What is the difference between each type of frosted window decal? Which one should I choose?
You are able to choose from four different types of frosted window decal. All four types are made from the same material, use the same general installation method, and create an etched/frosted appearance for the window they are applied to. The major difference between each type lies in how your chosen design is incorporated into the frosted vinyl material. As for which one you should choose, that is entirely up to your preference and depends on which type you think looks best. Here is a quick breakdown on the distinguishing characteristics for each type:
Reverse Cut Vinyl: Your design is cut away from the frosted vinyl material, allowing you to see directly through the decal anywhere you had placed an image, graphic, or text.
Standard Cut Vinyl: Your design is cut to exact shape out of the frosted vinyl material. Inside elements of your design that are transparent will be picked/weeded out as well (example – the inside of an “O” is cut out, as opposed to leaving the “O” solid).
Printed Frosted: Your design is printed directly onto the surface of the frosted vinyl material using UV ink and an advanced four-color printing process. This allows you to maintain all colors used in your design.
Blank Frosted: No design will be printed onto or cut out of the frosted vinyl material, leaving a blank sheet of frosted vinyl material.
Do you offer frosted lettering?
Yes. Frosted lettering is simply another term for our Standard Cut Vinyl option, meaning they are one and the same thing. We refrain from referring to it as frosted lettering due to the ability to create more than just lettering. With Standard Cut Vinyl you can also create logos, unique shapes, and various other designs. If, however, you want to stick with just lettering you are perfectly fine to do so.
With frosted lettering, will all of my individual letters/design elements be placed on the same sheet of transfer tape?
In most cases, the individual letters contained within your frosted lettering will be appropriately spaced and placed on a single sheet of transfer tape, making installation quick and simple. However, if your frosted lettering exceeds 48″ (for colors black and white) or 24″ (for all other colors) in both width and height, your lettering will be split and placed onto two sheets of transfer tape. You will also receive your frosted lettering in multiple sheets if you are using three or more different colors. In this case, each separate color will be grouped together on its own sheet.
What material is your frosted window decal made out of?
Frosted window decals and lettering are made from an adhesive material called etched glass that is roughly .002” thick. The decal comes with a clear backer that can be peeled away to reveal the adhesive. Reverse cut vinyl and standard cut vinyl types will also come with a layer of transfer tape placed over the top of the decal, allowing for a simple, all-in-one installation.
How does color look when it’s printed on the frosted decal?
Printed Frosted – Due the nature of the material, the printed color (as well as the areas that are left unprinted) will print translucent, allowing some light and shadow through. Reverse Cut Vinyl & Standard Cut Vinyl – Your design will be cut instead of printed and will not have any color aside from the frosted material. Blank Frosted – No design will be printed or cut, leaving a solid frosted color.
How do I know where my decal will be frosted?
Frosted areas are indicated by the gray frosted background within the design tool. If you want any part of your sign to be frosted instead of being printed or cut out, that gray background or must be visible on your proof. If you have uploaded a JPG file to the site with a white background, we will NOT print the white of that background. That white portion will instead, be frosted. Please note that if you are creating either the reverse cut vinyl or standard cut vinyl types you will need to use vector artwork (ai, eps, svg, pdf) to achieve the correct frosted background. If you need help, please fill out our free design request form.
Am I able to order a blank sheet of frosted vinyl material?
Yes. If you are interested in ordering a blank sheet of frosted vinyl material, all you need to do is select the option above and be sure not to add any design elements to your decal when in the design tool.
Do you offer other types of decals?
Yes, in addition to the frosted window decals we also offer clear window decals, opaque window decals, vinyl lettering and perforated window decals. Additionally, we offer clear window clings and opaque static clings that cling to your window. A more detailed explanation of the differences and advantages/disadvantages of these decals can be found here: Window Signage Options.
Are frosted window decals/lettering the same thing as etched glass decals or stickers?
Frosted window decals and etched glass stickers are interchangeable terms describing a translucent vinyl film with an adhesive backing that is suitable for installation on windows.
How thick are your window decals?
Our frosted window film is razor thin. Technically speaking they are 2 mil or .002”. The easiest way to visualize this thickness is to say that it is just thinner than four pieces of standard computer paper.
What is the lifespan of your frosted window decals?
With proper placement and care our frosted window decals will last for five or more years in an interior application. For an exterior application, depending on the amount of exposure to the elements and other considerations, the lifespan is three or more years.
Will the exposure to sun or the elements ruin my decal or lettering?
Your decal or lettering is designed to be used either inside or out and is weather resistant. However, exposure to extreme elements over a long period of time can eventually degrade your decal. While a decal placed on the interior of a window will last longer than one placed outside, both placements of the decal are within the intended usages of the sign.
