Introduction: How to Install a Panel Poster
Installing a Panel Poster is simply a matter of sticking a non-permanent, double-stick foam block to the wall, placing your panel onto the block, and repeating this process until you are done. Extra care should be taken installing the first panel so that the final poster is level and square on the wall.
This instructable show you how to install your panels side-by-side (no spaces between panels). If you prefer a grid spacing install to nab those extra style points, follow the instructable, How to Install a Panel Poster with Grid Spacing.
Learn more details on the project page.
See more pictures in our Panel Poster gallery.
Here's a 4:25 minute video showing you how to install a panel poster.
Step 1: Get Parts, Tools, and Materials
- Assembled poster panels
- Non-permanent adhesive blocks
- Masking tape
- Tape measure
- Wall cleaning supplies
- Vinyl gloves (optional)
- Tweezers (optional)
- Level (optional)
- Ruler, yardstick, or similar (optional)
Step 2: Prepare Surface
The adhesive blocks have a rubber-based, non-permanent adhesive that can bond and removed cleanly from all sorts of surfaces including wood, plastics, metal, powder coated materials, and painted materials. Surfaces may be slightly textured or uneven since the foam will mold to the surface with firm pressure. Painted surfaces should be in good condition and not show signs of flaking. Weakening paint means the block may tear away the painted surface when removed. We don’t recommend installing posters on wallpaper since the blocks may tear away the surface when removed. Test in an inconspicuous area before you install. Also, glass that allows the adhesive to be exposed to sunlight will, over time, diminish the block’s holding power. (PIC 2-1)
You should clean the surface according to the surface manufacturer’s instructions. If unsure, at least wipe the area down with a dry, lint-free cloth to remove dust. (PIC 2-2) On most surfaces a 50/50 mixture of Isopropyl Alcohol and water will clean the surface nicely (test on a small, inconspicuous area first). (PIC 2-3) Dry the surface with a lint-free cloth before application. For an optimal bond, the temperature of the surface should be between 65º and 100º F.
Step 3: Mark Location
Assemble your poster on the floor near the wall you will be installing it on. (PIC 3-1) Measure the poster and determine where the upper left corner will go on the wall. Mark it with a piece of tape. Put the bottom edge of the tape where the top of the panel will go. (PIC 3-2) Draw an arrow where the left edge of the panel will go. (PIC 3-3)
Step 4: Set Top Row Guide
To make sure your poster is installed level and square on the wall we need to put up a temporary guide for the top row.
1. Measure left mark
Measure the distance from the ceiling or floor to the marker you installed in Step 3. (PIC 4-1)
2. Apply right mark
Measure where the upper right corner of the poster should go and place the bottom edge of a piece of tape at this mark. (PIC 4-2)
3. Apply tape
Stretch a single strip of tape from the left to the right marker and line up the bottom edges. Lightly apply the tape to the wall. (PIC 4-3)
4. Verify and adjust
Measure the left, center, and right heights of the bottom of the tape. They should be close to equal. (PIC 4-4) Adjust the tape as needed. If desired, you can verify the poster will be level by using a level and a ruler.(PIC 4-5)
Step 5: Install First Panel
Peel off an adhesive block from the sheet (be careful not to separate the adhesive film from the block). (PIC 5-1) Pick up the top left panel.
1. Position panel and block
Position the top of the panel along the bottom edge of the tape at the upper-left marker. Approximate where the center of the panel is located on the wall by holding the adhesive block over the center of the panel. (PIC 5-2)
2. Apply block
Pull the panel away and press the block onto the spot you chose. (PIC 5-3) Apply firm pressure for 10 seconds while rocking your thumb back and forth to bond with the surface. (PIC 5-4) Carefully peel away the protective cover on the block (tweezers help). (PIC 5-5)
3. Apply panel
Position the top of the panel along the bottom edge of the tape, and align the corner at the marker on the wall. (PIC 5-6) (The panel thickness is designed to be slightly taller than the adhesive block so it will not stick to it.) Gently press in the center over the foam block to bond the panel to the adhesive. (PIC 5-7) Using brief, light, finger presses, move around the foam block area to stick the panel to the entire surface of the block. (Don't press too hard. It doesn’t take much pressure to set the paper to the adhesive. ) (PIC 5-8)
4. Adjust panel
Double-check your alignment of the top edge of the panel to the bottom edge of the tape. If necessary, you can shift the panel a little to the left or right by gently nudging the bottom edge. (PIC 5-9)
Step 6: Install Next Panel
Get another adhesive block from the sheet and your next panel to install.
