Friday, April 9, 2010

Stick it to the wall

After painting the small stretch of hall on our first floor, I pulled out an Uppercase Living vinyl wall decal (that I received as a shopping bonus well over two years ago) and applied it to the blank canvas. I have seen wall decals pop-up online, in home shops, and craft stores all over the place, and I think it's safe to say they have definitely become a trend.

Eventually, I want to hang photos or art on this wall, but because our thermostat is smack dab in the middle, I haven't found anything that I think would work well around the white box. That's why, I chose to use my freebie to temporarily spruce up the space. See the photo below? It was yearning for some lovin' don't you think?

Here are the few things I used to stick the decal to the wall.
1. A level
2. Painter's tape
3. Wall decal
4. A hard piece of plastic, such as a credit card, id, or spatula (not pictured)

A wall decal, such as this one from Uppercase Living, is typically a thin vinyl material that has been laser cut to the design you choose. A backing layer is the piece of paper that the vinyl design is adhered to and transfer tape is the transparent sheet layered on top of the wall decal that helps you apply the decal to the wall (see the diagram below).

Hanging a wall decal is simple but can be difficult or frustrating the first time around. Depending on how large the design is, having a second person to help may be a good idea.

Here are the steps I took to stick up my decal:
1: Make sure your wall is clean, dry, and free of any cleaning residue.

2: Prepare your decal by gently rubbing the transfer tape in the spots where the decal is with your plastic tool. This ensures the decal is adhered to the transfer tape (the top layer). As you do this make sure your decal is face up, as it would look applied to your wall. Then place a few strips of painter's tape at the top.

3: Tape your decal in the location you have selected.

Use a level to confirm that it is straight.

4: Flip your decal upside-down so it is face against the wall and the backing is what you see. Gently begin pulling the backing off from a corner of the design.

As you pull it off, thin or delicate areas of the design may pull up. Don't panic!

Just relay the backing and gently use your plastic tool to rub it down to the transfer tape.

When the backing has been removed, it will look something like this.

5: Delicately flip your decal back down and let the painter's tape hold it in place. Starting from the center use your plastic tool to rub the transfer tape and decal to the wall.

Work your way out to the sides to avoid air bubbles, and go over it one last time to ensure the decal has adhered to the wall.

After the backing has been removed and you have secured the decal to the wall, it should look something like this.

6: Starting from a corner, gently begin pulling the transfer tape off.

Once again, thin or delicate areas may still stick to the transfer tape.

You can try relaying the transfer tape and rubbing it a little more, or you can use your fingernail to pry the decal from the transfer tape and stick it to the wall.

When the transfer tape has been removed, the wall decal will look like this.

Uppercase Living's decals come with these triangle pieces that help align multiple-pieced decals, so if you have a two or three layer decal leave them in place and repeat the above steps. If your decal is only one layer, peel those suckers off and...

step back and admire your handiwork.

This project is not a huge transformation, such as what I shared with you last week, but it's subtleness adds an air of sophistication and coziness to my home, and I like it. Happy Friday!

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