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How to Make Outdoor Stickers

by Administrator

This tutorial provides a process for making stickers that last outdoors for a time. You can use this process to make stickers for store windows, for advertising upcoming events outdoors, or for leaving your artistic signature.

1. Obtain the proper materials. It is important to use materials that will ensure that your sticker can survive the outdoor environment. Acrylic varnish as a base, followed by a gloss varnish to cover the acrylic varnish is ideal. Look for acrylic varnish with UV protection. The gloss varnish forms a rubbery coating that stops the rain from causing the color to run. Workable fixative can be used as substitute for the acrylic varnish. These varnishes will not hurt the adhesive on the other side of the paper either.

2. Choose suitable inks. Acrylic inks come in a wide array of colors and metallic inks too. You just need brushes but the inks will go a long way. You can also get away with being less precise as they will not typically cover the black outline you laid down.

3. Select the markers. There are a lot of markers out there but many of them will not stand the test of time. A good marker has to be oil-based marker, meaning don't use a Sharpie. A few companies that make good markers are:

  • Marvy Uchida Deco color. These are the best for fills and and outlines because they can cover almost anything but be wary of the fumes. These will last outside without being treated for a while.
  • Sharpie oil paint. This is good for fills and outlines and has less odor than Deco. These will last outside without being treated for a while.
  • Sharpie poster paint. These are good for outlines and sometimes for fills. These will not last outside without being treated for a while.
  • Elmers paint markers. These are better for outlines, especially the black. These will last outside without being treated for a while.
  • Sakura. The metallic inks are the best. The color inks last when treated.

4. Take a full blank sheet of paper. Use a pencil to draw out the initial design. By using a pencil first, you can correct or redraw what you do not like. You can order the paper from many sources online; cheap matte finish paper is ideal as it will be getting treated anyway. Do not use an ink jet because the ink will not survive the weather. Only laser printers and copy machines will produce a black that lasts because the ink is melted on to the paper.

5. Draw over the pencil lines with a permanent maker.

6. Find the method that works best for you. There are two possible ways - print out a design using a laser printer or just draw it out. When a lot of black is involved, it's easier to use the laser printer ink from the computer. You could also draw it out and take it to the copy shop to make copies on sheets of sticker paper as well.

7. Outline all the drawings on the page. Touch up lines after you have finished coloring it.

8. Fill in the design. It is best to use the inks for this because they end up being cheaper than the markers when covering larger areas. They also lack the fumes of the markers, so are more pleasant to work with. When treated properly, the colors will last for quite a long time outside.

9. Decorate the design. After painting in the design, add any decoration with paint markers. You can also do this step after spraying with workable fixative if you want to add a layer of color.

10. Fix the inks on the paper. Although this step is not completely essential, it does ensure that the inks won't bleed when the gloss varnish is applied. Use either acrylic varnish or workable fixative. Work on this outside because of the fumes. It is recommended to do this direct onto an old board or a piece of cardboard so that the spray does not end up everywhere.

11. Seal the inks in. Once you have applied the gloss varnish, the inks will be sealed in and weather-protected. This step is vital to outdoor endurance. There are not fumes with gloss varnish, so this step can be done indoors.

12. Wash your brush immediately after using the gloss varnish. If you don't do this, your brush will turn hard and become unusable. Artist's pink soap is good to use but any type of soap will work.

13. Cut the design out. Use an Exacto knife to cut out the design. It is up to you whether or not you leave a border of white space or not. Scissors could be used in place of the knife.

14. Apply your stickers. They are now ready to stick outdoors. Make sure that the surface on which you apply your sticker is very clean and smooth. You might need to wipe it with paper towels etc. Latex based spray adhesive (e.g., 3M Photo Adhesive (Orange Label)) is a good choice for affixing your stickers. It is inexpensive, widely available, relatively easy to remove and will not damage most non-porous surfaces.

