Wall Graphic Application And Reusing Tips

Wall graphics are becoming a popular decorative treatment for homes, in part because they allow you to update your walls in a non-permanent manner. This makes them especially suitable for renters and for temporary décor, such as around the holidays. The following tips can help you properly apply your custom wall graphics.

Tip #1: Know your wall type

Every wall is different, especially when it comes to the finish. The best option that works well with any type of graphic is a smooth or only lightly textured wall. Even thick, reusable graphics can adhere to this sort of surface without any bubbles or peeling. If you have a heavily textured wall, you will have to use a thinner vinyl graphic so that it can mold to the bumps. These aren't always reusable, since they are more prone to tearing upon removal.

Tip #2: Start with a clean surface

Even if the wall looks clean, it probably isn't. Dust as well as oils from your hands can prevent a wall graphic from adhering well. After the work of installation, the last thing you want is for the graphic to peel off prematurely. Wash the wall with mildly soapy water, then wipe off the soap residue with a rag dampened with clear water. The soap will cut through any oil. Allow the wall to dry for at least 24 hours before applying the graphic.

Tip #3: Layout before you apply

If your decals come in multiple sheets, layout is especially important, but even single-sheet designs require that you make sure placement and leveling are correct. The simplest way to do this is to attach each piece to the wall with low-tack painter's tape. Then mark the corners of the piece lightly onto the wall with a pencil. Remove the tape and apply the decal by lining it up with the pencil marks, using a stiff edge, like a credit card, to push out any bubbles. Finish by erasing the pencil marks.

Tip #4: Store properly

Reusable decals require a bit more care. These generally pull off relatively easy. If they don't, heat them slightly with a hair dryer to help them release. Store the stickers affixed to their original sheet. Place the sheets in a plastic bag, such as a zip-top food storage bag, and store them flat in a dry, dark area. Moisture can ruin the decal, while sunlight can bleach out the color.

For more help, talk to a wall graphics supplier in your area.