When installed correctly wall vinyl coverings can transform a boring wall into a memorable display. The wide variety of colors, textures, and designs offers a design fit for every wall. You will find loads of information about the right installation procedures.
Most of the attention is given to the tips and tricks of proper installation. You must have heard the adage “what goes up must come down”. It fairly applies to the wall vinyl coverings. A time comes when old coverings need to be safely removed so that new ones can be installed.
Be it wall covering for a public building or a house, no installation method is effective if the old sheet is not properly removed. Let us probe into the safe removal options at your disposal.
Steps Of Traditional Chisel And Clean Approach
The most commonly used method for wall vinyl removal is “chisel and clean”. As the name suggests a chisel will be used to scrape off the coverings. As you look deeper, it is a lot more than that. The traditional method has the following steps involved.
1. A specifically designed hand tool is used to get under the corners of the wall graphics. The plastic razor blades are thin and elastic that can easily be slid under the coverings.
2. The razors are carefully used at the edges to pull off the covering without damaging the underlying surface. The rest of the sheet can be easily pulled off. The sheet should come off in large pieces or as a whole preferably.
3. When the wall vinyl is too old to safely come off, use a heat gun. The heat softens the adhesive underneath and the face film is ready to be removed.
Dealing With The Residues
Quality wall vinyl coverings should get off the wall without leaving any residues. Unfortunately, this is not the case in most of the cases. The factors that make removal difficult over time are discussed later in the post. We will discuss the methods to deal with adhesive residues used by the industry pros.
The most important step is choosing the right kind of wall vinyl for installation. You can buy quality products with a clear description of the removability features. You must follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and you will be left with almost no residue.
There are several chemicals available in the market to deal with the remaining cases of overuse. Prefer to buy non-toxic, biodegradable and environmentally safe chemicals. The removers are created to chemically attack the adhesive on the wall and thus loosening the bonds.
You can easily wipe off the substrate. If you have ever used acetone to remove nail polish, it will be a lot easier to understand.
The removers should be handled with care. Ensure minimum contact with the skin. It is suggested to wear gloves to protect your skin. The chemical must be applied over the residue and then scrubbed off with a paper towel.
Use One-Step Removal Chemicals
Thanks to the ever-evolving science of chemistry, you can use one-step removal chemicals for the purpose. The chemical is engineered to remove the vinyl and adhesive in one step.
The fluid is sprayed on to the face film, wait for a few minutes and you are free to pull off the old vinyl covering. The entire graphic comes off in one piece leaving behind little to zero adhesive residues.
As the chemical is highly efficient, it needs to be handled with great care. If you apply it directly over the substrate it may damage the wall paint. Use a sponge or paper towel to apply it sparingly over the surface and let it work wonders.
The Motor Powered Tools
Other than the use of chemicals, power tools are also helpful in wall vinyl removal. Such tools are essential when the job is too big to be handled with a traditional chisel and clean method.
A simple power drill with an attached rubber wheel can be used to safely remove the coverings. The operation is quite simple and can be easily learned.
When you fire it up, the smooth edge of the rubber wheel effectively removes the face film and adhesive. All of this is possible without even damaging or burning the paint.
A preferable power device should not sand the wall surface. Sanding creates friction heat that can cause collateral damage to the wall surface.
The Wall Vinyl Removals Get Difficult Over Time
Wall vinyl coverings come with an expiry date. If you do not remove them as per the instructions provided by the manufacturer, the removal gets difficult. The surface characteristics of the wall also affect the removability.
For most of the products, two years is the allowed time. After three years of usage, the adhesives become permanent. Be prepared to hire professionals for commercial wallpaper installation in such cases.
Alex Dexter has been writing content for home improvement industry for eight years. She has also worked with commercial wall covering professionals for three years. She is a home maker, interior designer, and a loving mother of two boys.