Affixing peeling decals (and polishing).


Fat Chance Fan
I have original decals peeling on a couple of bikes that I really want to preserve.

What's the best way to go about sticking them back down, preferably without making a mess (ie superglue seeping from the edges and bonding to the varnish), while still retaining the ability to remove them at a later date if required.

Also any tips for polishing frames that have adhesive decals applied on top of the clearcoat.

I’ve had a few goes at sorting out peeling decals. If you’re lucky then it’s all clean under them and there’s some of the original albeit dried out adhesive, in this case some very gentle heat from a hair dryer and a cocktail stick or ice cream stick may get them back down again. Heat guns def much too hot I found to the tune of a new set of decals!

If it’s dirty it will need cleaning up probably with some acetone or alcohol with a cut down cotton bud, considering first if the solvent will damage the paint!

After that point I’ve used a medical syringe with some super glue in it to get a very precise/small amount of glue under the decal and smoothed it down with cocktail stick/wooden stick/plastic tool whatever is most appropriate and to hand! I’ve only used glue for this but if you wanted a semi permanent solution maybe use hairspray as it will stick but can be easily removed again.
You could try contact adhesive.. not the gummy evo stuff.. i've got some liquid contact which is used for sticking abrasive cloth discs to steel/alu plate.. it reeks of amonia but that aside, it's a thin paint on adhesive with the consistancy of double cream.. Ellsworth make one, so do 3M.. i can't remember where mine came from, it's in a coffee jar.

You would need to carefully clean the back of your decal and frame with IPA.. hold your decal down to the frame and carefully mask around it so you have no overspill onto the frame.. apply a very thin coat of contact to the frame with a tiny paintprush or cocktail stick, same goes for the peeling decals.. leave for 20mins to dry, it goes on like cream, it dries transluscent brown.. when it's dried, stick the decals down.. you'll only get one shot at this but as opposed to superglue, it won't damage your paintwork.. the finish will depend on how much time and care is taken.

If you only need a few ml's i can post you a small sachet next time i'm at the PO.
Ok, so here are a couple of options.

Spray mount glue has worked for me in the adt for sticking down slightly peeling decals.

Or what I would probably do is use some clear sticky vinyl or similar. Make a stencil of the current decals, then cut out the vinyl slightly larger than the existing decal and simply stick over the top.

In both cases make sure the surfaces (and back of peeling decals) are clean and dry.

I wouldn't use super glue, not just because it will be messy and not a great idea, but it could react with the decal and make it bubble, melt or go brittle.