While some people paint their Cornhole Boards, many people prefer to use vinyl decals. Application can be tricky, and you often have only one good chance to get it done right.
We’ve collected some of the best tips from the Cornhole Game Players Forum to help you get it done! CGP user names shown before the info. Links to original posts at the bottom of the post.
Putting on Decals
Milky: There are two main techniques for putting on decals. Wet, and dry. Wet simply means that you spray a slight (mist it) amount of water on the back of your decal, apply it, squeegee out the water and air, remove the backing tape, and you’re done. Dry means the same thing, but without the water.
For a first time decal applier, you may want to consider using the wet technique. You can put the decal down, slide it around, remove it, re-apply it, over and over until you’re ready. This technique is very forgiving. The downside is that it is difficult to get all of the water out, even with the squeegee. So, the application tape doesn’t come off of the decal as easy, and the decal doesn’t stick to the boards as easy. It can be a real pain in the butt sometimes. The wet technique is much more efficient for glass surfaces such as car windows, where the squeegee will remove all the water in a few swipes.
The dry technique is what I use. Make sure you have everything measured out perfectly as far as where you want to place your decal. Sometimes you can actually lay the decal out on the boards without it sticking. But some times the application tape and the decal are very sticky, and once it goes on, it’s pretty much stuck on.
The best advice I can give you is to take your time. Go slowly. Measure 4 times before putting your decal down. Lay it down from one side before adding any pressure, and work your way over, then work your squeegee/credit card from the center out to remove any air pockets.
A few more tips would be to run a hair dryer over the decal when you’re done. Don’t hold it too close to the decal or you could melt it. When you have an air bubble that you can’t squeegee out, you’ll need to pop it. What I do is make a small puncture in the side of the bubble with a razor blade, then run my thumb over it to squeeze the air out. Don’t worry about that small hole you still see, your poly will fill that in and make it unnoticeable.
I dont prefer the dry method because if you do get some good vinyl decals especially with some small lettering or parts to it, you can run into some trouble. I have noticed a few decals I have purchased from some guys on here that did not have as strong as adhesive as a lot of others I have used. Which I am sure works fine for cornhole boards 99% of the time.
rucraz2: I recommend leaving the backing on the decal to get it set correct. Its a full proof way in my eyes. Then tape down the top and spray with Water/soup solution. As in the “wet method”. (just a drop of dishsoap to say 20oz of water) That way if you still fumble it your first time you can still work with it, vs having to struggle to get your stuck decal off to reposition. Then pull back the decal and lay it down. I have done decals enough that I could probably do a dry method, but I am still more comfortable doing the wet peel back method. So if you dont understand, here is a video how to on how we do it. But we usually dont do the middle tape. Just two pieces at the top then flip the entire thing over.
Rickster: On boards I use a top hinge method (sometimes bottom depending on the decal design). Always dry. With backing on I center it side to side, then determine position top to bottom. Lets say 16″ (or whatever) from bottom to a given point on the decal so you can repeat it on the other board. With the decal in place I use 2 pieces of tape at the top. Note: it helps if the app. paper & backing paper are cut straight at this edge. Press the tape firmly down & use your thumb nail right at the paper edge. Fold the complete decal over & I try creasing the tape at the hinge. Start pulling the backing paper off from the top of the decal (at hinge) till a little of the decal is exposed & flip it back over & start sticking it down, slowly pull the backing paper off around an inch at a time while smoothing the decal down with a credit card or squeegee. Continue pulling & smoothing till done.