Thursday, July 16, 2009

Decal Installation Tutorial

Earlier this week I posted before and after photos of a decal install in the entry of my home and said there would be more photos and information about the install later. Well, later is now :) I have uploaded these photos smaller so you can click on them to enlarge them.

Here are a few photos and tips for installing decals:

You can see here that I am placing the decal in the general area. I get the decal basically where I want it.


I add the blue tape (I ALWAYS use blue painters tape) and pull out the level. I'm a pretty good eye-baller (my own made-up word) so I make minor adjustments to get it level, re-tape and I'm ready to start installing.

I pull up the decal and start peeling off the backing paper. (FYI - the backing paper has a grid on it - the transfer tape is translucent and you can see the decal through it pretty easy - this is the front side and should be facing you during application)

First, I pull back just a little of the backing paper, making sure the blue tape keeps the decal in place. Once I expose a bit of the self-adhesive decal I start to apply it a little at a time. Once you get started it's not real easy to pull the decal off the wall. You need to make sure the decal is placed right where you want it before you start applying.

Also note, that I keep the decal close to the wall, as well as, keeping the backing paper close to the wall and the decal.

As I work down the wall applying the decal, I run into a light switch. Just pull the decal taut, snip out the area to let the switches through. Then, once the decal is applied you can trim the decal back more but I think it's better to wait. Just do a small hole first. You can see in the photos that I just barely made it big enough to for the switches through. I trimmed out more after I had the transfer tape removed.

You can also see that I snipped off part of the decal - the word "themselves" came out to the side a bit wide and would make the application a bit difficult in that area. So once I got down that far I taped the word to the wall and snipped between a couple of the letters, making sure not to cut the decal itself, and went back later to apply that section. Don't worry - it will line up when you go back to apply it ;)
Now, we have all the backing paper removed and the decal is applied to the wall, but we still have the transfer tape to remove. Starting at the top (I tend to start at a corner) slowly remove the transfer tape. Make sure you keep the tape close to the wall as not to stress the bond between the decal and the wall. You can see in the photos that I fold back the transfer tape all the way back to the wall and drag my hands down the wall to keep it as close as possible. This is a very important tip to keep in mind when applying any decal - large or small. You DO NOT want to pull the decal away from the wall - it will not reapply correctly! I cannot stress this enough.

These instruction show you how to apply pretty much any decal but now we are going to add the other pieces to this design to complete the entire "scene". The column was the "keystone" to this design so that is why I applied it first.

This photo shows the other pieces in place using the same techniques as before. Get them in the general area, being mindful of the spacing, then just level them up and start applying.

You can see that there is one large decal in the middle of these pieces. This piece is wider than my arms reach. Once this happen it's best to break it down into smaller pieces, if possible. With text that is almost always possible. There is another technique for pieces that cannot be divided and I am working on the tutorial for that ;)

This is a photo of the way I divided the large piece. It's the same technique we used on the Love Chapter Project.
As long as you do not change the position of the blue tape the decals will line up just as if you had applied it as one large piece, only this is much easier!



Like I said in the first post with the before and after photos of this install, it only took me about an hour. For someone never having applied decals it could take a couple of hours for an install this large. But it's time well spent when you see the results!

1 comment:

Jen said...

I totally HAVE to have this decal. Want to send me a quote? :)