Lettering on the Cheap

Today we're actually going to be working on the application of a wall graphic and the methods for applying it and adjusting it and making sure it goes on right. The first thing we're going to look at is the wax pencil. If you're measuring out what you want on the wall, you can always use a wax pencil to mark your positions using a ruler or tap measurer. What's great about the wax pencil is it will come off using a light solution. It could be some kind of cleaning solution or it could just be water. So when you're measuring off of a graphic make sure you're aligning it to the top and bottom or the sides of the actual graphic and not the paper. By doing this you're going to make sure that it's actually in the right position and aligned. You should go ahead and take out a level tool to make sure your design will be in the correct horizontal position with your wall or whatever it is you're trying to align it to. Whether it be a wall frame or a picture from or anything like that.

The first thing we want to do is actually tape it to the wall. It's going to make the application a lot easier that way. Now it doesn't need to be any special tape or anything like that. For instance, today, we're using just regular Scotch tape and that's going to work fine.

For a wall application on a wall like this. This is a very matte wall, it's not very glossy, shiny or anything like that. Because of that it's probably going to absorb a fair amount of water so we're not going to use any kind of solution when we apply it. So this will be a dry application. But for something of this size it shouldn't be too difficult. If you're going much larger you may actually look into getting another person to help you out. Or a glossy surface is typically best because you can wash those down with a wash cloth, soapy water, or application fluid without any kind of problem.

Alright so let's go ahead and install the little alien guy here. We're going to flip it up-side-down. Then we're going to peel from one of the corners. We're going to take of the backing just little by little. Now, it's important that you want to take the backing of the vinyl versus the other way around. This is to make it easier and helps make sure the vinyl stays on this kind of semi-sticky backing. Now we want to be careful and make sure it doesn't stick to itself. That's probably one of the bigger mistakes that can be made.

Now what we have...Because we had it taped up here, we know it's perfectly aligned. So now we can apply it very slowly from top to bottom. We're going to take our hard squeegie and take it from the very center of the top of the graphic and go straight down. First, we're going to go nice and slow with a little bit of pressure on there. Then, going from the center, we're going to push our way out. Now we'll do the same thing on the other side. Now we're really going to start applying some pressure here. On some applications you may want to use a soft squeegie on more delicate surfaces. But since this isn't a big deal using it up against a wall. if you do have concerns you can definitely use the soft squeegie at first.

Now that the decal is down we don't have to worry about it drying or adhering because it is a dry application. We aren't using any type of application fluid or liquids. Because of that it's going to stick rather quickly to the wall. It is worth noting on a glossy surface, vinyl will adhere faster and easier. Especially on something that is very smooth such as glass. But in this case we should be alright. I don't believe we should have any problems removing the masking tape. Again, we can't start at any corner we want. But it is important to start at a corner. We're going to do it just like before and slowly remove the tape. Be careful around smaller pieces like the eyes here. They are the most vulnerable to come up as you're removing the tape. If it does come up you can just push it right back down and continue removing the masking tape. When it comes to removing vinyl patience is a key factor. As long as you're very mindful of what you're doing you shouldn't have any problem.

And ta-da just like that, we're done. If there are bubbles you could go out of your way to pop them with a razor blade. Or you could just work them out with a soft squeegie. That's really what the soft squeegie is good for. Once the masking tape has been removed you can come in here and delicately remove the bits and pieces that may be left in there. In this case, however, and probably yours as well, it's going to be a very easy install on a wall. You should have nothing to worry about!

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Lettering on the Cheap

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