How to Transplant Vinyl Decals


Transplanting a vinyl decal requires loosening the adhesive that is bonded to the surface on which the decal is placed. You can loosen the adhesive by applying heat to the decal with a hair dryer or heat gun. This allows you to peel the decal off without ruining it or the surface underneath. You can transfer your decal onto another surface using a new adhesive and flattening techniques that remove creases and wrinkles in the decal.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair dryer or heat gun
  • Flat razor blade
  • Adhesive remover
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Double-sided transfer tape
  • Book binding or plastic card
  • Apply heat to the vinyl decal with a hair dryer or heat gun. The heat causes the adhesive to loosen for removal.

  • Stick a flat razor blade between the decal and the surface it is on to raise the corner so you can peel off the decal. Start peeling the raised corner and slowly pull the decal off of the surface until it is lifted half-way.

  • Reheat the part of the decal that remains adhered to the surface with your hair dryer or heat gun because the adhesive has cooled and re-bonded to the surface. Continue peeling the decal off until is is fully removed.

  • Apply adhesive remover to area where you transferred the decal from to remove adhesive residue left behind by the decal.

  • Clean the area where your are affixing the decal with rubbing alcohol. This removes grime and dirt so that the decal will adhere to the surface. Allow the area to dry.

  • Apply the double-sided transfer tape to the back of your decal. Place the decal onto the alcohol-cleaned surface. Smooth out creases and wrinkles in the decal from top to bottom by running the flat edge of a plastic card or book binding over the decal.

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  • Photo Credit Eagle image by Alexandr Shebanov from
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