Is there a child in America who hasn't put a sticker on a piece of furniture despite being advised not to? There's something about those colorful, tacky little pieces of paper just asking to be settled on a chair arm or desk. As grown-ups, it's no wonder we still get the sticker bug, and in recent years, there's been a resurgence of wallpapers and fun decals to deploy on the walls — inspirational quotes, life-sized sports figures, flowers and birds.
Some decals are labeled “repositionable" or “removable" and easily come off when peeled without damaging the wall. Yay! Lucky you. But other decals, particularly older ones, may not give it up so easily. When it's time for a change, how do you remove wall decals
First off, the word “decal" has a fancy pedigree, derived as it was from the French décalcomanie (Latin calcare, meaning “to tread on, press").
A decal has three parts — a backing paper, the actual sticker art and a transfer surface layer. A sticker, on the other hand, is just an adhesive design that you peel off the backing paper and adhere to a surface. With their three parts, decal designs can be really intricate because the transfer layer allows you to put the sticker on a wall with the same spacing as the original design.
Stickers and decals are usually made from PVC-vinyl for its elasticity. Some eco-conscious companies like Made for Sundays, make stickers from paper with PVC-free backing and decals made of recyclable polyester vinyl.
Hold the hairdryer about six inches from the decal and blow warm air over it for a minute or two. If it's a large decal do one area at a time.
Channel your long-lost skills from The Operation game and do this gently. Don't tug the decal at a 90-degree angle, sort of roll it away. This will keep you from tearing the decal and leaving residue or possibly peeling away paint.
Any residue left on the wall should come off with warm soapy water. If that won't cut it, try Goo Gone, Krud Kutter, WD-40, rubbing alcohol or even nail polish remover — but you might want to test a small area first, like in the back of a closet to make sure your remover of choice doesn't ruin the paint.
Yes, the constellations were amazing at night as you gazed up at your ceiling from your bed. But now they've got to go. You'll need more than a hairdryer to get rid of these suckers. Aside from a ladder and possibly a friend to hand you materials while you're trying not to get a crick in your neck, gather the following: cotton balls, white vinegar, a cleaner like Goo Gone or Krud Kutter, nail polish remover, WD-40, rag, dish soap, warm water, scraper (old credit card will do) and possibly an ice cube.
Once you've assembled your arsenal, choose one of your liquid attackers, and using a cotton ball, dampen the edges of the star stickers. Wait two to three minutes and test to see if you chose correctly and can peel away the star sticker with your finger.
If not, try another liquid. Hit up the edges with WD-40 for good measure. If you can't peel the star sticker away with your fingers, scrape it off with the old credit card. Eventually, the stars will come off the ceiling.
Some stars have a kind of putty-like adhesive. Try putting an ice cube to it and then use the credit card to scrape it from the ceiling.
Once the stars have been removed, you'll likely have to tackle the residue. This should come off with a little scrubbing with your rag dipped in soapy water. Don't oversaturate the ceiling and scrub so hard that you weaken the drywall.
With the star stickers, in particular, you've likely scored yourself a new project — painting. Just make sure the walls or ceiling are dry before you begin and you'll be able to restore your apartment to its original blank canvas status.