Tips

  • Hardened brushes can also be cleaned off with proprietary brush cleaner and restorer if you neglect to clean your brush quickly enough.
  • Consider scanning your drawing into the computer for later reproductions.

Warnings

  • Using "glue" on windows is not recommended because it will permanently harden and damage your window. Instead, there are "removable" spray adhesives which will allow you to clean the window with an adhesive remover such as "goo gone" when you choose to remove your sign.
  • Avoid placing stickers where there is a notice about not posting bills etc. Your individual artwork will be highly recognizable!

Things You'll Need

  • Acrylic varnish

  • Gloss varnish

  • Acrylic inks

  • Markers (see types suggested above)

  • Blank sheet of paper, matte finish paper is good

  • Pencil

  • Printer

  • Artist's pink soap or soap or brush cleaner and restorer

  • Exacto knife or sharp paper scissors

  • Spray adhesive





How to Remove Labels from Window Glass

by Administrator

Removing labels from window glass is an easy process. As long as you don’t use anything abrasive or work on the glass when it is dry, your windows will look brand new when you have removed any stickers and labels. Soapy water is usually the only thing you’ll need to remove most labels.

1. Fill a 1-gallon (4 L) bucket with warm water.

2. Fill a second bucket with warm water and set it aside for rinsing.

3. Add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of mild detergent to one of the buckets.

4. Swish the detergent around with your hand or a long-handled spoon until the water is sudsy.

5. Dip a sponge into the bucket, wring it out slightly, and apply it to the glass.

6. Use a glass scraper to remove the decal.

  • Test the scraper first in an inconspicuous area of the glass to be sure it won’t leave a scratch.

7. If the sticker hasn’t completely come off, rub on a natural degreaser such as baby oil, cooking oil or mineral oil to remove any sticky residue left behind from the adhesive. Just dab a small amount of oil on a paper towel and rub it over the residue.

8. Dip a clean sponge into the rinsing bucket and wring out the excess water.

9. Wipe the glass clean.

10. Dry the glass with a lint-free cloth or with crumpled newspaper.

Tips

  • A professional-grade window scraper is preferable to a razor blade because you are less likely to scratch the glass with a scraper. Razor blades are very sharp and can easily scratch glass, especially if too much pressure is applied.

Warnings

  • You can soak labels in rubbing alcohol or acetone (nail polish remover), but those substances can harm weather stripping and window frame finishes.
  • Never use a razor blade on tempered glass. Instead, soak the decal with a natural solvent, such as mineral oil, and peel it off by hand.
  • Avoid removing labels and cleaning windows in direct sunlight. The washing solution evaporates quickly when the window is hot which leaves streaks, and using a scraper on dried glass can result in more scratches.
  • Avoid using abrasive pads when removing a decal from glass. Even the nylon pad on the back of a dishwashing sponge can be too abrasive and may scratch the glass.

Things You’ll Need

  • 2 buckets

  • Long-handled spoon (optional)

  • Sponge

  • Lint-free cloth or newspaper

  • Window scraper

  • Mineral oil, baby oil or cooking oil





How to Clean Windows

by Administrator

Washing windows is generally a job that most people hate, because you have to battle with dirt, dripping water, wads of paper towel or newspaper, and annoying streaks. There are many techniques and methods that you can use to clean windows, and it can be difficult to know which one is the most effective. However, when in doubt, it’s always a good idea to look at how the professionals do it. After all, it’s their job to clean windows, and the quick and efficient method they use involves a bucket of cleaning solution, a scrubber or sponge, and a squeegee.

Method 1. Pre-Cleaning Windows

Clean stubborn stains. Outside windows are especially prone to stubborn stains because they are exposed to hard water runoff, minerals, bird droppings, and elements that can cake on dirt and grime. There are a few methods you can try to remove marks on inside or outside windows:

  • Use a mineral deposit removing cleaner, such as CLR. Dampen a sponge with cleaner and rub at the stains on the windows. Rinse the area with water and proceed with regular cleaning.
  • Spray the affected area with pure vinegar and let it sit for at least five minutes. Use a sponge or cloth to rub the stain, and proceed with regular cleaning.
  • Make a paste with water and a cleaner that contains oxalic acid, such as Zud or Bar Keepers Friend. Apply the paste to the affected area with a clean cloth and give it a good rub. Rinse away the paste and clean normally.

