For a couple of years I was happily using only a dish with water in it and my decals were floating all over the dish and separating from the paper backing they are printed on. It was a chore to keep them on the paper while floating around.
One day I was given a big tip!!! Its much easier to use some cheap yellow dollar store sponges that can be rinsed out and reused over and over - I like to start with clean water - however about the water make sure you start with room temperature - but pay attention!! If after working for a while you notice the decals do not want to slide easily off the paper then THE WATER IS TOO COOL - you need to add a little more warm water to make them work correctly. If you notice that the decals ARE BEGINNING TO STRETCH when applied - then you added too much warm water and you are softening the transparent cover coat.
After you get the water to the temp that works in your region you cut out each logo or graphic one by one and place them “INK SIDE UP / PAPER DOWN ONTO THE SPONGES where the paper will become soaked and with a silght touch of your finger onto the decal you should be able to move it a little telling you its ready to be applied. Don’t worry if you have too many ready they will just sit there, instead of floating around.
Pick up the paper with the decal on top and bring it over to your glass in the placement position you desire. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it in a few tries. If you mess up you can either rip them off while they are still wet or if you notice some that are not straight or have dreaded ‘BUBBLES’ in the decal AFTER THEY HAVE BONDED TO THE GLASS - JUST GET A RAZOR BLADE AND SCRAPE THEM TOTALLY OFF AND REAPPLY ANOTHER. Do not fire your glass if there are crooked decals or if they have little bubbles under the printed area - BUBBLES CAUSE HORRIBLE ‘HOLES’ IN THE DECAL I call them ‘WATER POPS’ - because this part of it my friend is ON YOU... OPERATOR ERROR IS NOT A HAPPY DANCE! SORRY.
After you put the decal in the right position (I use... A quarter of a sheet of paper towell and I make a little rolled up pad about 2” wide by 2”. Then as you hold one side of the decal with one finger or thumb rub the water out from under the decal from a little over half way to the end of the decal. Then either turn the glass around and hold the other end with the same finger and make sure you RUB THE BUBBLES OUT WITH FIVE FAST STROKES - FIVE UP AND FIVE DOWN FROM A LITTLE OVER CENTER. DON’T ASK WHY, FIVE JUST WORKS! My decals are TOUGH! So don’t be afraid to hurt them, just don’t stretch them - you’ll get the hang of it. Don’t be afraid to trash a few decals in the process of perfection. If you see a small bubble under the ink - you can take your thumb and push down on it and it should dissipate the water so it fires without a POP! Water bubbles boil at 200 degrees and they will ruin a great piece of your work.
If you notice a slight wrinkle or bubble under the clear cover coat do not worry about that. The cover coat will burn off at 900 degrees and leave the decal sitting on the glass alone. All the cover is for is to transfer the decal over to the glass all in one piece no matter how many tiny pieces, detail or words there are. My cover coat is laid down at a full 3mm and the thickest in the industry! A couple of years ago I switched to SCIENTIFIC COVER COAT. ITS VERY STIFF AND traditionally used in laboratories and test tubes, beakers etc. So the measurements remain calibrated to the ml or other laboratory measurement required. VERY TOUGH, DURABLE AND EASY TO APPLY!