How to Install Perforated Window Decal

If you’re a business owner, you’ve most likely used perforated window decals to advertise your company’s products or to liven up your windows with graphical artwork.

We’ve all seen perforated signage on the back of car windows or the windows of our local stores, but have you ever wondered how these see-through decals are applied?

There are a variety of advertising styles and each one involves a different degree of installation. Perforated window decals involve a lot more planning and a significant amount of effort when it comes to the installation process.

Incorrectly installing a perforated window can significantly decrease image quality and creases prevent light from passing through the decal.

If you want to learn how to apply vinyl decals to a window with the highest quality, then stay tuned as we guide you through the process.

What Are Perforated Window Decals

how to install perforated window vinyl

Perforated window decals are graphical images that are printed directly onto perforated, adhesive vinyl material. These graphics can be words or illustrations and are usually found outside of stores or businesses.

All perforated window decals have a one-way vision, which means that you can see through the decal on one side, but not on the other.

The one-way vision feature is brought about by puncturing 50% of the decal material with minuscule holes, better known as micropunctures. These micropunctures don’t impact image quality and cannot be seen by the naked eye.

As mentioned, the most common uses for perforated window decals include storefront advertising, window decoration, signage, and branding. They’re also used to deflect sunlight and shade the entrance halls.

Window Preparation

how to install perforated window decals

Before you can install the perforated decal, you first need to prepare the surface. A dirty surface with debris results in air bubbles under the decal which reduces the appearance and might cause microtears.

Make sure you give the window a good clean with soap and water. Stay away from window cleaners because they leave behind a fine film that can damage the decal.

We recommend using isopropyl alcohol to thoroughly rid the window surface of any dust particles. Alternatively, you can also use alcohol wipes to clean the surface of the window.

If you’re applying a vinyl decal in cold weather, you’re going to have a difficult time. Make sure to keep the surface of the window free of any moisture resulting from condensation. Alternatively, try and work inside to keep the temperature constant.

Installing Perforated Window Decal

Once your window or surface is prepped, you’re ready to begin installing your perforated window decal.

Decal Placement

how to install perforated window vinyls

Before peeling back the film and exposing the adhesive, make sure you position the graphic out on the area you’re going to be sticking it.

Once you’re happy with the placement and the decal is aligned straight, use masking tape and apply it about a fifth from the top of the decal. The masking tape should run right across the graphic, which creates a flap once you peel off the film.

Peel Back The Film

Once the masking tape is secure, peel the top part of the adhesive backing off until it reaches the masking tape line.

Roll up the excess backing and slowly stick the top of the decal down. Use a felt squeegee to apply light pressure to the surface of the decal.

Press the squeegee down firmly and always overlap strokes. You should start in the middle portion of the decal and stroke to the edges of it.

Once the top part of the decal is firmly stuck to the surface, you can peel away the adhesive backing slowly towards the bottom of the decal.

Take the squeegee and continue to stroke from the middle of the decal to the edges. When you have peeled away the adhesive backing and the decal is completely stuck to the window, give it a few more strokes with your squeegee from top to bottom to ensure that it’s firmly stuck.

You can use this same method when applying vinyl decals to canvas or vehicle windows.

how to install perforated window vinyl decals

What About a Wet Installation

Applying a perforated window decal via wet installation involves similar steps to the method mentioned above, however, the major difference is that it includes the use of application fluid.

In this method, you peel back the entire adhesive backing to expose the sticky part of the decal. You then spray your application fluid on the adhesive side of the decal, covering it completely.

Next, use the same application fluid and spray it on the window you plan on placing your perforated decal.

Once completed, gently place your decal on the window and allow it to float in place.

When it’s in position, use your squeegee to press firmly down on the decal and stroke towards the edges of it to remove the excess fluid. Continue this motion till you get to the bottom portion of the decal.

Lastly, wipe down the sides of the decal to remove any excess liquid. And that’s it! Now you know how to apply window decals using both methods.

how to apply perforated window decal


Perforated window decals come with a variety of benefits from deflecting distracting sunlight while still being able to let natural light in even more.

At first, glance, installing perforated window decals might seem difficult, but if you follow these simple instructions and take your time during the installation process, it will be easier than a walk in the park.

If you require any additional assistance or a place that will do everything from customs business window decals to on-site installation, then look no further than Coastal Creative.

We will ensure that all your business advertising needs are met with the highest quality. With us, your brand will stand out. We can also guide you in the process of applying wall decals.

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