The most annoying thing that can happen after excitedly, and successfully applying your stickers onto your motorcycle is...the lifting of the edges. The unsightly imperfection that bugs everyone who has ever stuck a sticker in their life. You can’t reapply it because the adhesive would be gone, and you can’t just leave it there because it has become an eye-sore. The good news is, it’s not the end of the world. There are ways to fix that. But that’s for another day. Today, we’re gonna talk about preventing lifting in the first place. Here are 7 tips to help prevent the edges of your stickers from lifting.
First and foremost, make sure that the application area is THOROUGHLY cleaned before attempting to apply your sticker. Any dirt, grease, oil, or any kind of impurities present will interfere with the adhesive of the sticker. Usually, cleaning with soap and water does the trick, but that depends on what you are dealing with. If you are removing an old sticker before sticking on a new one, you need to properly remove your sticker first. If the surface has any abrasion, you may need to use a high-grade sandpaper to carefully smoothen it out (more on that in point 4). Using organic solvents are not recommended because they tend to leave a layer of film that may interfere with the adhesive.
Surface temperature plays an important role in ensuring that the sticker's adhesive reacts correctly to the surface. Stickers stick best when applied in room temperature. The adhesive may not bond well with the surface if the application is done on a cold or hot surface. So, if your desired surface is hot, let it cool down to room temperature and if it is too cold, you can use a hairdryer to gently heat up the area before assembly. Be careful not to overheat the area though. Well even if you did, just let it cool down again. Easy peasy.
Improper application may result in the sticker folding, air bubbles, or lifting of edges. Don’t rush the application process, and here is a step by step process on how to properly apply stickers. Rest assured, if you apply your sticker properly, you will have a perfectly placed accessory that will stay on for a long time.
Smooth areas provide the best surfaces for stickers to bond. Oddly shaped, porous, or rough-textured surfaces will very likely cause bonding issues because uneven surfaces allow wind or air to pass through under the sticker making it more susceptible to lifting. How do you fix that? You need to even out the surface. Maybe use multiple grades of sandpaper to smoothen it out, and be sure to wash it clean before applying your sticker.
Clear protect tape is great to prevent lifting. Applying it ensures that the edges won’t lift, and it also serves as an added coat of protection. Alternatively, you can apply clear coating over your stickers. Apply it carefully, because you don’t get to remove and apply it again.
Stickers that are not stored properly will lose their adhesiveness. If you have purchased stickers and plan to apply them later, you should remember to store them in a cool and dry place, away from sunlight. Also, be careful not to accidentally fold or crease them. Folded stickers will weaken the structure of the adhesive.
If you plan to clean your motorcycle or give it a quick wash down, wait at least 3-5 days before doing it. Give the adhesive of the sticker some time to properly bond with the surface without any interference. Even after it has properly bonded, don’t pressure wash or scrub the area around the sticker with anything that may cause the edges to lift or damage it. Be a bit more gentle when cleaning the areas with stickers, and DO NOT wipe against sharp edges because they will lift. Of course, you can always use clear protect tape or coating for added protection.