How to Install Window Clings

Level: basic

Installing your window graphics doesn’t need to be difficult. Once you’ve created your design for online printing and received your decals or clings, simply follow our instructions for how to install window clings hassle-free.

The instructions below are for how to install window graphics, decals and clings that are one-sided or two-sided and are 18″ x 24″ or smaller. As for how to install large window decals, we recommend that you consider hiring a professional.

What You’ll Need

Supplies for how to install window clings
Window cling installation supplies

Not all of these tools are necessary. What you need may vary, depending on the install method you choose and the level of difficulty. For a wet application of your cling, you’ll need:

  1. Windex or Isopropyl Alcohol
  2. Squeegee or credit card (if using a credit card, wrap one long end in cloth so it does not scratch your decal when you are applying)
  3. Spray bottle full of water with 1-2 drops of liquid dish soap (this item not needed for removable 2-sided window clings)
  4. Masking tape

How to Install Window Clings with a Wet Application

Read all the way through these instructions before beginning. Instructions may be slightly different depending on what type of cling you have.

Prep Your Surface

Prep your window cling surface

Clean the surface that you want to apply your decal to with Windex or alcohol. Make sure that the surface is clean and free of residue before you apply your graphic.

Apply Your Cling or Decal

Step 1

Find the center of your decal and the center of the surface on which you want to apply it. Hold your decal in place and mark the two top corner placements on the surface with a piece of masking tape.

Window cling application
How to apply your cling

Step 2

Lay your decal down and pull the backer off, being careful that the adhesive doesn’t touch any dirty surface. If you’ve marked the top of your decal with tape (away from the installation surface), peel back the release liner from the decal.

Release window cling liner
Pull down cling liner


Step 3

Use your spray bottle full of soapy water to spray down ONLY the adhesive side of the decal. The surface should be dripping wet. Spray down the surface you want to apply the decal to with soapy water. The surface should be dripping wet.

Wet your surface to application

Smooth Out Your Graphic

Step 4

Align your decal with the marks you made in step 1. Don’t overlap the tape with your decal – just their edges should meet.

Starting from the center and working your way to the edges, slowly smooth the cling onto the window with the squeegee or credit card. Overlap your strokes by 50% to make sure that all the water or air is squeegeed out.

Smooth out your graphic

If your cling isn’t quite laying as you’d like it, it’s best to pull the bottom portion away from the window, reset the top portion as you like it and squeegee again with a downward motion.

Be sure that the outer edges of the decal are rubbed down smoothly and all liquid or air is forced out. This is essential for proper adhesion.

Prick any air/water bubbles that you can’t squeegee out with a pin and push them down. For two-sided window clings, this step is unnecessary.

Wipe away any water residue from the smoothing process.

Decal must dry out for 24 hours before adhesion is complete.

If you have any additional questions about how to install window clings or any of Smartpress’ online printing services, please contact customer service.