How-To Instructions - Vinyl Wall Decals, Wall Stickers & Designs by DecalMyWall.com
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How-To

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How-To

GENERAL INFORMATION
PREPARATION & PLACEMENT INSTRUCTIONS
MULTI-PIECE DECALS
STANDARD APPLICATION METHODS
SPECIALIZED APPLICATION METHODS

TIPS AND TRICKS

General Information

Top Layer = Transfer Tape

This is the slightly transparent masking tape-like layer that is placed over the top of the decorative decal. You should be able to see your decal through this layer.

Middle Layer = Decorative Decal

This is the actual lettering or design that will remain on the wall when application is complete. This layer will also contain four identical triangles, called leveling arrows, one on each side of your decal. These arrows are used for leveling your decal and should be removed once application is complete. For instructions on using these arrows, refer to the "Tips & Tricks" section below.

Bottom Layer = Backing Paper

This is the thick paper that the decorative decal design is positioned on. This paper will have a grid pattern printed on the back of it.

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There are four types of DecalmyWall.com Decals:

Indoor ( non-permanent adhesive):

An Indoor decal is any decal designed to be applied indoors on drywall, glass, furniture, etc. They will come in any of DecalmyWall.com indoor colors. Indoor decals can be applied to most surfaces in your home.

Multi-Piece:

A Multi-Part decal is one design, separated into multiple layers that are applied one on top of the other, completing that design.

Etched Glass:

Etched Glass vinyls feature a stronger adhesive than DecalmyWall.com standard colors and is specifically intended for non-porous surfaces (glass, acrylic, ceramic). Etched Glass is not recommended for painted, stained, or finished surfaces.

Premium Vinyl:

Premium Vinyl is specifically designed for outdoor applications, such as car windows, store fronts, mailboxes, etc. These decorative decals come in outdoor rated, sun-resistant treated vinyl

Preparation & Placement Instructions

Preparing your surface:

Always make sure your surface is clean, dry, and free of residue. If using the Wet Application Technique (required for Etched Glass), spray your surface with water that has been mixed with just a few drops of dish soap , or with just plain water, and wipe clean.

Preparing your decal:

Lay your decal down on a flat surface and, using your DecalmyWall.com squeegee or a credit card, firmly rub over both sides of your decal.

Placement of your decal:

After your surface and decal are prepared, line-up your decal (with the transfer tape and backing paper still on) in the location where it will be applied using a pencil (or dry-erase marker if working on glass, acrylic, or ceramic) to create guideline marks on the wall at the corners, top and bottom, of your decal. (For tips on leveling your decal, see the "Tips & Tricks" section below.)

Multi-Piece Decals

Each layer of your Multi-Piece Decal will have two matching triangle shaped (►◄) registry marks around the design. These registry marks are added to help you with the application. Simply apply the first layer of your decal as usual (using your chosen application method as outlined below), and include the registration marks as if part of the design. Then, as you apply the other parts of the decal, line up the set of registry marks directly on top of the first set of registry marks, and apply. Once you have applied all parts of the decal, remove all sets of the registry marks for a beautifully layered design.

Standard Application Methods

The following application methods are recommended for decals in any Indoor color (excluding Etched Glass). Choose from the Hinge or Direct Method according to your personal preference. If you are applying a Multi-Piece Decal, or any decal larger than 24" x 24", the Direct Method is recommended.

Hinge Method

  1. After your surface and decal are prepared and you have made your guideline marks, place your decal on your surface with the transfer tape and backing paper still on, and apply small pieces of painter's tape every six inches along the top edge. These pieces of tape act as "hinges" for your decal.

  2. Using your newly created hinge, flip your decal up completely, and slowly peel the backing paper away from the transfer tape at an angle, taking care not to touch the adhesive on the decal itself. Your decal should adhere to the sticky transfer tape, leaving the backing paper blank. If any part of your decal does not adhere to the transfer tape, lay the backing paper back down and firmly rub your decal again with your squeegee. Then, completely remove and discard the backing paper. Your decal should still be flipped up at this point.

  3. Carefully lay your decal back down into position, and smooth out onto your surface.

  4. Using a DecalmyWall.com squeegee or credit card, firmly rub the entire decal, giving special attention to the edges of each letter or graphic in your decal.

  5. peel the transfer tape from the wall at a 25 degree angle and discard. If any part of the decal does not adhere to the surface, lay the transfer tape back down and firmly rub your decal again with your squeegee.

  6. Remove the vinyl leveling arrows from your surface and erase your guideline marks.

Direct Method

For decals larger than 24" x 24", we strongly recommend using two people to apply your decal.

  1. After your surface and decal are prepared, and you have made your guideline marks, lay your decal face down on a flat surface, and slowly remove the backing paper starting starting from one corner. Your decal should adhere to the sticky transfer tape, leaving the backing paper blank. If any part of your decal does not adhere to the transfer tape, lay the backing paper back down and firmly rub your decal again with your squeegee. Then, completely remove and discard the backing paper.

  2. Gently apply the top corners of your decal to your surface according to the guideline marks previously made, taking care not to let any part of your decal touch the surface or fold over onto itself. Carefully smooth your decal onto your surface working from top to bottom. For large decals, one person should apply the top corners and smooth from top to bottom while the other person holds the bottom of the decal away from the surface until the entire decal is applied.

  3. Using an DecalmyWall.com squeegee or credit card, firmly rub your entire decal, giving special attention to the edges of each letter or graphic in your decal.

