Install dem decals. Do the things.

Posted on October 02 2016

Install dem decals. Do the things.

 

If you’ve never applied vinyl decals before, don’t fret! It’s actually very simple to apply. It works very similar to a temporary tattoo. Once you remove the backing paper, the sticky side of the decals are exposed. You then apply the sticky side of the decal to your installation surface, and rub over top of it with a credit card, spatula, squeegee, really anything hard and flat. You then remove the top paper (transfer tape), leaving only the vinyl decal on your installation surface.


That’s the jist of it, but I’m gonna give a much more detailed explanation for you guys to help your installations go as smoothly as possible. Because I care about you guys. You’re juss so cute.


WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Lint free towel, damp with water
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Squeegee / credit card
  • Measuring tape

NOT CRUCIAL, BUT ALSO HELPFUL TO HAVE:

  • Laser level
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • X-acto knife
  • Blow dryer / heat gun

PREP

If decal sheets are curling from being rolled up to ship, you can lay them flat and weigh down the edges for a few hours to smooth them back out. This will reduce the minor annoyance of the decal sheets rolling up as you work with them, but is not necessary. You can place the decal pieces on a smooth surface and rub over them with a squeegee/credit card/spatula/something hard and flat to push out any air bubbles. They will not ruin the decal, but rubbing over the decals before installing them helps the decals transfer to the wall more easily.


The border around each decal piece is not meant to be installed. The border is left on in order to ensure that the edges of the transfer paper don’t try to peel up before you’re ready to install your decals. This protects the decals from damage prior to installation.


Make sure that your wall or installation surface is completely clean and dry prior to installation. You may want to use a lint free towel, (like a wash cloth), damp with water, and rub over the surface to remove any dust or residue. Then go back over it with a dry lint free towel to dry the surface. If there is any residue on the wall, you may want to use something to remove it such as rubbing alcohol. Using cleaners such as Windex may leave a residue of its own, which may make vinyl installation more difficult, so using water or rubbing alcohol is recommended.


APPLICATION

MULTI-PIECE SINGLE IMAGE DECAL WITH REGISTRATION MARKS

Gold Octopus Vinyl Decal Preview

For instructions specific to a set of multiple, separate decals, scroll past this section.


Grab a pair of scissors and cut the border off of each decal piece, taking care to cut straight along the top edges, which will help you install the decal straight. Cut right along the inside edge of the borders.


Once your decal pieces have the borders cut off, grab some plain ol’ masking tape. Tape each decal on the wall where you’re wanting them to be installed. You’ll want to tape up each piece, matching up the registration marks (stars) so you can see the final placement of your finished product. You can just put a piece of tape on the top right and top left of each decal. Once you have all of the pieces taped up and lined up correctly, stand back and make sure that they’re all exactly where you want them. Once you have them all set up where you want them to go, start with the piece that is the widest (from left to right). Leave only that piece taped up on the wall where you had the other pieces lined up with it. You can set aside the other pieces for now.


If you have a level, you can use that to line up along the top edge of that biggest piece to make sure that it is straight. If you don’t have a level, you can just use measuring tape to measure from each top corner of the decal to the ceiling or to the baseboard, whichever is straight and most convenient. Once you confirm that each measurement is the same and that your first piece of level, you can install that first piece.


Place a strip of masking tape along the full length of the bottom of the decal piece. This will act as a hinge to keep the decal in place while you remove the backing paper. Be sure to apply enough tape to fully support the weight of the decal once the top pieces of tape have been removed. Remove the tape along the top of the decal so that the decal can flip down along the bottom taped hinge, so the grid paper is facing you.


While making sure that the hinge of tape along the bottom is keeping the decal in place on the wall, carefully peel back the grid/wax paper to expose the sticky side of the back of the decal. Try to peel the paper back at a sharp angle and apply some pressure as you roll off the grid paper to ensure that no parts of the decal tries to come off with the grid/wax paper. Proceed slowly to make sure that the decal is sticking to the sticky transfer paper rather than trying to come off with the grid/wax paper, otherwise the decal may rip.