Can the decals be cut to shape? Individual letters?
Cut options and possibilities differ depending on the type of decal ordered. Reverse Cut Vinyl – The decal itself will stay square/rectangular with the exact shape of your design and lettering cut to exact shape away from, or out of, the background. Standard Cut Vinyl – Your design and individual letters will be cut to exact shape with inside spaces picked/weeded out. Printed Frosted – Individual letters cannot be cut to exact shape. You can choose between several shape options, including Square/Rectangle, Rounded Corners (1/4″ or 1″ radius), Circle/Oval, Custom or Custom with Border. The Custom shape option (previously known as Contour Cut) allows you to have your decal cut to the custom shape of your design, but still retain a background. The Custom with Border shape option (previously known as Halo Cut) allows you to have your decal be cut to a custom shape with a border of frosted material around it. Blank Frosted – Due to there being no design, the only cut option for this type is standard (square/rectangular). If you need blank frosted in other shapes, please contact us.
How small or big can my window decal be?
At Signs.com, we offer all custom sizes for your decal or lettering. However, we cannot make frosted window decals that are smaller than 6” x 6” or larger than 48” in both directions. Assuming that one of your dimensions is under 48” then regardless of the other dimension we can print your custom-made decal. If you need something larger than 48”, you may need to divide your graphic into two or more pieces and then install them side-by- side.
What if my printed frosted decal has more than 2 colors? Will it cost more?
We print all of our signs in full color at no additional charge, no matter what design you have on your sign. We charge only based on the amount of material used, not by the color choices. Please note that color will only be seen on your frosted window decal if you select the printed frosted option above.
Do I have to use one of your templates for my decal?
We offer templates only for your convenience. If you see something you’d like, feel free to use it and tweak it to fit your needs. If you don’t see what you’re looking for in our templates, there are a few more options. You can always upload your own design using our easy uploader, or you can start from scratch and create your sign using our design tool. We also offer free design services, if you are in need of assistance.
How do frosted window decals differ from clear or opaque window decals?
Frosted window decals bridge the gap between clear and opaque decals. Clear decals allow light to pass through them, while opaque decals don’t. Frosted decals allow some light and shadow through, making them ideal for privacy and decorative elements.
Will the decal or lettering damage or ruin my window?
No. While the decal does have a strong adhesive, they are easy to remove. Generally, they peel right off. Sometimes when the decals are removed, they leave adhesive residue on the window. Residue can be removed using cleaning solution and/or a razor blade.
What are frosted window decals and frosted lettering typically used for?
Frosted window decals and lettering are used most commonly in businesses and homes as a way to add privacy and a decorative element to some windows. Business uses include in conference or meeting rooms, as a partition for a reception area, or a decorative, unique way to display business hours or logos. Home uses include using the decal for privacy in bathrooms or bedrooms or as window decorative elements.
Will the decal impact the transparency of my window/storefront?
Yes, the frosted decal is made to create a frosted, translucent look. It will lower the transparency of the window/storefront, although it will not block out all light. Use translucent frosted decals to create an interesting visual. Alternatively, clear decals allow light through where there is no printed design. Opaque decals allow for no light to get through. Alternatively, one-way visibility is achievable using a perforated decal, which allows someone to see out of the window, but no one to see in. A more detailed explanation of the differences and advantages/disadvantages of these decals can be found here: Window Decals.
Can I place my decal or lettering on the inside of my storefront/window and have the graphic be visible to those outside?
Yes. You can choose to have your window decal and/or lettering placed on the outside of the window or placed on the inside of the window facing out in the options selector above or on the design tool. These options can be found in the Print Surface section, and are referred to Adhesive on Back (for placing on outside of glass) and Adhesive on Front (for placing on inside of glass). Due to the production implications with Adhesive on Front, a small charge will be added to your order if this option is selected.
Can the decal or lettering be used only on a glass surface?
Without a doubt the decals and lettering are best when used on a glass surface as this is what they are designed for. Generally speaking they will work on similar smooth surfaces such as glass substitutes and some plastics. Surfaces that will not work include concrete of any type, textured surfaces and drywall amongst others.
Will my signs fade or scratch?
Due to the frosted properties of the material used to create these decals, they are prone to scratching. These scratches can be permanent and will affect the aesthetic appearance of your decal. To avoid this, do not apply excessive pressure to your decal with your fingernail, installation squeegee, or any other hard surface, especially during installation. If you have chosen the printed frosted type of decal, the 4-color UV process we use to print colors onto your decal will prevent the ink from fading or being rubbed off over time.
Can I use frosted window decals or lettering on my vehicle?
