How do I install the wall art?
That’s the five hundred dollar question hey?
If you haven’t installed vinyl artwork before, it may seem a bit daunting, but we promise it’s actually pretty easy, and heaps of fun.
To help you get started, we’ve actually included a mini ‘test’ piece so you can get a feel for things if it’s your first time. We’ve also included a small piece of felt to help with application, because that’s just the type of people we are.
So here we go, these are the things you will need to pull this off:
Another person - You can do this alone, but your chances of messing it up increase significantly, especially if it’s your first time.
-Proper masking tape
-An applicator (you have this!)
-A scalpel or utility knife with fresh blades.
-A pair of great scissors.
-A clean wall!
-A steely sense of resolve and aesthetics.
-At least 20-30 minutes, don’t rush it!
Step One - Familiarise yourself with the basics.
Each piece of wall art is made of three parts. If you are looking at the positive version of the artwork unrolled, it goes something like this from the top down:
1) The transfer paper
2) The actual artwork
3) The backing paper
The ultimate objective of installing the work is to remove the backing paper, which exposes the adhesive side of the vinyl, then applying it to a wall, then removing the top layer of transfer paper, which exposes the matte finish. Easy as pie.
Step Two - Where are you going to put this?
Unroll the wall art and get your unwilling assistant to place it where you want it to be while you sit back and relax and get them to move it around unnecessarily. Go on, you’ve earned it. If you want to be a real stickler you can get a straight-edge out to make sure everything is on the level.
Step Three - Tape it up!
Once you’ve got things just right, unstick the transfer tape from around the edges of the work while holding it in position. Then put a big piece of masking tape down the middle so it goes on the wall, over the wall art, and back on the wall. Once that is done, you might want to put some other pieces up depending on the overall size for greater stability.
Step Three - Peel it back, nice and slow…
Together with your installation partner, hold the transfer paper tautly in both corners with two hands, while your partner holds the backing tape with two hands also keeping taut. Slowly peel the transfer tape back, and look to ensure that the vinyl remains stuck to it. This is effectively ‘transferring’ the vinyl from the backing board ot the transfer tape, so it can then be transferred onto the wall. Lots of transferring happening here folks.
Troubleshooting Point! If you notice that small details are not transferring to the transfer tape, but rather staying on the backing paper, then simply reverse things up - roll the transfer tape back over the stubbornly pieces in question, rub it down from over the transfer tape side, and then start again. Remember you need to go slow! The slower you go, the less chance of this happening. For some very detailed pieces, you might need to give the vinyl a bit of encouragement and lift it up manually with your blade to get it over to the transfer tape.
Step Four - Cut it in half.
Once you reach the mid-point where your tape is holding the vinyl up, get your partner to use their blade or scissors to cut off the now empty backing paper and discard/recycle.
Step 5 - Lay it back down.
With the backing paper gone on one half, you can now transfer the vinyl onto the wall. Exciting! Without letting go of the transfer paper, your partner should come from the mid-point with the applicator tool and slowly roll out the transfer tape and vinyl to your wall surface. Work slowly from the center out to avoid air bubbles or cracks.
Step 6 - Do it all over again.
You’re halfway there! The hardest part is over. Not just do the same thing on the other side. Grab the backing paper first and slowly peel it away from the transfer paper while your partner holds it taut. Once all the backing paper is removed, use the applicator to once again slowly roll out the transfer paper from the middle outwards
Step 7 - Rub a dub dub.
Now the vinyl is fully on the wall, you need to take your applicator out and really get in there. You’ll start to see the transfer paper, and by extension the vinyl, start to conform to the surface texture. Really get into all the nooks and crannies there. Don’t skimp on this step!
Step 8 - The big reveal!
Here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Much like removing that clear plastic film from a brand new iPhone, this is just as exciting, so take it slow. Not only to savor the moment, but so as to not mess things up. You’ve come so far!
Starting in a corner, slowly peel the transfer tape off the wall. Depending on the size of the piece, your partner may need to cut off pieces as you go, so you don’t end up having to roll a huge unwieldy wad of transfer paper all over the place, increasing said risk of messing up.
If you notice pieces aren’t sticking to the wall, you probably haven’t run your applicator over it hard enough to engage the transfer. Roll the transfer paper back on, rub it down harder, and try again. Like the process of removing the backing paper, some smaller and more stubborn areas might need more encouragement by using your blade to start the process so it fully sticks.
Step 9 - That’s it!
Step back and marvel your accomplishment, then start your own signage business.