Once you have removed the backing paper, be sure to NOT let the remaining sticky transfer paper fold back on itself or touch itself. If it sticks to itself, it will be very difficult to peel back away from itself, and will likely ruin the decal.


Grab both bottom hanging edges of the sticky transfer paper, and bring the paper back up onto the wall. Pull the paper tight enough to where it doesn’t bend or bow in the middle, but not so hard that the masking tape pulls off of the wall. Once you have flipped up the decal back onto the wall, rub the decal with your hands from the bottom middle of the taped hinge, upward and outward from the middle, pressing it into the wall or installation surface.


Next, grab something hard and flat such as a credit card, spatula, or squeegee, and rub the decal into the texture of your wall or installation surface.


Next, you will peel off the sticky transfer paper. In order to make sure that the decal doesn’t rip, you can tear the transfer paper into small pieces as you peel it away from the decal. Starting from the top corner is usually easiest. Make sure that as you tear each strip away from the decal, rather than pulling the paper away from the surface at a 90 degree angle, push the sticky transfer paper back against itself as you remove it. Try to press on each part of the decal as you push and roll off the sticky transfer paper. Be sure to apply the registration stars as well, otherwise, lining up the remaining pieces will be difficult.


Once you have fully removed the transfer paper, the first piece of your decal is installed. If it is installed on a particularly textured surface, you may want to go back over the decal with your fingers and smoosh the decal deeper into the texture of the surface. Do not swipe over the decal, or you may accidentally rip it. Just push it into the surface in sections.


It is now time to apply the next piece. You can apply any piece that matches up with the registration marks of the first piece you’ve installed. Make sure there are still pieces of tape in the top corners of the next piece you’re going to install (or put on a couple new pieces). Don’t put the tape pieces over the stars that you’ll be lining up with the piece that is already on the wall. If the stars are on the top edges of your next piece, you can put the tape on the very top of the left and right vertical sides of the decal, so that the tape sticks to the wall and not to the vinyl decal that’s already been applied to the wall.


Rip off pieces of the wax/grid paper behind the stars, exposing the sticky side of only the stars. This will allow you to see through the sticky transfer tape to the existing stars on the wall to accurately see how to line the stars up. Wet the back of the stars (the sticky side) with some water (or just spit on ‘em a little) to make sure that while trying to align the stars, the sticky part of the stars you’re holding don’t accidentally remove the stars that are already on the wall.


Once you’ve removed the backing paper behind the stars and wet the back of the stars, bring the stars toward the wall to align them right on top of the stars that are already on the wall. Try to overlap them as exactly as you can. Once you have the stars in place, press down the masking tape on the top corners to keep the decal in place with the stars aligned as exactly as possible.


Once that piece is taped in place where it needs to go, place a piece of masking tape along the entire bottom edge of that piece, as you did with the previous piece. Repeat the steps you followed to install the first piece (untape top and let hang down from the wall, carefully peel off grid/wax paper, grab both edges of transfer tape and pull taut as you swing it up on that bottom edge of tape back up flat onto the wall). Make sure that if the stars are at the top of this piece, that as you bring back up the transfer tape toward the wall, you see the stars line up once more.


Continue the steps taken for the first piece to complete this piece’s installation (rub over the surface with a credit card or something hard and flat, peel back the transfer tape in strips and push against the wall while removing transfer tape strips, pressing the vinyl into the wall as you remove the transfer tape.)


Continue this process with the other pieces of the decal, each time making sure to line up the registration mark stars as precisely as you can. This will ensure smooth connections between the pieces of the decal. If after you have all the transfer tape removed, you notice part(s) that didn’t line up as well as you’d like them to, you can take an x-acto knife, needle, or other sharp object to peel up the overlapping piece of vinyl, and form it back by hand to correctly line up with the vinyl piece below it. This part can be tedious, but can be avoided by lining up the registration mark stars with accuracy. Once the entire decal has been installed, you can remove the registration mark stars.