While frosted decals and lettering can be placed on any glass surface, it’s not recommended to use them on vehicles. Because of the strong adhesive, frosted decals can be difficult to remove from vehicles. It can also make visibility difficult. Please be sure to check your state’s’ specific graphics requirements before purchasing any type of vehicle decal.
Installation & Care
Does my decal have a backing? How do I remove it?
Yes, the decal you purchase will come with a clear backing on the material. It is difficult to see, but it is there. It’s easiest to remove the backing if you use a piece of tape to separate the decal from the backing. We recommend not removing the backing on your decal until you have reached the point in installation that calls for you to do so.
How do I install my frosted window decal?
Installation instructions for your frosted window decal differ depending on the type of frosted window decal you have chosen. If you have chosen printed frosted or blank frosted, you will follow one process for installation. If you have chosen reverse cut vinyl or standard cut vinyl, you will follow a different process for installation.
Printed Frosted or Blank Frosted Installation – Installation of your frosted window decal consists of two main steps. The first is to clean the window and allow the surface to dry before installing the decal. Secondly, install the decal using a spray bottle full of water and a couple drops of dishwashing soap (do not use hand soap). Spray the adhesive side of the decal as well as the window itself generously with water. By getting the decal and window wet, it will provide you with some wiggle room while installing the decal to the window. Do not at any time submerge the decal in water as this can ruin the adhesive properties. Place the decal on the window. Once the decal is placed on the window, place the removed backer over the face of the decal and use a flat edge or squeegee to firmly adhere the decal to the window and remove any excess water.
Reverse Cut Vinyl or Standard Cut Vinyl Installation – Begin by thoroughly cleaning the glass surface you wish to apply your frosted window decal, removing all dust and dirt. You will then need to create an application solution for your decal by mixing a couple drops of dish soap per 1 gallon of water and place this solution in a spray bottle. Next, hold your decal (with the backer and transfer tape still applied) up to the glass surface, mark your desired location, and tape the top of the decal to the glass surface using a strip of masking or painters tape. Next, hold the bottom of the decal away from the window and generously spray the window with the application solution. You will then need to remove the back liner from the decal, starting at a top corner and working your way down towards an adjacent bottom corner. Be sure to spray the adhesive side of the decal with the application solution as you are removing the back liner. Next, press the decal up against the window and use an application squeegee to firmly adhere the decal to the window, going from left to right from the top down. Once you have ran the squeegee over the entire decal, peel away the transfer tape that is on top. If you notice any part of the decal begin to peel off the window as you remove the transfer tape, stop the removal process and firmly run the application squeegee over the area. Once the all of the transfer tape is removed, place the removed back liner over the face of the decal and run the application squeegee over the decal one last time to ensure it is firmly adhered to the surface.
Be careful not to use an edge that will rip or tear your decal. For this reason we recommend a rubber tipped squeegee. If certain small spots or areas are proving difficult to smooth out then small holes can be punctured with a pin or razor blade and the air removed by smoothing it out with a finger. Once the water is removed and the backing dries, your decal will be applied to the window. We do not recommend trying to reposition the decal once it is fully adhered to the window. The decals aren’t designed to be repositioned after the initial installation. If this is what you need, we recommend using static clings.
Does installation require more than one person?
For smaller frosted decals, installation can be done with one person. Usually, if the decal is larger than two feet, installation is easier with two people (however, it’s not impossible with just one). This prevents the decal from sticking to itself, makes it easier to squeegee, and makes it adhere to the window with ease.
How do I store my decal or lettering?
Our frosted window decals are to be used as a semi-permanent, one-time use. Once applied to your windows you are unable to remove them and use them for future use. If you need to store them for a period of time before actually installing them, make sure to keep the backing on the decal and store it in a cool and dry environment.
How do I clean my decal/lettering?
Once installed, your decal can be cleaned of dirt or dust buildup by wiping it with a wet rag or cloth. Regular and light cleaning will help keep the decal or lettering looking bright and clear. Use caution when cleaning and avoid applying excessive pressure to any spot on your decal. Failing to do so can lead to permanent scratches in the material.
How do I remove my decal or lettering? Will it leave behind a huge mess and lots of residue?
Most decals can be removed by using a razor blade or sharp edged instrument to help peel it off the window. Particularly when the decal or lettering has been installed for an extended period of time, the decal can leave a residue on the window. For residual adhesives, a simple window cleaner and sharp edged instrument should be sufficient. In most cases, removal is extremely easy and hassle free
Can I wash my window with the decal or lettering installed?
Yes, washing your windows should not adversely impact your sign. The only exception to this is using any kind of power washer or spray gun directly on the decal. This can damage the decals adhesive and cause it to fall off the window.Always use caution when washing your window so that you do not scratch or damage your decal.