How to Get Wrinkles Out of Vinyl Decals

Knowing how to get wrinkles out of vinyl decals means careful preparation and planning, but it’s worth it in the long run. Decals can turn a stark office into something vibrant, or make the windows in your store a prime source of advertising. But if you’re using them to promote your brand, you want to make sure they look great.

Proper vinyl decal repair and maintenance isn’t as complicated as it sounds. There are some easy ways to remove wrinkles, bubbles, and creases from your vinyl decals.

When you order decals through Coastal Creative, you can rest assured knowing that your decals are printed on top-quality vinyl. Vinyl is a material that can easily withstand a few wrinkles and still last for many years.

Some creases may develop while your items are en route, but it in no way affects the quality or finished effect of the vinyl adhesive. Read on for some super easy hacks to help you get the most out of your new vinyl decals.

What this article covers:

How to Get Creases Out of Vinyl Decals

how to get creases out of vinyl decals

So you’ve applied your new vinyl decal only to realize it has a huge crease down the middle. This may seem like a sign to start over, but luckily, there are some things you can do without having to start again.

The first thing you should do is apply light heat. A heat gun works well but if you don’t already own one, a hairdryer is a perfect substitute. A hairdryer may even work better than a heat gun on certain materials such as plastic, which may melt if exposed to too much heat.

The heat makes the vinyl pliable. Once it’s warm, you can use a clean finger to—very slowly—pull the decal away from the wrinkle. Start right next to the imperfection and pull outwards, moving in a circle around the crease until you reach the edge of the decal.

Be patient and move slowly, repeating the process as many times as necessary. Rushing will only cause permanent damage to the decal, and won’t resolve the issue any faster. You may need to reapply the heat a few times as the material cools.

You can put polyurethane over vinyl decals once you have a wrinkle-free decal. This protects the vinyl from the elements, like wind, rain, and dust. 

It’s essential to ensure that there are no bubbles first before applying any sealant otherwise you’ll seal the dirt and create a permanent imperfection.

Any problems that come up during the application or setting stages will negatively affect the lifespan of your decal. To keep your decal from peeling off the wall or window, make sure you take extra care when applying them and you’ll have a great-looking decal for years to come.

how to get creases out of vinyl decal

Removing Bubbles from Vinyl Decals

Bubbles form under decals when air gets trapped under the adhesive. The air prevents the decal from sticking down properly in that section. 

This can ruin the appearance of the decal and cause damage over time. Things constantly brush up against those air pockets where the material is stretched thin. This will wear away at the vinyl decals and cause holes, which ultimately lowers the lifespan of the decal.

To quickly get rid of bubbles, all you need is a needle and a credit card. Use a thin sewing needle to poke a hole in the middle of the bubble. Now use your card to slowly and carefully push the air out.

If you’re wondering how to protect vinyl decals, don’t push too hard. You might stretch or tear the vinyl and ruin the decal completely. Be gentle and take your time. Take extra care when using a heat gun as you may burn a hole right through the decal.

You can also use a hairdryer afterward to seal the hole again. Heat the area and use your thumb to gently rub over the hole. After a few days, you won’t be able to see the needle hole at all. This is why it’s essential to use a thin needle.

Preventing Bubbles, Wrinkles, and Creases in Vinyl Decals

Before applying your vinyl decals, look closely for wrinkles in the material. If you catch them before application, you can easily combat any creases that developed during shipping. This is much easier than removing wrinkles once the decal is already stuck down.

As we mentioned, heat works wonders on vinyl to get rid of weird folds. Putting your decals in the hot sun for a few hours relaxes the material which releases the wrinkles. A heat gun also works well in a preventative scenario if you don’t have access to direct sunlight.

how to get wrinkles out of vinyl decal

Here is the best way to apply a decal for a bubble-free, crease-free finish. Wet your surface with lukewarm, soapy water. Peel off the backing tape and place your decal directly onto the wet surface. The slippery nature of the soap allows you to comfortably position the decal.

Once you’re happy with your placement, use a squeegee or credit card to slowly squeeze the soapy water out from under the decal. This prevents bubbles because when you push the water out you also push out any stray air bubbles.

Now that all the water, soap, and air are out, it’s important to leave the decal alone completely for at least 24 hours. This allows all the moisture to evaporate and the decal to fully adhere to the surface. The soapy water doesn’t affect the stickiness of vinyl decals at all.

If you’re wondering how to store vinyl decals to prevent wrinkles and creases, we suggest laying them flat between sheets of paper or cardboard. This will fend off the wear and tear that would come from the decals being exposed to sunlight and dust.


We know that putting up a custom vinyl window decal for the first time can be daunting. There’s a fear that once it’s up, there’s nothing you can do to fix any problems that may have arisen during application. Fortunately, that’s not quite the case. 

how to remove creases out of vinyl decal

With the right amount of preparation and care, you can ensure that your decal is perfectly aligned and free from any wrinkles or creases. Even if they do show up once you’ve fixed the decal, the steps we’ve shown you in this article are easy and quick and can set you on the right track.

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