Wall Vinyl Is Here To Stay

The other day, I was talking to a friend about what we do here at
SissyLittle.com. He asked me, “What’s up with the sudden interest in
stickers?!” At this point, I became somewhat salesman-like and started
explaining all of the benefits to using wall vinyl. Is it just a fad
or is it really something to look into?

Think about home improvement in general. Think about what it takes to
paint a room, stick wall paper, stencil in designs, and then change it
in a few years when you’re bored of it all. Now think of all of the
time and energy it takes to execute these improvements, then think
about all of the different materials you need for each decorating
project. Doing a lot of thinking at this point? Well, our purpose is
to help eliminate as many of those frustrating and time-consuming
factors that go into home decoration. We offer a fun and simple
solution: wall vinyl.

These days, many families don’t have a lot of time to spend on their
surroundings because everyone’s surroundings are changing all of the
time! Between work, school, football practice, etc., it’s hard to
break the schedule for “home work.” However, when you finally do get
to put your feet up, you probably like to do so in a place that is
your own, that’s comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. We like to
say, “hey busy-bodies, let us help you out with that!”

With a few easy steps, you can have all of your decorating needs taken
care of. First of all, just look around and find a design you like.
You don’t have to worry about stencils, paint, big messes, and the
best part of it all is, it’s less time consuming! So, you search
around and don’t find a design you like. Just ask away and it can be
done for you! Ok, so what color(s) do you want?  With just one click,
the color swatch booklet is available and provides a wide variety of
colors to match your home. You can order a design package to fill a
room, your house, or office. Once it arrives, it takes a fraction of
the time to get it up and have your home or other space looking
wonderful!

Now it’s time to change things up a little bit. Your tastes are
different and you’re tired of looking at the same things all of the
time. Guess what? You can peel off the boredom without damaging your
walls! Wall paper is messy and can destroy drywall and other surfaces.
Also, for those non-permanent residencies such as apartment or small
house leases, you don’t have to worry about getting in trouble or
paying fees for altering the interior. The same idea goes with college
dorm rooms, which you rarely stay in for more than a year anyway!

For easier, faster, and even temporary decoration, wall vinyl just
makes sense. If you find yourself bored of your surroundings but don’t
have much time to do anything about it, consider a decal! You’re
likely to have a lot more fun and deal with a lot less stress. If
there’s anything you have in mind, have questions or concerns, get a
hold of us and we’ll help you with all of your decorating needs.

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How a Vinyl Design Comes to Life

Curious to know? Well we’re going to take a minute to explain to you all of the steps for making a vinyl decal.

What we do first is brainstorm for design ideas. We meet and discuss what people are talking about, looking for, and what makes a good design for SissyLittle.com. After we come up with a design, we simply make sketches until the design is close to what the finished product should look like. Once the hand-drawing process is complete, we scan the design into a computer. Other times, designers will just create an image from scratch using design software. Whether hand-drawn or digitally created, the design team converts the design file into another that is recognized by the machine software.

The next step for the team is to load vinyl into the machine. Vinyl comes on rolls in various widths, lengths, and colors. Once we have the selected color and size, the vinyl is loaded into a plotter, or cutter. This machine works on two perpendicular axes, mostly made up of rollers that move the vinyl forward and backward, as well as a belt-driven knife that moves side to side. The vinyl moves from front to back and the blade moves across the vinyl on a horizontal axis. To give you a better idea of how this works, imagine having a piece of paper on a desk that you move with your left hand. In your right hand, hold a pen straight up and move your hand only from side to side. Move the paper forward and backwards with your left hand to create a design and you have the basic idea!

The vinyl is then trimmed off of the machine and taken to the weeding table. At this station, we pick out all of the vinyl that is to be discarded in the design. We use a sharp point to pull up the excess vinyl and have to be careful not to let any of the peeled vinyl to touch and pick up pieces of the design. Once all of the unwanted pieces are removed from the sheet of vinyl, the decal is then “pre-masked.”

For the pre-masking stage, we use large rolls of masking tape to cover the vinyl design. This will serve as the transfer paper that will leave just the vinyl on your walls. We pull a sheet of this paper over top of the vinyl design. We then go over it with a squeegee to make sure that wrinkles and air are kept out of the “vinyl sandwich.” Trim off the edges and excess paper, and you’ve got a completed decal!

Each decal is made-to-order. We make everything right in our own shop here in Charleston, South Carolina. Using this process, we can efficiently cut and manufacture decals at a great pace. We’re always looking for new designs to cut, so if you have any suggestions, let us know! We would love to hear your input on the designs, but also on the how-to of it all!

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Will It Stick?

Many times, we’ll have customers ask if vinyl decals will stick to particular surfaces.  People have some great ideas as to where to put wall art, such as kitchen refrigerators, textured walls, bath tubs, and shower stalls.  So, just how versatile is vinyl?

The vinyl we use is a soft PVC-Based film (Polyvinyl Chloride).  It is manufactured with an adhesive, called Polyacrylate Dispersion, which is meant to be removable without residue for up to two years.  This removable adhesive makes it very easy to re-decorate when you’re no longer into…well whatever you’re into.  Tastes change! But even better, if you decide to move out of a tenant type of situation, you won’t have a landlord chasing you down for painting your walls and breaking the rules J.

So, we know that vinyl is great for a number of reasons.  But the question remains, what kinds of places or surfaces will it stick to? Wall vinyl is specifically made for interiors, specifically painted drywall.  Basically, the first layer of primer bonds to the wall.  The next layer of paint will bond to the primer, then the vinyl to the paint.  Application and removal are easiest when walls are painted with a good quality primer and paint.  At the very least, wait 2 or 3 weeks after painting to stick the vinyl.  If the paint and primer quality are poor, then the vinyl is likely to pull up paint, drywall, wall paper, etc.

If you do a little research and look up the Oracal product specs on their website, you’ll find that this particular vinyl has been tested under various elements.  These include outdoor elements, sea water, and heat.  The vinyl proved to adhere to aluminum and steel for certain lengths of time under conditions of heat and seawater.

Vinyl performance will vary, depending on your environment, wall or paint conditions, and the location of installation.  We have had customers try our decals in many different places with great success.  So far, we know that stainless-steel refrigerators can work, as well as certain types of wall paper, a few kinds of wood, sometimes tile, and plastic bath/shower stalls.  Textured walls will hold vinyl, but we wouldn’t recommend trying it on heavily textured walls or on surfaces that are often dusty or crumbly. In areas of moisture and temperature changes (especially bathrooms), the vinyl is likely to be affected by expansion, shrinkage, and the moisture itself.  So, the vinyl is probably not going to last as long in your bathroom as it would in a living room or bedroom.  It is possible though and has been done!

We haven’t tested all of the options and surfaces out there.  Sticking to the specs, we can tell you that this vinyl is meant for short and medium-term indoor/outdoor application.  It is intended to last for 2 years and up to 3 without leaving residue on the walls upon removal.  When installing, follow all of the directions carefully and make sure that your surface is very clean!  Adhesion is most successful on smooth, clean surfaces.  Want to try it on something other than your walls but not sure?  Shoot us an email and we will give you our best advice.  We always love to hear your thoughts and ideas, but we also love to see pictures and hear success stories!  Let us know how versatile vinyl is for you.

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