How to Remove Wall Decals Without Damaging the Paint Beneath

Research proves that attractive rooms make people happier. One way to instantly beautify a room is to decorate it with wall decals. Within a few minutes, you can transform any wall into an uplifting, fun canvas! 

However, what might not make you so happy is the mess that wall decals can make when you have to take them down. 

Are you moving? Repainting or renovating? If so, those decals will need to come off, and it’s essential that you know how to get them down from your wall without damaging the paint underneath. 

Ready to remove wall decals the easy way? If yes, continue reading for our pro tips!

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How to Remove Vinyl Wall Decals

With some wall decals, there is a danger they will pull off some of your wall paint when you take them down. Fortunately, if you follow the recommended steps to remove wall decals, and the decals are good quality, you should be able to avoid this. 

Here are our recommended steps to follow if you’re wondering how to remove wall decals. 

Use a Hairdryer to Soften the Vinyl

If you’re dealing with high-quality removable decals, that haven’t been on the wall too long, you can, in some cases, just peel them off. 

However, this does increase the chance of flaking paint. This is why we recommend always using a hairdryer to soften the vinyl and it’s adhesive bond before you begin peeling. 

To start, put your hairdryer on its lowest setting. Hold it approximately 13-20 cm away from the area you want to start removing. Blow-dry the decal section and test the temperature of the vinyl with your hand. 

Once the vinyl feels warm to the touch, you can start peeling. 

Take care not to overheat the decal, as this can damage the paint beneath and actually increase peeling risk.

Don't Peel at a 90 Degree Angle

Once you begin peeling, make sure that you don’t pull the decal away from the wall at a 90-degree angle. Instead, try to pull it back on itself.

Start with a corner, then fold it over and pull it back next to the wall surface.

Go Slow

The final tip for how to remove wall decals without damaging your paint is to go slow. The faster you tear the vinyl off the wall, the more chance that it will take some paint along with it. 

Instead, work carefully and slowly. If you see a piece of paint stuck to the adhesive, stop and see if you can loosen it with the hairdryer before proceeding. 

Got Residue? Here's What to Do

Most types of walls decals do not leave adhesive residue behind. However, if you aren’t dealing with removable vinyl wall decals, or are trying to remove very old decals, you may find they leave sticky residue marks behind. 

These are usually pretty easy to clean off, but you want to make sure that you don’t damage your wall while doing so. Here are some of the steps you can take to remove any residue. 

Try the Finger Roll Method

If you’re left with just a few tiny spots of residue, you can try rolling it off the wall with your finger. Gently rub the area, and the residue should adhere away into a ball. 

Try All-Purpose Cleaner, Dish Soap, or Ammonia and Water

If the finger roll method doesn’t work, or you have a big area of residue, you also try using an all-purpose cleaner or dish soap and a sponge. Take care not to scrub too aggressively at the wall, as this can damage your paint and make it patchy. 

If soap or all-purpose doesn’t work, you can also use a 1:1 mixture of ammonia water. 

We recommend that you do not use rubbing alcohol, even though this can work well on adhesive residue. This is because rubbing alcohol can dissolve the finish on your walls.

If That Doesn't Work, Use Adhesive Remover

Still stuck with sticky or hard residue? If so, you can also use adhesive remover. This should remove even the most stubborn of adhesive residue. 

Before applying an adhesive removal product, make sure you do a test patch on an area of wall that’s out of sight. 

Some products can cause discolouration, so don’t skip this step. 

Application Tips for Easier Removal

The best way to ensure pristine post-decal walls is to apply with easy-removal in mind. Are you about to decorate a space with wall decals, and are worried about what will happen when it’s time to remove them? 

If the answer is yes, here are some steps you can take when choosing and applying wall decals that will ensure hassle-free removal

Start With High-Quality Decals

The first thing you should do if you’re wondering how to remove vinyl wall decals in the future without damaging your paint is invest in a good quality product. 

Cheaper “removable” wall decals are more likely to harden onto the wall and end up peeling off strips of paint. 

Make Sure Your Paint Job Is up to Scratch

The next step is to ensure that you apply your decals onto walls that have a sound coating of paint. Walls that were thoroughly prepared, primed, and painted with good quality paint are least vulnerable to damage. 

Don't Leave It Too Long Before You Remove Wall Decals

The longer wall decals stay up, the harder they can be to remove. Therefore, plan for this when you apply your decals. For instance, if you are putting up removable wall decals for a nursery, don’t apply them too far ahead of time. 

What’s more, if you will be redoing them as your child grows, aim to switch them out sooner rather than later. 

Do You Need Some New Wall Decals?

Wall decals are a wonderful way to brighten up a room, add interest and incorporate a beautiful design element. 

What’s more, if you pick the right products, and have a little decal-peeling knowledge up your sleeve, you can easily remove wall decals once it’s time for a new look. 

Are you on the hunt for gorgeous wall decals? We stock a wide range of environmentally friendly, 100% PVC-free decals for all your decorating needs. 

Check out our online store to browse our ranges, including nursery decals, kid’s decals, vintage, floral, minimal, and more.

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