Remove stickers and decals. Whether you have children who love to decorate with stickers or applied decals to your windows to prevent birds from flying into them, removing sticky substances from windows can be difficult. However, all you really need is a spray bottle filled with water and a plastic scraper with a good edge.

  • Spray the stickers with water and let it sit for a couple minutes.
  • Hold the scraper against the window at a 45-degree angle and apply gentle pressure. Start below the stickers and scrape upwards to get underneath the stickers. Use a towel to wipe away the water.

Remove and clean the screens. For inside and outside windows, clean the screens every time you clean the windows, which should be twice a year. Remove the screens and vacuum them to remove dust and dirt.

  • With a clean cloth or sponge, wipe them down with warm water mixed with a splash of vinegar or dish soap. Allow the screens to air dry fully before replacing them.

Rinse away dirt and grime from outside windows. Outside windows are exposed to all manner of grease, dirt, pollutants, and other materials. For really dirty windows, start the cleaning process by using a garden hose to rinse away the top layer of grime from the windows and panes.

  • If you don’t have a hose, use a lint-free cloth and water to wipe away some of the dirt.

Vacuum or dust inside windows. Make sure you get all the windows, frames, and corners. This will prevent you from just spreading dirt around when you are cleaning.

  • Before you start cleaning inside windows, lay a large towel down in front of the window to catch spills.
Method 2. Cleaning Inside and Outside Windows

Gather your supplies and tools. There are a few things you will need to perform a basic cleaning job on your windows, including a:

  • Sponge or brush (or a squeegee)
  • Rubber squeegee for drying
  • Absorbent microfiber or lint-free cloth
  • Clean cloth or rag
  • Bucket filled with cleaning solution
  • Large towel to protect inside floors

Make your cleaning solution. There are a few different cleaners you can try for your windows, but most experts recommend a basic water and dish soap mixture. Using a spray bottle and paper towel or newspaper will just move dirt and cleaning solution around, leaving windows streaky and murky. To make your window cleaner, you can mix:

  • Two gallons (7.6 liters) of water with one teaspoon (6 ml) of dishwashing liquid.
  • Equal parts water and white vinegar.
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) each of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and vinegar, plus 1 tablespoon (15 g) cornstarch (to prevent streaks), and 2 cups (480 ml) water.

Clean the windows. You can use a sponge for windows that have multiple small panes, and a squeegee for larger picture windows. Dip your sponge into the bucket of cleaner. Wring out the excess water and wipe down the entire window, being sure to get into all the corners.

  • To clean high outside windows without a ladder, attach a squeegee or brush to an extension pole or broom handle.[14]
  • Once you clean a window, make sure you dry it before moving on to the next. If the squeegee squeaks a lot when you are washing or drying the windows, add a little more soap to the water.

Wipe the windows dry. For small-paned windows, use the rubber blade on the squeegee to wipe away the water vertically, working from top to bottom. For a picture window, use horizontal strokes. Start at the top and work down the window. Overlap each stroke by a couple inches (a few centimeters), and wipe the blade dry with a lint-free cloth between each stroke.

  • Make sure the rubber blade is always in contact with the window.
  • One of the easiest ways to get streak-free windows is to buy a good quality squeegee, and to make sure the rubber blade on it is sharp. Replace the rubber blade when it gets dull, because it will stop sealing properly and start leaving streaks.

Wipe up the excess water. Anywhere that water spilled, dripped, or ran down the window, wipe the area dry with an absorbent, lint-free cloth. This will prevent streaks on the window.

  • To prevent damage to the frame, use a separate cloth or rag to dry water from the window sill.