If your decal is wanting to peel back off even after smooshing it into the installation surface, you can heat it up with a blow dryer or heat gun and smoosh it more firmly into the surface. The heat loosens the vinyl, making it more malleable and able to form to the texture of the surface better, and it also makes the adhesive a little stickier.


And you’re done! Stand back and enjoy how great you are and how great your decals look. Good job. I’m proud of you.






INSTALLATION

SET OF MULTIPLE SEPARATE DECALS

 

Grab a pair of scissors and cut the decals out individually so that you can space them out as desired on your wall or other installation surface. Try to cut fairly straight in between images, as this will help you install them level on your wall or installation surface.


Once your decals are cut apart, grab some plain ol’ masking tape. Tape each decal on the wall where you want them to be installed. You can just put a little piece of tape along the top middle of each decal, or a piece each on the top right and top left of each decal. You do this so that you can have the decals all taped up before you actually stick them on, so you can stand back and make sure that they’re all exactly where you want them. You can use a level to make sure the decals are in straight lines, use a measuring tape to make sure they are all spaced equally apart, or just go wild and place the decals wherever you want.


Once you have all of the decals taped in place where you want them to be installed, put a strip of masking tape along the full length of the bottom of each of the decals. This will act as a hinge to keep the decal in place while you remove the backing paper. Remove the tape along the top of the decal so that the decal can flip down along the bottom taped hinge, so the grid paper is facing you.


While making sure that the hinge of tape is keeping the decal on the wall or installation surface where you’re wanting it to go, carefully peel back the grid/wax paper to expose the sticky side of the back of the decals. Try to peel the paper back at a sharp angle and apply some pressure as you roll off the grid paper to ensure that no parts of the decals try to come off with the grid/wax paper. Proceed slowly to make sure that the decal is sticking to the sticky transfer paper rather than trying to come off with the grid/wax paper, otherwise the decal may rip.


Once you have removed the backing paper, be sure to NOT let the remaining sticky transfer paper fold back on itself or touch itself. If it sticks to itself, it will be very difficult to peel back away from itself, and will likely ruin the decal.


Grab both bottom hanging edges of the sticky transfer paper, and bring the paper back up onto the wall. Pull the paper tight enough to where it doesn’t bend or bow in the middle, but not so hard that the masking tape pulls off of the wall. Once you have flipped up the decal back onto the wall, rub the decal with your fingers from the middle outward, pressing it into the wall or installation surface.


Next, grab something hard and flat such as a credit card, spatula, or squeegee, and rub the decal into the texture of your wall or installation surface.


Next, you will peel off the sticky transfer paper. In order to carefully make sure that the decals don’t rip, you can tear the transfer paper into small pieces as you peel it away from the decal. Make sure that as you tear each strip away from the decal, rather than pulling the paper away from the surface at a 90 degree angle, push the sticky transfer paper back against itself as you remove it. Try to press on each part of the decal as you push and roll off the sticky transfer paper.


Once you have fully removed the transfer paper, your decal is installed. If it is installed on a particularly textured surface, you may want to go back over the decal with your fingers and smoosh the decal deeper into the texture of the surface. Do not swipe over the decal, or you may accidentally rip it. Just push it into the surface in sections.


If your decal is wanting to peel back off even after smooshing it into the installation surface, you can heat it up with a blow dryer or heat gun and smoosh it more firmly into the surface. The heat loosens the vinyl, making it more malleable and able to form to the texture of the surface better, and it also makes the adhesive a little stickier.


And you’re done! Stand back and enjoy how great you are and how great your decals look. Good job. I’m proud of you.

 

 

We're currently working on a video tutorial of decal installation, so be sure to follow our blog to be among the first to see it once it's done!

Not that you'll need it, you guys are pros. Totes pro.

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