Monday, February 2, 2015

My Vinyl is Popping Off the Wall!

On occasion, I get a call from one of my vinyl clients saying their expression is falling off the wall. At first, this really freaked me out, but I did what any good Learner Personality would do and I got more information. What I learned is that many factors affect vinyl expressions and how they go on your walls.  Today, I'm going to take a look at one of these.  Bear with me as I get a little more technical and a little less fun.  In the end, we all benefit from having more knowledge.

One of the biggest factors is the texture of the surface you are putting it on.  A textured wall or something like a canvas where it has a variable texture is probably the biggest cause of vinyl mishaps I see.  Take a look at this picture.

The top 2 rows have been applied to the canvas in the normal fashion (i.e. backing removed, top sheet and letters lined up, rubbed and top sheet removed).  The bottom 2 rows are applied the same way, but have one teensy little extra step that makes all the difference: heat.  After the letters are on the surface and the top sheet removed, you can use a hair dryer on a high heat (it doesn't need to be on a high fan setting) and go over each of the letters slowly.  It only takes about 15-20 seconds over each letter to get it soft.  After it is soft, press--don't rub--the letters into the grooves.  You don't want to rub because the vinyl is soft at this point and can be stretched.  Voila! Your vinyl is now properly applied.

Don't worry.  You can still take your vinyl off the wall.  This heating process only gives it more of the "painted on" appearance.  

One more little disclaimer at this point: I can only speak to the performance of vinyl from Uppercase Living.  I know there is more than one vinyl company and you can even get it at the local discount store, but not all vinyl is created the same.  This is what I believe in and this is what I know.  Enough about that.  I'm not going to drag other options through the mud.

I would estimate that 90% of the time, heat will fix the problem of popping up vinyl expressions.  Another 5% of the time it is operator error and the remaining 5% of the time it is defective adhesive or something of that sort.  If you are one of the 5% that had an operator error or you did happen to get one of the defective adhesive expressions, I love that Uppercase Living will stand behind their product and replace it at no charge within the first 90 days.  You do need to contact the person you bought it from originally, but I hope that helps.

I'd love to see some of your favorite vinyl expressions.  Post a quick pic in the comments below of your wall.

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