Tips

  • Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to clean inside a double paned window without ruining the airtight seal between the panes. However, dirt build-up or cobwebs in between the windows indicates the seal has already been breached, so you may want to consider replacing the windows.




How to Do Window Art

by Administrator

Window art is a fun way to temporarily decorate a room for a party, a holiday, or as a fun project with kids. You can also use it to decorate your business's windows for an event. Here are several options for how to decorate.

Method 1. Paper Cutouts

1. Cut out your paper designs.

  • Thin paper, such as tissue paper, allows enough light through that the colors "glow" nicely.

2. Use slivers of double-sided tape to adhere the designs to your window.

3. Remember -- if your art is meant to be viewed from the outside, align your pattern appropriately.

Method 2. Paint on the Outside

1. Use this technique if you want your artwork to be viewed from indoors (ie, you're painting a scene as the background for an indoor party.

2. Plan your painting carefully. Most window painters use a Stabilo "All" pencil, which has a waxy "lead". It is water soluble and can be wiped clean with water. If you use a white one (they come in a variety of colors), you will easily be able to see it to paint as the glass is considered a black field, but once you have finished your picture, the viewer will barely notice any white lines that don't dissolve in your paint.

  • You'll have to plan out each layer that is to be painted on, as the foreground will have to be painted first - this requires thought, because you may want to leave certain areas open so that the background colors can come through.

3. Use acrylic paint or ProArt Tempera (add a little bit of dish soap to it, it will stick better and go on smoother!) to apply your first layer (the foreground details).

4. Wait for this layer to dry. When it is completely dry, apply the next one.

5. Repeat these steps until your scene is finished.

Method 3. Paint on the Inside

1. Use the steps for "Paint on the Outside", but apply the paint on the interior of the window. You'll have to reverse gears to paint this way, because these water based paints dry too quickly to blend them. Lay down your background colors first, and when they are dry, lay down your next color.

Tips

  • No matter what, if the back side of your painting can be seen at all, draw an outline around the entire design, then paint a white field over it. Use this as your first layer. Wait until completely dry, then start your image work. This will ensure that your viewer doesn't have to deal with a distracting, and perhaps unsightly version of your image on the side that wasn't meant to be seen, instead leaving a clean white field for the viewer to see.
  • Plan carefully-- mistakes are hard to fix!
  • Put down newspaper or a paint cloth to avoid getting paint on your furniture or walls.
  • Wear old clothes.

Warnings

  • Acrylic paint can stain cloth or walls! And acrylic cannot be laundered out of clothing once it dries. Tempera can.




How to Remove Automobile Stickers

by Administrator

There are many who like to express themselves through their cars. It is very easy to find bumper stickers or window art on cars and other automobiles. Although they make your car look more appealing, doing away with such bumper stickers when necessary can be a nasty job. Many a times, the sticker is removed but it leaves behind the residue to make it look worse. But no worries, if it’s your first attempt at removing a sticker from your car, here are a few simple ways to remove the sticker.

1. Pre-soak. Pre-soaking is an easy method to remove stubborn stickers. Use soapy water to remove the sticky paper. Use a spray of soapy or alcoholic solution and spray it generously over the sticker. Or soak the sticker in the soapy water for some time and then try removing it as much as you can. If it still doesn't work, use natural agents.

2. Use natural agents. Dip a cloth in vinegar. Place it on the sticker and let it soak for about 5 minutes. Reapply as and when required. Then, peel it off starting from the edges. If it still leaves away sticky residue, rub vinegar over the area. You could also follow the same procedure using a mixture of eucalyptus oil, soapy water, and alcohol solution.

3. Use a Blow dryer. Another interesting way to remove the sticker is to heat the surface using a blow dryer. Make sure you hold it at least 6 inches (15.2 cm) away from the desired area. Start peeling off the sticker from the corners while you go on applying heat.

