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What's the Best Surface for Decals?

What's the Best Surface for Decals?
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Synopsis: Ever wonder what is the best surface for decals? This blog post lays it all out!

Hi Trading Phrases fans!

We were sitting around our office filling orders with the windows open, enjoying the spring breezes and sunshine, when someone brought up a great point. We’ve never done a blog about what surfaces our decals apply best on or what paints decals adhere to best. We were kind of surprised, because this seems like a common question that’s asked when a customer orders a decal. This blog post is going to remedy that!

Let’s talk about walls. Our decals prefer smooth, non-porous, dry surfaces to adhere to. They also like squeaky clean walls. The more texture a wall has, the harder time our decals will have sticking. So, if you have a texture like orange peel, for instance, your decals should adhere just fine. However, if you have a texture like sandstone, you’re going to have a harder time getting our decals to stick well.

Also, if your wall is porous or uneven, you’re going to have a tougher time getting the decal to stick. We certainly have had customer who have had success with porous surfaces (like canvas or painted cinderblock) but it’s not ideal for the easiest application. For these surfaces we recommend a bit more patience, elbow grease, or an extra set of hands to help the process go more smoothly.

Okay, so you are confident about your texture (if not, we do offer samples to try out- read on). Now, let’s talk about paint. Now, let’s talk about paint. We’ve done a lot of testing on different surfaces with our decals, so we know the best paint for your walls if you want to apply decals to them! We’ve found that sometimes paint can be one of the biggest factors in getting your decal to adhere correctly. So here’s the scoop!

Our decals apply best to walls painted with Matte or Flat paint finishes. However, we’ve personally applied decals to walls with finishes that like Satin and Eggshell with little to no problem! Walls painted with paint that has a Semi-Gloss finish make decal application slightly more difficult, but it’s definitely not impossible! This paint type will just require a little more time and effort during installation to get your decal to adhere properly.  

Our decals do not apply well to walls painted with anti-graffiti or stain resistant paint. They are designed to not let anything stick to them, not even decals! We’ve also found that our decals do not like “green” (eco-friendly, not the color!) or low-VOC paint. We’re not really sure why yet, but we do know our decals don’t like them!  Our decals also don’t like walls painted with High Gloss or Glossy finish paint.

Okay, so you’ve painted your wall with paint that will definitely work for your new decal and it looks great! Can you apply our decals now, since the walls are dry?

The short answer is no. The longer answer is that once paint is dry to the touch, it’s not actually done drying! Paint needs to “cure”, or settle into your drywall, to complete the drying process. As it cures, it lets out gases. We call this “gassing out”, but you might know it as that “new paint” smell. We recommend you wait about three weeks after painting your wall to apply our decals. This gives the paint time to fully cure, settle into your drywall, and let out all of those gases. If you apply the decal earlier than that, you likely will have a really hard time getting it to adhere. It might even fall off of your wall as the gasses in the paint behind the decal try to get out.

Regardless of what paint you select or what wall you apply your decal to, make sure that you remove the decals from their packaging and lay them flat before you apply them. If possible, we recommend that you let the decals sit flat for 24 hours before application. Once you’ve done that, please make sure to rub the decal to your walls really well when you’re applying it. Don’t forget to slowly peel back the application tape, too! Little spots might not want to come off of the tape immediately. Just put the tape back down, rub over that spot again, and continue peeling back the tape. It should come right off!

If you have time before you install your next decal from us, I recommend that you watch our installation videos here:  http://tradingphrases.com/videos.html  . They really help illustrate what has to be done for a great, no-hassle installation!

So what is an ideal surface, in closing? Well, it would be something that is very smooth, dry, clean, and non-porous. The most common example of this would be glass or a mirror. Our decals adhere to these surfaces almost too well. You have to be very careful when applying to glass because vinyl decals really like glass. If they even touch, it’s pretty much stuck on.

If you have any questions about wall texture or whether our decals will stick to your surface or not, please e-mail us at info@tradingphrases.com . We’d be happy to help you! You can also order a FREE working sample here: http://tradingphrases.com/color-samples.html  . We’ll send you a small, envelope-sized design FREE so that you can test your wall and make sure our vinyl sticks before you spend money on a large design. Just make sure to ask for a working sample on that form! You can also request color samples on there as well, in case you’re not sure what color you want your decal in. This way, you can see what our colors look like in person!

As always, no matter what you decide to purchase to make your home just a little bit more beautiful, Trading Phrases always offers free shipping on orders over $75, free color samples, and a free practice design and installation tool are included with every order! Don’t forget that our friendly customer service staff are always available via e-mail ( info@tradingphrases.com )and phone (800-615-6473, 10 AM-5 PM EST, M-F) to help you out with any problems or questions you might have!

And remember… your walls should make you smile! 

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