to the outer part then you can reuse it. Contact us prior to ordering if you want to know if a particular design is reusable or not.
NOTE: Some vinyl materials work better than others for reusability. The white paint stencil vinyl is thin and not very reusable. The translucent blue stencil vinyl is more rigid and better for reusability. We can also make some stencils out of a clear non stick semi-rigid acrylic vinyl material that costs extra. If you need this material contact us prior to ordering.
A. Some have had success applying decals after sitting for months even years but we recommend applying decals and stencils within a few days of receiving them.
A. Yes they will hold up but we suggest not using the heated drying cycle.
A. Maybe. We do not typically apply decals made by others as not all vinyl material is the same. If you have something that you want applied and did not buy it from please call to discuss your project.
If you need to convert your own design into a decal or stencil send us an image for review.