How to Remove Wall Stickers and Wall Decals

July 22, 2017

This article is about wall stickers and wall decals that are made of vinyl. Many websites talk about how to put these on the wall, but there may be little assistance for how to remove the wall stickers.

The method for removing wall stickers and wall decals will remain the same, but it might be a little more difficult on certain surfaces and depending on the size of the wall sticker. Let’s look at some of the methods for removing.

Removing from walls

Painted walls are at the highest risk from damage when removing wall decals. This means you need to take some care and focus on avoiding this damage. It is possible to remove wall stickers from even the worst walls.

The worst walls are those that had a poor paint job to begin with. One that has multiple layers of paint and these layers have not been prepared between paint coats. Or one that has air bubbles underneath the paint.

1. Work slowly and do not rip, snatch or pull the wall sticker of the wall

2. Using a hair dryer, heat the vinyl directly at the edge you are removing

3. When the vinyl feels warm gently lift edge ( you might need to get a finger nail under)

4. As you roll or pull the vinyl away from the wall, you need to heat the next section of vinyl directly in front of the piece you lifted. Basically you are working gradually heating and lifting.

5. If you can visually see or you can feel a bubble under the paint surface you need to take care lifting over this area. If there is a second person, you can ask them to control the hair dryer while you use your second hand to press down on the bubble as you lift the vinyl off.

6. Continue until all of the vinyl is removed.

7. If there is any gum residue (not common on walls) then wipe the surface with an acetate based cleaner such as nail polish remover.

TOP TIP: Pull or roll the vinyl back against itself like it is being folded back. Do not pull the vinyl out from the wall at 90degrees as this will put more pressure on the paint.

Removing from glass and metal

When removing wall decals from glass or metal, the issue is not normally related to surface damage. It can be much harder to remove from these surfaces because the vinyl sticks so well to them. If you have a paint scraper or metal edged scraper this will be useful, otherwise it will have to be your finger nails.

1. Heat the vinyl directly in front of the area you are removing.

2. Peel/pick at the edge and pull. The vinyl is likely to tear as you do this, then you heat the next bit and remove.

3. Removing from these surfaces is more likely to leave a residue. Deal with that at the end, first remove all the solid vinyl by heating and pulling.

4. To clean the surface you will need an acetate or orange based cleaner that can lift the remaining glue. There are lots of purpose built cleaners for this, or simply use nail polish remover.

TOP TIP: If you hold the vinyl closer to the surface it is less likely to tear. For example, if you are pulling and as you pull, the piece of “free” vinyl is getting longer it is more likely to tear, simply move your hand back down closer to surface to reduce the chance of breakage.

By working patiently and not forcing the vinyl from the surface you will be able to remove the wall stickers and wall decals with no problem.

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