Introduction: How to Apply Wall Decals (EASY!)

About: I'm an Interior Designer in Los Angeles. I commonly write about Bathroom Ideas and Kitchen Ideas.

You bought some beautiful and maybe expensive wall sticker/decals. You definitely don't want to mess up when sticking them to your walls. Here are the basics to sticking them properly. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions if they differ from the steps I have listed below.

What You'll Need:

  • Scissors
  • Masking Tape
  • Level
  • Tape Measure

Note: If you haven't decided on a wall sticker you like, be sure to look at 40 Great Wall Decor Sticker Ideas for your Home.

Step 1: Anatomy of a Wall Sticker/Decal

A Wall Sticker/Decal consists of:

  • Your Decal
  • Transfer Paper
  • Backing Paper

Step 2: Clean Wall

First find the area where you want to place the wall decal. Wipe the wall down with a DRY cloth where the wall decal is to be placed.

The vinyl will not stick if there is any dust or dirt on the surface.

If you have freshly painted walls you must wait until the wall is 100% dry.

If the wall area is damp at all it WILL NOT stick properly.

Step 3: Place Decal and Hinge Tape

Once the wall is dry, place your wall decal (with contact and back still on) where you would like it.

Use masking tape to create a "hinge" in the center of the wall decal.

This will allow you to have your hands free and keep the wall decal in place.

You may measure space and "eye" the positioning at this time to ensure proper placement.

Step 4: Remove Backing

Start at one corner and peel the backing directly onto itself. If you pull the backing off like you would a sticker it may not work well. You need to fold the backing onto itself as tightly as possible. This will reduce the possibility of the decal sticking.

When using the hinge method, simply fold the one side of your wall decal hinge over to itself. You can even use tape to secure the side so you may peel the backing off easier.

As you peel off the backing onto itself you may cut off any excess that becomes unmanageable.

Using a straight razor. cut and continue to peel. Once you have reached the hinge part you may cut off the backing.

For Multi-Piece Wall Decals:

If you have a wall decal that comes in two or more pieces, they are labeled in the order that they should be applied on the graphic itself.

Trim the decals so that they are in their separate parts.

After applying the first. make sure you align your wall decal to the one already applied in steps 3 and 7.

You may cut off any excess backing and transfer tape to get the closest possible edge the first graphic making it appear.

Step 5: Apply Wall Decal

You should be left with the transfer tape and the graphic only.

Remove the tape from the corners and place the wall decal on the wall.

With the squeegee gently smooth out the wall decal starting from the middle and working your way out.


If you have textured walls. be very careful using a squeegee or other hard surface when smoothing out the decal. You may want to use just a towel and your own pressure. Applying too much pressure to the decal with a hard surface could tear through the wall decal.

Step 6: Remove Transfer Paper

Slowly remove the transfer paper, peeling it back onto itself just like you did with the backing in Step 3.

Once you get to the hinge tape just the transfer paper off.

If you are using the hinge method, move on to step 6 otherwise move on to step 9.

Step 7: Remove Backing From Second Half

Now you are left with one half of the wall decal applied, a hinge tape line, and then the other half of the wall decal with backing and transfer tape still attached.

Follow the same instructions from Step 3 for removing the backing from the second half of your wall decal.

Step 8: Apply Second Half of Wall Decal

Follow the same instructions from Step 4 to apply the second half of your wall decal.

Step 9: Remove Transfer Paper From Second Half

Remove the remaining transfer paper.

Step 10: Smooth the Wall Decal Surface

With the dry towel, gently smooth out the wall decal starting from the middle and working your way out. Do not use the squeegee in this step.

You never want to squeegee on top of the actual wall decal.