4. Use WD-40. Wet a cloth using WD-40 or a lighter fluid and rub the cloth on the sticker. Use a spatula or an old CD or credit card to start peeling off the edges. This will make it come off easily.

Warnings

  • WD-40 can mess up the paint if rubbed for a longer time. Work on smaller patches at a time.
  • While using a blow dryer, avoid excess heat or the paint would start chipping off slowly.
  • Do not use a razor or sandpaper. It would take off the sticker quickly but it might damage the paint.




How to Make Vinyl Signs

by Administrator

Vinyl signs require software to create their design and a machine to cut out the design. The bladed machine used to cut a sign's design on vinyl is called a vinyl cutter. Vinyl is fed into the cutter to put the design on it. Then the cut vinyl design is transferred to a surface used for the sign. Follow these steps to make vinyl signs.

1. Buy a vinyl cutter and a computer software program for designing signs. A software program could be included with your cutter as part of a package or sold separately.

2. Install and open your software program on your computer. Create your sign using the program.

3. Choose which vinyl you want to print your sign's design with. 2 basic kinds of vinyl, calendared and cast, can be used for signs. Both types last well indoors.

  • Calendared vinyl is best for surfaces that are flat or a little curved. It can last 3 to 6 years if used outdoors.
  • Cast vinyl can be used on surfaces that are flat, curved, have corners or are otherwise uneven. It will usually last 7 to 9 years if left outside.

4. Determine how much vinyl you need for your sign. Vinyl for making signs is sold in rolls of different lengths and widths. It should have adhesive on 1 side covered with a paper backing.

5. Cut a piece of vinyl from its roll large enough for your design.

6. Feed your unrolled vinyl into your vinyl cutter. The paper backing should still be on the vinyl when you put it in.

  • Adjust your cutter's feed rollers to line up with your vinyl piece's edges. Use any guide markings on the cutter to also help you feed in your vinyl.
  • Set the rollers down on the vinyl to keep it in place for cutting.

7. Cut your vinyl sign using the cutter's blade. Use your designing software program to send the command to the cutter.

8. Remove the cut vinyl from the cutter.

9. Take hold of a corner of unwanted background vinyl from the cut piece. Pull it back to peel it off the paper backing.

10. Continue peeling off unwanted bits of vinyl from your sign. This process is known as "weeding." Use a pair of pointed weeding tweezers to pull out small, difficult-to-reach vinyl pieces, such as spaces in the centers of letters.

11. Transfer your vinyl to its intended sign surface.

  • Roll out enough transfer or application tape to cover your vinyl sign design. Cut off the length of tape with scissors.
  • Run a squeegee applicator over the tape to smooth it over your vinyl sign. Carefully pull the tape and its attached vinyl away from the vinyl's paper backing. The adhesive side of the vinyl will now be exposed.
  • Spray an application fluid on the background surface for your sign's vinyl if you think you may need to readjust the vinyl. The fluid will prevent the vinyl's adhesive from sticking to the surface for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Place the vinyl adhesive-side down on the intended surface for the sign. Reposition it if necessary.
  • Press out any air bubbles between the vinyl and its surface by running the squeegee applicator over the transfer tape.
  • Pull off the transfer tape gently to reveal your sign. Start pulling from 1 of the tape's corners.

Tips

  • Calendared vinyl is also known as intermediate vinyl. Cast vinyl is also known as high performance vinyl.
  • You may need to adjust the force or velocity of your cutter's blade and recut your vinyl. If the cutter's force is too high, the vinyl can look mangled. If the force is too low, the vinyl will not easily peel from its backing.
  • You can also use a graphic design program such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to design your signs if your sign-making software can work in connection with those programs.
  • You can buy vinyl sign-making supplies from various online vendors.

Things You'll Need

  • Sign-making software

  • Calendared or cast vinyl

  • Scissors

  • Vinyl cutter

  • Stainless steel weeding tweezers

  • Transfer or application tape

  • Squeegee applicator

  • Sign surface

  • Application fluid






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