  4. Slowly peel the transfer tape from the wall at a 25 degree angle and discard. If any part of the decal does not adhere to the surface, lay the transfer tape back down and firmly rub your decal again with your squeegee.

  5. Remove the vinyl leveling arrows from your surface and erase your guideline marks.

Specialized Application Methods

A wet application method is required when applying Etched Glass, but is also ideal for applying any decal to non-porous surfaces (i.e., glass, ceramic, or acrylic).

  1. After your surface and decal are prepared, and you have made your guideline marks, lay your decal face down on a flat surface, and slowly remove the backing paper starting from one corner. Your decal should adhere to the sticky transfer tape, leaving the backing paper blank. If any part of the decal does not adhere to the transfer tape, lay the backing paper back down and firmly rub your decal again with your squeegee. Then, completely remove and discard the backing paper.

  2. Spray your surface evenly with evenly with water that has been mixed with just a few drops of dish soap, or with just plain water. Note: DO NOT spray your decal with the backing paper still on. Remove the backing paper first, and then spray the sticky side of your decal while still on the transfer tape.

  3. Carefully press your decal onto your surface starting on one side of your decal and smoothing it gently as you move across. (If you have used water that has been mixed with just a few drops of dish soap, you should be able to move your decal around slightly to ensure it is positioned exactly where you want it, if you have used water, you won't have the same mobility).

  4. Using your DecalmyWall.com squeegee or credit card, firmly rub your decal to remove the excess application solution from underneath and pat dry with a plain white paper towel. This step also works to alleviate air bubbles.

  5. If using water that has been mixed with just a few drops of dish soap, wait 3-5 minutes and then remove the transfer tape from your decal. If using plain water, depending on the surface, you may have to wait 30-60 minutes or more before removing transfer tape. In either scenario, if your decal is not adhering to your surface, lay the transfer tape back down, squeegee your decal again, and wait another 3-5 minutes before trying again.

  6. After successfully removing your transfer tape, pat your decal dry with a plain white paper towel.

Etched Glass Removal -- Because Etched Glass has a stronger adhesive, it may be more difficult to remove than Indoor vinyl. The easiest way to remove Etched Glass is to warm the decal with a blow dryer for 30 seconds before removing. This will loosen the bond between the adhesive and your surface, allowing easier removal. If a sticky residue remains after removing your decal, try using a very mild adhesive remover and razor blade, but be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid damage to your surface.

Tips and Tricks

Locate the identical arrows on the left/right sides of your decal. Using a ruler or straight edge, draw a line on the transfer tape from the point of the left arrow to the point of the right arrow. This line will be level with your decal.

Place your decal on your wall (with transfer tape and backing paper still on) and using a level - standard or laser - adjust your decal until the line from your right/left arrows is level.

Proceed to make your guideline marks. If you do not have a level, use the following method:

  • Draw the line between right/left arrows as instructed above.

  • Measure the width of your decal.

  • Measure from the floor to your desired location on your wall and mark your wall where the left edge of your decal will be.

  • Then using the same measurement from the floor, mark your wall where the right edge of your decal will be, ensuring that the two marks are the same distance apart as the width of your decal.

  • Using the level line you created in step 1, place the edges of this line on the marks you have made on your wall. Your decal should now be level, and you can proceed to make your guideline marks.

Removing Transfer Tape:

If you are having difficulty getting your decal to release from the transfer tape, moisten a sponge and use it to dampen the back of the tape. This will help the decal release from the tape. As you remove the transfer tape, press the decal on your surface with your thumb or a dry cloth. Be sure not to touch the sticky side of the decal with your fingers as the oil from your fingers may prevent the adhesive from bonding to the surface.

Uneven Surfaces (e.g., bead board):

When applying decals to an uneven surface, make sure you smooth the decal by rubbing over it with a squeegee, starting at one end and slowly moving to the other. You may need to lift up one end of the decal so it does not adhere to the surface before you can apply the decal into the grooves. Take special care to rub the decal into the ridges of the surface. When removing the transfer tape, pull the tape off in the direction of the grooves or lines. Pulling against these grooves may pull up the decal.

Smooth Surfaces (e.g., glass, metal, mirror): 

When applying a decal to any glass or metal surface, please note that decals tend to adhere to these types of surfaces quickly. Using a Wet Application Method eliminates the problem of having a decal inadvertently touch your surface and therefore making it unable to remove without damaging your decal. In addition to using a Wet Application, you may want to remove any excess paper by cutting around the decal, or cut the decal into parts to make positioning easier.

Curved Surfaces:

applying decals to curved surfaces, remove any excess paper by cutting around the decal. With the backing paper still on, place the decal on the curved surface and mark the areas where the decal resists lying flat. Make relief slits along the paper so the decal easily wraps around the surface (be sure not to cut the decal). Slowly apply the decal by starting at one end and moving to the other, making sure the decal lies flat. Smooth the decal onto the surface and then remove the transfer tape.

Textured Walls:

DecalmyWall.com decals may not adhere well to heavily textured walls. If you have determined that your wall is capable of holding an decal, we recommend the following tips:

  • Use a cloth or your thumb to press the decal into the grooves of the textured wall.

  • If your decal is not transferring from the tape to the wall, dampen a sponge and apply it to the back of the tape to moisten it. This will help the tape release from the wall and the decal more easily.

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