Monday, September 5, 2011

Nursery progress: Dali Decal installation

It's been a busy nursery-focused weekend, and part of this weekend involved learning how to install a wall decal. A few weeks ago on my 30th birthday I won my very first blog giveaway, a $25 gift certificate to Dali Decals. I decided to go with the bird branch decal. Not only was that the popular choice among my friends (most of whom told me so in real life, not in blog life) but it was also Matt's favorite choice. Matt rarely expresses opinions over decorating decisions, and when he does (and I'm on the fence between two options) I tend to go with whatever he thinks is best so he can have a role in setting up our home.

I placed my order on August 23, and a week later I had the decal waiting for me on my doorstep. The decals come with easy-to-follow instructions that involve about nine steps. Larger decals, such as the one I ordered, require following the long version of the instructions, while the smaller decals can be installed in just about five or six steps. From start to finish it took me almost exactly one hour to install our decal. I thought I would need Matt's help, but for me this wound up being a one person job. Matt has done a lot over the past few weeks to set up the nursery, so I was happy to give him a break.

The first step was to grab some painter's tape and get the decal arranged correctly on the wall. Then I took a long piece of painter's tape and hang it down the middle of the decal, creating an "anchor" point. Our tree branch actually came in two pieces, so I took photos of the process using the smaller of the two branch pieces.

The decals are manufactured so that they're sandwiched between two pieces of adhesive. One piece of adhesive is a thick paper backing and the other piece is a thin transfer paper. Once my decal was arranged on the wall with an anchor point, I folded the decal in half over the anchor point and separated the thick paper backing from the decal.
Then I cut off the thick paper backing from the first half of the decal. After that I pressed the decal and transfer paper directly onto the wall.
Once I removed the remaining painter's tape I simply removed the remaining thick paper backing and pressed the other half of the decal and transfer paper to the wall.
The most detail-oriented piece of the process came next. I had to slowly pull the transfer paper away from the decal. The Dali Decal instructions recommend doing so by folding the transfer paper over itself as you move across the decal. I tried this tactic, and it worked well for me.
Minutes later, what I was left with on the wall looked like a real, actual decal!
I repeated this process with the remaining, larger section of the tree branch and had just as much success. The only challenge to this part of the decal installation was getting the tiny twigs at the end of each branch to stay in place while I was peeling the transfer paper away from the decal. I had to press some of the twigs back into place against the wall, but it wasn't difficult to fix.
The orange birds and green leaves came on separate sheets of paper, so I got to choose where to place the birds along the branches. It was a fun surprise to receive four bird decals rather than just the two I thought I'd be getting based on the pictures on the Dali Decals website. When installing both the birds and the leaves I followed the instructions for the small decal installation and simply peeled off the thick paper backing before placing the decals on the wall. Then all I had to do was stick the decal and transfer paper on the wall and peel back the transfer paper. This was very easy to accomplish with the birds. This was a pain in the butt with the leaves. Each individual leaf is basically a small dot decal. I managed to keep them all on the transfer paper, but then peeling them away from the transfer paper once the decals were on the wall took some time because lots of individual leaves wanted to stay stuck to the transfer paper.
An hour later, I was really pleased with the look of the decal on the large wall above where the crib will go.
The decal came to $65, but with my $25 blog giveaway gift certificate, a $3.25 coupon and another $5 off for signing up through the Dali Decals website, our nursery decal came in at $31.75. I can't say that I'll ever order another decal in my life, but if I do I can now recommend this company and I can say that installing a decal is a simple one-person, one-hour task.

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