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Any tricks for applying the reflective film?

  • I’ve made two serious attempts and both came out with bubbles.

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    I think the problem the first time was a couple specs of stray sawdust. So the second time I brought it inside and was super clean. The second one actually came out worse though. I think the second one came out worse either because I didn’t lay the film on straight enough or because I used a thinner sheet of acrylic that maybe was flexing as I was squeegeeing out the solution.

    What I have the most trouble with is separating the film from its backing layer and getting it onto the acrylic. I always mess that up one way or another. …maybe there’s a way to create a special jig that will make that easy?

    My basic process is:

    1. Spray the window (with the gila solution)
    2. Spray the film
    3. Separate the film (while spraying it)
    4. Do my best to get the film squarely onto the acrylic
    5. Use my fingers to flatten it out a little
    6. Squeegee it down a little better (starting from the center until close to the edge)
    7. Use a knife to trim the excess film off
    8. Get serious with the squeegee. I try to start from the center and move out towards the edges but by this time there are usually bubbles all over the place and the show is over anyhow.

    How can I get a perfect application of the film? How thick of acrylic do you usually use? Do you do it with the acrylic parallel to the ground or do you hang it on a wall for this purpose? Any advice you have would be outstanding.

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