1. Position panel and block
Position the panel next to the previous panel. Approximate where the center of the panel is located on the wall by holding the adhesive block over the center of the panel. (PIC 6-1)
2. Apply block
Pull the panel away and press the block onto the spot you chose. (PIC 6-2) Apply firm pressure for 10 seconds while rocking your thumb back and forth to bond with the surface. (PIC 6-3) Carefully peel away the protective cover on the block (tweezers help). (PIC 6-4)
3. Apply panel
Place the panel on the wall aligning the edge of the panel with the previous panel and the bottom edge of the tape (top row only). Apply gentle, lateral pressure so the edges of each panel touch and close the gap nicely. (PIC 6-5) Once aligned, gently press in the center over the foam block to fix the panel. (PIC 6-6) Using brief, light, finger presses, move around the foam block area to stick the panel to the entire surface of the block. (PIC 6-7)
4. Adjust panel
Double-check alignment. If necessary, you can shift the panel a little to the left or right by gently nudging the bottom edge. (PIC 6-8)
Step 7: Install the Rest
The rest of the panels are very easy to install. You simply have to align the next panel with the previous, and so on. Repeat Step 6 for the rest of the panels. Do not worry about slight imperfections in panel-to-panel alignment. It isn’t noticeable in most installations. (PIC 7-1)
- First Row. Make sure to not only align with the adjacent panel, but also the bottom edge of the tape. (PIC 7-2) After the first row is installed, remove the tape. (PIC 7-3)
- Left Edge Panels. Make sure the the left edge is aligned with the panel above it. Apply gentle, lateral pressure to close the gap between the two panels. (PIC 7-4)
- Interior Panels. Make sure the left and top edge is aligned with the adjacent panels. Apply gentle, lateral pressure to close the gaps between panels. (PIC 7-5)
Step 8: Removing
The adhesive foam blocks use a rubber-based, non-permanent film that you can remove cleanly from most surfaces. This allows you to replace damaged panels and move your poster without harming the wall.
To remove a damaged panel (or a poster that was, "So last month.") just tear off the panel and remove the adhesive block from the wall. (PIC 8-1, PIC 8-2) If the foam block separates from the adhesive film, grab a corner of the film and peel it off the wall (tweezers help). (PIC 8-3)
To remove panels you want to preserve you need to take a different approach. The "open corner" design on the back of the panel allows you to lift a corner without damaging the panel. (PIC 8-4)
1. Lift corner
Gently lift the panel from a corner just far enough to fit your fingers under it. (PIC 8-5)
2. Position fingers
Slide your fingers under the panel until you feel the adhesive block. (PIC 8-6)
3. Separate panel
With your finger tips, apply pressure against the panel to separate it from the block. (PIC 8-7)
4. Remove block
Remove the adhesive block from the wall. If the block is stuck to the panel, lay the panel face down on a table and put one hand around the block to stabilize the surface. Slowly peel the block from the panel. (PIC 8-8) If the foam block separates from the adhesive film, grab a corner of the film and peel it off the panel (tweezers help). (PIC 8-9)
Step 9: Reusing
You can reuse the adhesive foam blocks. Reusability depends on how clean the wall and hands were during the previous install, and if the blocks were carefully removed from the wall intact. Reused blocks may not hold as long as new blocks; however, we've had great success reusing blocks several times for long periods of time.
Swapping posters is the easiest way to reuse the adhesive blocks. You do not have to remove the adhesive blocks from the wall, and can use the previous poster for aligning your new poster. (PIC 9-1)
1. Create new poster
Build the new poster. Try to make the new poster's panel size close to the size of the previous poster. This avoids reposition the adhesive blocks on the wall. If not, just reposition the blocks as needed so they are close to the center of the new panels.
2. Swap first row
Carefully remove the first row from the previous poster leaving the adhesive blocks on the wall. (PIC 9-2) Install the upper left panel from the new poster. Make sure it is aligned with the left edge and snug against the panel below it. (PIC 9-3). Install the rest of the panels in the first row. Make sure each panel is snug with the left and bottom panels. (PIC 9-4)
3. Swap the rest
Carefully remove the rest of the previous poster panels leaving the adhesive blocks on the wall. (PIC 9-5) Install the rest of the panels. (PIC 9-6)
Storing used blocks
Get some wax paper and tear off two sheets that will fit all your blocks. (PIC 9-7) Carefully remove all the previous poster panels, leaving the adhesive blocks on the wall. (PIC 9-8) Carefully remove each block from the wall without separating the thin film adhesive from the block. (PIC 9-9) The best way to do this is to start removal by prying up a corner. If the adhesive starts to separate, try a different corner or use a fingernail to hold the adhesive in place. Place the block on the wax paper. (PIC 9-10) Once all the blocks are removed, stick the second sheet of wax paper over the blocks. (PIC 9-11) Store in a cool, dry place.
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