Vinyl Wall Decal Installation:
Read this entire page for more complete tips and information -
and you may find these videos and techniques helpful (various ways are shown and some may work better than others for larger decals or various surfaces). It is recommended to have two or more people to install large decals as well:
Don’t let the word “wall” limit you! Vinyl wall decals can go on almost any clean, smooth, dry interior surface (walls, mirrors, doors, metal, glass windows and picture frames, some plastics) for 3 years or more (most last up to 10 years out of direct sunlight), and can be used outdoors as well but is not the best choice for areas with constant water exposure. Vinyl wall decals are removable but not usually reusable.
* Finish – Matte (on walls looks stylishly painted on)
* Adhesive – Water based removable
* Indoor durability – 3+ years (most last as long as 10 years)
* Outdoor Durability – 1 year +
* Thickness – 3 mils
* Waterproof – Yes (not the best choice for constant water exposure, and may wear off with dishwasher use.)
* Gently hand washing with mild soap and water, after one week of installation, is okay.
Vinyl Wall Decals are a great way to personalize your space. They look fantastic after applying, and in most cases apply so seamlessly many users are asked if they had them specially painted onto their walls. They’re a great short or medium term solution since they are removable (but not usually reusable) and can be a wonderful alternative for renters who are not able to paint their walls but still want to add their own special touch. They make great gifts and we can create a variety of personalized or custom vinyl wall decals – monograms and names, decorative graphics, quotes, sayings, inspirational messages, motivational messages, masculine and feminine designs, bible verses, hobbies, sports and more. We are always available to discuss custom requests or altering an existing design.
Putting Your Vinyl Wall Decals On Your Surface (Walls, Mirrors, Doors, Windows, Laptops, Phone Cases, and …)
It is best to read over the entire information here prior to beginning any application project to familiarize yourself with the details and not have any surprises along the way. Most smooth, clean, flat surfaces will be easy on and easy off when removed (but not reusable in most cases). *But* it’s important to read all of the information provided here to determine any extra steps or decisions you may want to make in choosing your surface for application. Because vinyl wall decals are do-it-yourself applications it is up to you to determine if your surface is suitable prior to applying any decals. If you are unsure, try a test piece on an inconspicuous area of your surface prior to applying the decal. We can provide a test piece with your order if requested.
Plan Where It Will Be Applied
First decide exactly where you want the decal to go, and if your surface is a suitable one for decal use (see “Choosing Your Surface” and “When You’re Ready To Remove Your Vinyl Decal” below). Make certain that the decal will fit the area properly before applying as well.
Your design may come as a whole single piece or as parts to apply separately.
Some whole designs may be small enough to apply on your own. But for larger whole designs that have not already been separated into pieces you may want to cut the design into smaller parts still yourself (separating words, letters, or accents into individual groups or pieces), being extra careful not to cut through any actual design elements. You may also want to get another person or multiple people to help with installing on your surface. Have any help you’ll be needing standing by before you begin, you don’t want to get stuck in the middle of the process.
Choosing Your Surface
While vinyl decals will work on most smooth, flat, clean surfaces – there are some special considerations to keep in mind: Newly painted surfaces need time to cure and should be given *at least* 3 weeks to cure prior to applying vinyl. Vinyl wall decals should work on most smooth or very lightly textured walls, and wallpapers, but may require a bit more elbow grease (rubbing the vinyl transfer more firmly onto the wall) to get them to adhere initially on certain stubborn surfaces. Stain resistant paints also tend to completely resist decal installation or anything sticking to the surface, as well as low or zero VOC paints (environmentally friendly paints). Textured, chalky, damaged, peeling, cracked, or other problematic surfaces, or surface that will have out-gassing may also cause vinyl wall decals to resist adhering or bubble. Please keep this in mind when planning the surface you wish to install your decal to. We do have tips in our installation instructions to help try to get the vinyl to adhere to problematic surfaces but we cannot guarantee adhesion to all surfaces or surface types. Test a small area if possible prior to applying your vinyl wall decal design. We will include a small test piece if requested with your order.
Clean Your Surface
For easiest installation and best results vinyl wall decals need a smooth, clean, dry surface. Any dust, dirt, or other type of build-up on the surface may cause the vinyl wall decal to fail or not adhere.
