Deck the Walls (and Avoid Disaster): Vinyl Lettering and Wall Decal Installation Tips

Deck the Walls (and Avoid Disaster): Vinyl Lettering and Wall Decal Installation Tips

The blank walls of your business, home, or office are canvases waiting to be decorated in ways that can delight customers, inspire staff, or complete your dream nursery. Most people think of wall decor in terms of messy paint and wallpaper alone, but vinyl lettering and wall decals give you way more options without any of the hassle or long-term commitment.

Decking the walls shouldn’t be a painful process, and that’s why the Signworld business alliance put together this fast and easy list of installation tips and display inspiration. Read on to learn all you need to know to deck the walls right!

Wall Decal and Vinyl Lettering Installation

Vinyl letters and wall decals have a highly adhesive backing that makes installation relatively straightforward:

  • Choose a non-porous surface, like glass, plastic, smooth wood, a finished wall, or the side of your company/personal vehicle.
  • Thoroughly clean and dry the chosen surface.
  • Apply a horizontal strip of masking or painters tape to the top of the graphic, leaving enough exposed tape to affix the graphic to the chosen surface. This will create a “hinge” effect.
  • Hold the bottom edge of the hinged graphic and remove the back liner. This will expose the adhesive backing of your lettering or graphic. Do not let it touch the surface yet.
  • Using a squeegee, apply pressure to the front of the lettering or graphic, working from left-to-right and top-to-bottom to avoid creases or bubbles.
  • Gently lift and redo any areas where bubbles or creases have formed.
  • Once the lettering or graphic is in place without any creases or bubbles, go over the entire vinyl design to ensure it is fully adhere.
  • Gently remove the pre-mask transfer tape, starting at a top corner and working your way down. Finally, lay the liner over the graphic with the shiny side facing you, then apply hard pressure to remove any stubborn bubbles.

Product Details and Display Inspiration

Vinyl lettering is perfectly suitable for outdoor use and is capable of withstanding rain and sunlight. That said, prolonged exposure to these elements will wear your lettering out faster than those installed indoors. In contrast, wall decals are meant primarily for indoor use, as the adhesive may weaken in humid conditions.

Unlike wall decals, most vinyl letters are cut directly from solid-colored vinyl material. Using single letters rather than decals allows for endless customization in terms of placement and messages, though each letter will be limited to a single color due to the production method and materials. Don’t worry: multi-color messages are still possible if you mix-and-match from different letter sets. Alternately, some vinyl lettering comes pre-masked, which means the individual letters are attached to a single adhesive and spaced according to your custom order.

In contrast, wall decals are printed directly onto flexible vinyl, which allows for any number of color or design combinations, as well as almost limitless gradient and text effects. Wall decals can be cut in three ways: 1) standard, which uses a generic rectangle shape; 2) halo, which is broadly cut to the shape of your design, but leaves a slight border; or 3) contour, which is cut precisely to the edge of your design with no border.

Common uses for vinyl lettering and wall decals include:

  • Decorating lobbies, offices, and reception areas with brand messages or informational directories;
  • Displaying room numbers, nameplates, and office hours;
  • Indicating emergency exits, warning signs, or fire extinguisher locations;
  • Promoting sales, menu items, upcoming events;
  • Creating scripts for walls where family pictures are mounted;
  • Adorning walls with meaningful quotes;
  • Creating “height charts” to track a child’s growth;
  • Decorating the house, office, or store seasonally or for parties.

Learn more about custom wall decals and vinyl lettering by contacting a member of the Signworld business alliance at


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