Products to Compare (max of 3)
X
Compare These Parts
Talk to the Experts. Call 800.979.0122, 7am-10pm, everyday.
Customer Service
Since 1952
in
in
  • Expert Tech Support
  • Huge Inventory
  • Fast Shipping

How to Install Pedal Car Vinyl Graphics

2 months 16 days ago

I started installing vinyl graphics when I was a college freshman. I was taught by a Speedway co-worker and perfection was the name of his game. Applying vinyl graphics is easy and you’re sure to get a professional look if you follow these instructions and helpful tips.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Windex and soft cloth
  • Ruler, scissors, tape, squeegee
  • Your vinyl graphic
  • Your pedal car

I used Speedway's Murray Comet Style Pedal Car for this installation.

Step 1: Prepare Yourself

The installation process is much easier if your vinyl graphics are ready and your supplies are within arm’s reach.

  • Prepare your vinyl - If I’m installing white vinyl, I will mark the top and bottom of the graphic with a horizontal line so I can easily identify the graphic underneath the transfer paper. For this installation example, the vinyl is purple, so I can easily see the design’s edges through the transfer paper.
  • Prepare your workspace – You’ll want your ruler, scissors, tape and squeegee within arm’s reach.

Step 2: Prepare the Surface

Clean the area where the graphic will be applied. I’m a fan of Windex and a soft cloth. Paper towels will do in a pinch, if you’re persistent about not leaving behind paper particles.

Step 3: Position, Measure, Reposition

Position the graphic roughly where you’d like it installed. Place a piece of tape at the top center of the graphic so it’s lightly attached to the car.

The goal is to perfect the location of the decal using a ruler and move it in tiny increments in the correct direction. With tricky surfaces, I choose a point from which to measure, in this case, the top of the fender line is painted silver so I used it as my visual cue. I measured from the silver line up to the bottom of my decal. When the front of the decal and the back of the decal were both ½” from the silver fender line, I secured the decal with more tape.

Step 4: Install Half of the Vinyl

At the center point of the decal, place a piece of tape down the entire graphic. Slowly peel the backing paper away from top transfer paper, up to the centerline tape. Make sure the vinyl graphic is stuck to the top transfer paper. Use scissors to cut off the peeled backing paper. Be sure your scissors don’t accidentally scratch your painted surface.

Pull the graphic away from the tape centerline and begin to slowly lay it onto the pedal car, using your fingers and a squeegee to fully press it into place. You can remove the positioning masking tape at this point.

Step 5: Install the Other Half

Now that one half of the graphic has been installed, it will help guide the rest of the graphic into place. Remove the remaining backing paper and guide the vinyl onto the pedal car. Use a squeegee to press the vinyl down into place.

Step 6: Peel Off the Transfer Paper

Slowly peel the transfer paper away from the graphic and vehicle. I’ve learned that if you peel from a low angle, you’re less likely to pull up or tear the vinyl. Go slow and push down any edges that didn’t fully adhere to the car.

If you see bubbles under the vinyl, don’t panic. Vinyl is a breathable material and will allow the bubbles to eventually seep away. If you want to speed up this process, set your pedal car in the warm sun. It’s not a good idea to use a harsh heat source like a heat gun. Overheated vinyl may pucker, shrink or turn glossy as it starts to melt.

Most pedal car vinyl sets include a right and left side. Most often, they are just reflected designs. Use the same process to install the other graphic.

Other Helpful Hints:

  • Never apply vinyl graphics in a cold area or on a cold pedal car. The vinyl will not be as flexible and may not adhere properly.
  • Remember how picky I was in Step 3? That’s the method which allows me to be as neurotic as I want. Another option is to draw placement lines on your pedal car using a grease pencil to help you position the graphic correctly. The grease pencil line can be gently rubbed away after the graphic has been applied.
  • If you’re not concerned about perfection or if your graphic doesn’t need to be in an exact location, a quick and dirty way of installing graphics utilizes Windex. Spray your surface completely with Windex, peel the backing paper from your vinyl and slap that sucker onto the surface. The Windex will allow you to slide the graphic around a little to get it in place. Then squeegee the vinyl to remove excess Windex and remove the transfer paper. If it’s hot outside, you’ll need to work rather quickly. As soon as the Windex dries, the adhesive will start to grab hold.

The graphic I just installed was developed to work specifically with this Comet pedal car body and meant to emulate one of Doug Wolfgang’s Speedway sponsored sprint cars from the ‘70s. The following photos show the rest of the installation process.

I removed the windshield to allow the full installation of the hood graphic.

Then I installed the hood vinyl the same way I mounted the side panels.

I used a knife to pierce the vinyl to allow the windshield tab to be reinstalled.

And easy-peasy. If you work slowly and carefully, you’ll finish with a professional looking project. Good luck with your pedal car vinyl installation!

Products Featured in this Article

Related Articles

How to Make Hot Rod T-Shirt Pillows
2 months 21 days ago
Jess walks you through a t-shirt pillow DIY project. This is a great way to re use those favorite tees of yours instead of throwing them out.
Learn More
Vintage Valentine's Day Card Decorations
by Jess M. - Posted in Tech
4 months 2 days ago
A simple DIY project using vintage Valentine's Day cards for decorations.
Learn More
Things To Do With An Unused License Plate Frame
by Jess M. - Posted in Tech
4 months 2 days ago
Have an extra license plate frame on hand? Here are two ways you can turn your frame into an arts and crafts project. These are the steps to create a cork board or whiteboard.
Learn More
Turn Your Decals Into Magnets
by Jess M. - Posted in Tech
4 months 2 days ago
Do you have a collection a decals? Here's a step-by-step process of how to turn them into reuseable magnets! This is a DIY project that takes minimal time.
Learn More
Business in the Backpart
by Heath P. - Posted in Tech
42 days ago
Heath finally gets the opportunity to work on rear disc brakes. He explains some things that went great during this project, and not so great. Find out what the advantages and disadvantages are of running disc brakes.
Learn More
EFI Conversion- Part 1
by Kevin W. - Posted in Street Rod
49 days ago
Trying to decide if you want to change to fuel injection in your car? The simplicity of EFI conversions are leaps & bounds from where they were a few years ago. Kevin explains how to choose an EFI setup and walks through the installation process.
Learn More
Speedway Professional Ring & Pinion Setup Tool
by Zach R. - Posted in Tech
2 months 27 days ago
Zach R. gives a step by step on how to setup and use the Speedway Professional Ring & Pinion Setup Tool Set.
Learn More
Chevelle 283 to Garage Sale 496 Blueprint
by Jeff K. - Posted in Tech
3 months 0 days ago
The steps of a repaint/restoration project on a 496 Blueprint crate engine. Jeff K. talks about how he went from a Chevelle 283 to a garage sale 496 Blueprint.
Learn More
Novelty Plaque Mount Bracket
by Jeff K. - Posted in Tech
3 months 8 days ago
How to make a plaque mount bracket and mount an aluminum novelty plaque on a '46 Ford Sedan.
Learn More
'57 Bel Air Fuel Pump
by Jeff K. - Posted in Tech
3 months 8 days ago
The process of changing out a mechanical fuel pump in a 1957 Bel Air and some helpful tips while doing so.
Learn More
Suggestions
Error
Note
Ok