(Topic ID: 297632)

Installing cabinet decals

By pencilneck

5 months ago

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  • 12 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by ToucanF16
  • Topic is favorited by 7 Pinsiders


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    #1 5 months ago

    I've slap-assed together a short video showing how I install cabinet decals:

    As noted in the video, not shown is all the prep work of getting the surfaces SMOOOOOOOOTH! This can't be understated... if you can feel something, you will see something.

    Some talking points not in the video:

    Along with the flipping method to see how things are lined up, I'll also rub my finger across the material along an edge to help see how things are lined up. I work on getting the bottom edge lined up first and then make sure the front and back edges are squared up.

    It can be really helpful to have a second person help out... you kind of need 3 hands to do this.... using 1 hand to hold the material up just prior to applying it will most likely cause the material to kink or fold over itself. Handling the material from 2 points will really help prevent this.

    The Big Squeegee tool I'm using is the "Big Squeegee 20" Yard Sign Tool" and at time of this posting is $40 from HH Sign Supply. If you have a stiff and wide chunk of something, have the edge rounded over a bit and glue some felt around the edge and you've more or less got it. I would dare say one could get by with a stiff pieced of cardboard folded over and felt taped on. It is a simple tool. I purchased that one 15 years ago and for other vinyl decal work I've done, it has been a solid investment.

    Trimming things up is super simple, I use a very sharp pocket knife and just follow along the edge where I need to cut. The knife isn't sharp enough to bite into the wood like a razor blade can, but it has a good edge on it.

    I tuck my edged under the bottom and staple into place:
    20210728_212249 (resized).jpg

    Get these type of metal leg protectors. The first pin I did decals on, I didn't and it screwed up the decals there after a few months:
    20210728_213057 (resized).jpg

    To protect the corners from peeling due to "busy fingers" , I use 5/8" clear plastic corner guards. They slip right into place with the leg protector installed:
    20180721_225000 (resized).jpg

    If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask, I'll help out as best I can. I would encourage others to share any tips/tricks they have for cabinet decals as well here.

    #2 5 months ago

    Why not trim to bottom edge? That tuck under looks really janky.

    #3 5 months ago

    HEP has a great technique for the bottom of the decal. After applying the decal to the cabinet he does a light bevel sand on it. Looks fantastic!

    #4 5 months ago
    Quoted from jgreene:

    Why not trim to bottom edge? That tuck under looks really janky.

    Agreed. Trim the edges with a razor blade or x-acto knife. On black cabinets I use a paint pen to fill in the white edge of the decal and blend with the cabinet - turns out great.

    #5 5 months ago

    I wrap around the bottom edge to prevent peeling or lifting because that is what can with an unsecured edge. As long as your eye line is +20" or higher, you see a clean line along the bottom edge. If you are a head in a jar like in Futurama... well, sorry about that.

    I like to try new things and that is how I did the Funhouse. Here is the same concept that I think is a cleaner result on my Whirlwind:
    20210729_105118 (resized).jpg

    Should note, both Funhouse and Whirlwind, I had to replace the bottom baseboards due to damage.

    #6 5 months ago

    I slide my pins base down into the back of my Connect van, that would get damaged tucked under like that.

    #7 5 months ago
    Quoted from Lostcause:

    I slide my pins base down into the back of my Connect van, that would get damaged tucked under like that.

    Yea, this tuck method is not the greatest idea in my opinion. I always have trimmed with razor on the edges and never had one lift or peel.

    #8 5 months ago
    Quoted from Lostcause:

    I slide my pins base down into the back of my Connect van, that would get damaged tucked under like that.

    That was my thought. Eventually the bottom bits get damaged and your back to square one trying to prevent further ripping and damage. The HEP sanding technique seems the most robust.

    #9 5 months ago

    Each to their own. I will continue to wrap around the bottom on future projects I do. Transporting them (rare event) hasn't been an issue, I use cardboard along the bottom edges and stretch wrap to keep everything in place. I do this on pins that painted as well.

    My goal of this post was to share what works for me when applying the decal outright, not so much finishing details. I've gotten a decent amount of feedback over the years from others who are "afraid" to do decals, worried they will mess things up. With a good decal kit running around $250 now, I understand that fear. So hopefully seeing the basics of one method that works will help some one else.

    I would encourage others to share videos showing what techniques worked for them.


    #10 5 months ago

    Thanks for taking the time to make the video. There’s some good pointers in there and always helps to see how other people do it.

    #11 5 months ago

    The tuck is not going to be durable long term. First time someone slides the game into a vehicle the decals will get damaged.

    The hep or older McCune threads show far better methods both for cosmetics and durability. This just creates a long term issue.

    #12 5 months ago

    Here are two pics just posted on the HEP thread. One with decals and one painted.

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