Clean the surface thoroughly with water and a small amount of mild dish soap, and/or use rubbing alcohol. Other cleaning chemicals may react with the glue from the vinyl and are not recommended. Rinse off any excess soap and dry with a lint free cloth if needed. Let the surface completely air dry before trying to continue the application.
Prepare Your Vinyl Wall Decal For Installation
If you have decided to cut your decal into smaller sections than what you received, you can do so before or after this step. Be sure to apply the following steps to all of the decal and it’s individual parts.
—> Vinyl decals come as a sandwich. One layer of liner paper, the vinyl decal itself in the middle, and then a layer of transfer tape.
You want the vinyl decal to stick to the transfer tape (sticky tape part) and to release the vinyl from its liner paper (non sticky). You will use the sticky transfer tape to apply the vinyl to the surface, and then remove the tape itself from the surface.
TO DO SO:
Put the design with the liner face down on a hard surface, vinyl graphics and transfer tape (may be a clear or paper tape) side up. Use a hard but non damaging item such as a squeegee, plastic credit card, drivers license, plastic spatula, or a rubber ball or tennis ball to press firmly back and forth across the entire design. Now flip it over and do the same thing on the other side.
Remove The Liner Backing Paper
With the design and transfer tape still face down and the liner backing paper (non sticky) on top, start at a corner and peel the liner off the transfer tape, leaving the vinyl stuck to the transfer tape and not the liner you are removing, rolling it back as close to itself as possible as you go.
** Take your time ** and go slowly watching for any areas that may not have released from the liner. If you have areas that have not released, don’t go any further until you get those to release, simply put the backing paper over that specific area and work it off by rubbing again with your hand or credit card, squeegee, etc. Do this until you have the liner completely removed and all the vinyl left on the transfer tape.
Applying Your Vinyl Decal To The Surface
If the decal is small enough you should be able to do this alone. If it’s larger you may want to have help to keep the design steady and smooth as you put it into position and begin to stick it down. Carefully position your vinyl decal with the sticky side of the transfer tape and the vinyl itself facing the surface it will be applied to. Press onto the surface so that it sticks into place. Once you have the vinyl decal stuck into place on your surface – use your squeegee, credit card, spatula, rubber ball or other item to firmly press over the entire design against the surface. The more and better that you press, the easier it will be to remove the transfer tape and have your design stay in place on the surface. Heat is an amazing helper as well — use a hair dryer on high to warm the vinyl up and help it adhere.
Once you have pressed your design into place, starting at one corner begin to remove the transfer tape, you want the vinyl to be left on the wall. GO SLOWLY, peel the transfer tape back against itself as close as possible, again going slowly, and watch for any vinyl that wants to stay on the tape instead of adhering to the surface or wall. When you get to spots that have stayed on the tape, put the tape back over the area and rub it into the wall or surface even more. For stubborn surfaces really try to press the vinyl into each crevice and dip to give it more surface area to adhere to. Reheat with your hair dryer if needed as you go as well. Go in sections as you pull back the tape, cut off excess tape if needed to get it out of your way and keep it from re-adhering to your surface.
Stand back and look at your beautiful new decal!
When You’re Ready To Remove Your Vinyl Decal
Vinyl wall decals are rated removable for at least 2 years (but are not usually reusable). The longer that a decal is left on a surface the stronger the glue will bond to the surface, so leaving the decal over 2 years could possibly make it more difficult to remove. On most surfaces the decals will come off cleanly up to 10 years, but certain types of surface finishes or textures (such as those listed above as problematic) can cause the glue to form a more permanent bond over this time and some of the wall finish could possibly come off when removed. This is more likely to happen with raised and textured painted surfaces, flat paints, or surfaces that are not already finished correctly (bare, thinly painted, crumbling, or peeling walls and other damage or preexisting surface problems and conditions). Please note that it is up to you to determine if your surface is suitable prior to applying any decals or to understand you may need to touch up surface areas such as walls that decals are removed from down the road.
If you find the decal hard to remove from any surface, try heating each section you want to remove with a hair dryer, the heat makes the vinyl and adhesive more pliable and can help the vinyl decal come off much easier.