Perhaps you’re moving, and want to take your decor with you. Maybe you just think that a vinyl wall quote would look better somewhere else. Whatever the case may be, reusing wall decals may seem like a promising alternative to purchasing entirely new ones. However, it is easier said than done. In this article I’ll cover the two main obstacles to reusing vinyl wall decals, as well as how you can try to work around them.
Removing the Decal
While wall decals are easily removable, it can be difficult to get them off the wall in one piece, especially if it is a larger decal or one that was shipped in multiple pieces. Cheap vinyl will also often tear. Following best practices like heating the decal with a hairdryer can help, but successfully removing your decal in one piece is still a tall task.
In order to remove a wall decal, it is usually necessary to weaken the adhesive. The most common form of this is by heat. However, the adhesive on a wall decal naturally weakens when it is removed. Often some adhesive remains on the wall, or microscopic bits of paint or dirt stick to the decal, lessening its stickiness. This makes it hard to reuse- the vinyl just won’t stick to the wall again.
While wall decals can sometimes be reused, we don’t recommend it. Attempting to reuse a vinyl decal can cause a mess, destroy your decal, and often doesn’t work. If your design breaks and you need to create a new one, visit our lettering designer or contact us. However, if you decide to try it, following the steps listed below will give you the best chance of successfully reapplying your wall decal.
How to Reuse Wall Decals
Despite the challenges of adhesive and removing the decal, under some circumstances wall decals can be reused. It takes patience and a steady hand, and requires the vinyl to be high quality. This works better with glossy vinyl, which has a stronger adhesive than matte vinyl.
Once you’ve started the process, try to finish within half an hour. The adhesive on the wall decal dries out when exposed, which weakens it further.
1. Prepare the New Location
Before you remove the vinyl, it is important to prepare the decal’s new resting place. Wash off any dirt or accumulated grime that may have built up on the wall, then dry it off. This will help ensure the adhesive sticks.
2. Remove the Decal in One Piece
Next, carefully remove the wall decal in one piece. The best process involves using a hairdryer and tweezers, and is also less likely to damage the paint.
3. Strengthen the Adhesive
Place the decal sticky side up on a table or workbench. Brush or dab watered-down white glue (Elmer’s works just fine) onto the adhesive. This will supplement and strengthen the weakened adhesive.
4. Place the Wall Decal
Once you’ve prepared the decal to be reused, place it in the location that you cleaned earlier. Putting the decal on the wall is the same as when you first placed it. If the adhesive doesn’t stick, you can try rubbing the back of the decal with a tennis ball. If it still won’t stick, you can either add more glue and try again (cleaning the location in between) or order a new decal.