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Tips on How to Safely Remove Adhesive Decals and Stickers

Jun 22nd, 2020

Most wall decals and stickers have a vinyl coating that makes them resistant to water and cleaners, so, unfortunately, you can’t simply wash them off the wall when you are ready for a change. In fact, applying water or pressure to the adhesive of your decal may make it harder to remove (as they are pressure-sensitive) and could damage your walls.

Decals and sticker removal

However, we all love wall decals and stickers (especially kids). They can be a great way to decorate your walls without breaking the bank, and create a fun space for you and your family. The problem arises when you are ready to remove them without destroying your walls and damaging the paint.

The good news is that it can be done! To get the job done properly, though, set aside a large chunk of time and consider the following steps:

  1. Choose the right paint for your walls
  2. If you know ahead of time that you want to put wall decals or stickers up in a room, it’s a good idea to start with the paint that you are going to use. Paint does matter.

    The pre-existing paint on your walls may have come from a bulk bucket of paint. If you did not build your home, you might not be able to guarantee the quality of this paint (for example, it may peel easier than some other brands). If this is the case (and you are worried about your paint), it may be a good idea to apply a fresh coat of paint—and don’t forget to prime ahead of time!

  3. Clean your walls before painting or applying decals and stickers
  4. You need to clean your walls before painting if you are going to paint before putting up decals or stickers. Because your house is outfitted with all types of AC units, furnaces, and filters, all kinds of nasty stuff end up in your home and on your walls. If your house is older and the walls have never been cleaned, you do not want to overlook this step. Clean walls will help the paint stick! When you apply your paint to freshly cleaned walls, you can feel secure that your decals or stickers will last and not fall off.

    If you want to assure that the paint is good to go, you will need to clean your walls thoroughly. We recommend using a trisodium phosphate solution (TSP) to clean your walls. TSP is specifically designed to be a wall and ceiling cleaning agent that is used by most professionals to strip grease and dirt from the surface. This will ensure that your decals and stickers will stick and stay stuck.

  5. Use heat to remove your decals or stickers
  6. Now that we have covered everything you need to know about painting and cleaning your walls, we will move onto how to remove decals.

    The best way to remove decals or stickers from your walls is to use a bit of heat. We recommend using a hairdryer! Turn the hairdryer on the highest heat setting and hold it up to the decal you want to remove. As the adhesive material holding the decal onto the wall gets hot, you should be able to start slowly peeling it off the wall. You need to be very careful and not go too fast; otherwise, you will rip the decal or harm the paint underneath. However, if you go too slowly, the wall behind the decal may heat up too fast, and the paint may start to come off, no matter the quality.

    After you remove the decal, rub any remaining adhesive off the wall with your hands. If you have trouble removing the left-over adhesive, mix equal parts ammonia and water in a spray bottle, add one or two squirts of liquid dish soap, and spray the adhesive with the ammonia solution, working in a small area. Use a rough cloth to rub the area clean and repeat until the adhesive is completely removed. Afterwards, wash the wall with a damp cloth to remove any cleaner from the surface.

    Keep in mind that cleaners can damage some wall materials (such as wood panels or vinyl wallpaper), and dull the colour of paints and other surfaces.

  7. Having trouble with the hair-dryer method? Try vinegar!
  8. This method is easy if you are not too worried about potentially damaging the colour of your paint under and around the decal or sticker on your wall. Wet the decal with vinegar and use a small paintbrush or a paper towel until it soaks through the sticker entirely.

This should take about 5 minutes or so. When the sticker is saturated, wipe the area with a clean cloth to remove the vinegar, and then try to peel the sticker off carefully. If you let it soak long enough, it should come off, but you will probably have to apply the vinegar a few more times before you are successful. Be patient, though, and don’t try and take it off the wall before it’s ready, so as not to damage your paint.

Why not consider decals for your home or business space?

Decals are the perfect solution to getting your message to the public. Custom sized decals can be contour cut to any shape or size, can be removable or permanent, and can be one or two-sided. They are printed on vinyl and are bright and vibrant.

With decals and stickers, the sky’s the limit with how you use them. Are you ready to get started with your design or need some help with removal? Contact Club Ink at 416-694-1996 today and talk to one of our representatives!


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