Carbon Fiber Decals

Difficulty Level: 1 (Easy)

Time to complete: 10-20 minutes

Tools needed: Applicator tool (supplied), clean rag, a steady hand

Step 1 - Preparation

The 3M carbon fiber film is rated for outside and automotive use, so with just a little bit of preparation you'll ensure your decal(s) stay put! There's no need to do anything special with cleaning the surface where the decal will be placed, just ensure it's clean, dry and grease/oil free. If you have an alcohol wipe handy (normally used for eye glasses) then feel free to use it, but its not essential.

If you've applied films or screen protectors to your phone, then this is very similar. This is not the type of film you can 'float' onto the surface using soapy water; since the adhesive is rated for outdoor use, you need to use a direct application technique.

Step 2 - Unpacking

Each decal kit is supplied with a small applicator tool. Using this allows for greater precision when applying the decals, and prevents any lovely 'finger oil' getting onto the sticky side of the decal.

To remove a decal, just gently fold the carbon fiber sheet back, and use the tool to pick up the decal. The film can stretch, so use caution when removing the decal from the sheet, and be careful not to tug on a delicate piece of the film. Relocate the tool if necessary to grab the decal from it's middle, rather than from one end of the 'T' for example.

Step 3 - Applying the Decal

This is the delicate bit; each decal is very accurately cut. This means that they're a perfect fit, so when applying them, there's no need to leave an 'allowance' for being a bit small; if you do that, then you'll end up with a poor fit.

Once you have the decal on the tool, slowly present it to where it needs to go. When you're happy with the position, gently touch it to the surface using barely any pressure, and continue along. If you're happy with the location of it, remove the applicator tool and press firmly all over the decal (use a cloth to apply even pressure all over). If you're not happy, then use the tool to gently remove it and try again.

The film does stretch, so do your best to get the postioning right the first time around, and, again, just very gently touch it to the surface, only enough for it to not move while you can decide if you're happy with the positioning. If things really go bad, then you might be able to push the decal around a little bit by heating it with a hairdryer. This makes the film and adhesive a little softer, but you still won't be able to move it very far from it's placement.

Anyway, repeat as necessary until they're all applied, sit back and admire your work!