How to Apply Self Adhesive Vinyl

Updated April 17, 2017

Self-adhesive vinyl decorations personalise your home decor. Adhesives provide an alternative to painting or hanging pictures with nails because you can show your style without ruining your walls. You can apply and remove vinyl "without damaging the paint so you can try as many looks as you want, whenever you like," according to

Clean the surface prior to applying vinyl. Allow the surface to air dry, or dry with a towel that will not leave debris behind. You need a completely clean and dry surface in order for vinyl to adhere properly.

Measure the area where you want to put the vinyl with your tape measure. Mark the centre of the space to ensure equal wall space around your vinyl.

Fold the vinyl in half to crease the paper and put small pieces of masking tape at the top and the bottom matching the crease to the centre of the space you measured. When you tape, make sure that the design is facing you.

With the backing still on, take the scraper and make one run over the top of the vinyl. This removes any air bubbles between the vinyl and the adhesive and ensures that the vinyl sticks to the paper.

Fold back one side of the vinyl and peel off the paper backing. Once you have it peeled to the crease, use scissors to cut the backing off.

Using the scraper, slowly apply the vinyl to the wall by using short strokes from the crease out to the edges and applying heavy pressure.

Peel the backing from the other side as in Step 5 and apply the rest of the vinyl to the wall as in Step 6.

Peel away the paper adhesive. Start in the top right corner and gently pull back diagonally.


Do not apply vinyl to any surface colder than 40 degrees. If you have just painted your walls, wait at least two weeks before adding self-adhesive vinyl decorations.

Things You'll Need

  • Alcohol-based cleaner
  • Lint-free towel
  • Vinyl image or lettering
  • Tape measure
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Plastic scraper
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About the Author

Amanda Long has been freelance writing since 2010. Specializing in technology, crafts and business practices, her articles appear on eHow and Answerbag. Long has also been published in user-training manuals. Long holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing and business management from Northwest Missouri State University.