Decal meaning and history
New year, new house. The beginning of a new life path often coincides with the desire to renew oneself and to renew the spaces we live in.
And if we certainly can’t change homes overnight, we can refresh the look with some DIY chore.
Perfect in this sense are the decals. What is it about?
Discovering the decal
The decal or decal (from the French décalcomanie, decalquer and manie, or mania to trace) is a decorative technique which allows you to transfer images, painted or printed, from one support to another, generally from paper to another surface.
It was invented in the eighteenth century, in England, by a French engraver, Simon Francois Ravenet, who emigrated overseas. Subsequently, at the time of the surrealist art movement, this ornamental printing process it was revived and innovated by Oscar Dominguez, a surrealist of Spanish origin who spread the technique among the avant-garde.
However, the large-scale diffusion of decals is recorded between the two world wars, in accordance with the growing need of the label the products.
Today, the decal has evolved to come into contact with modern photographic graphics; the latest digital technologies allow you to get images e high definition lettering, which are then transferred to the chosen media.
On which surfaces to use decals
In the world of home decor, decals are mostly used for le football porcelain, but they also adapt to other types of objects and materials.
On special paper substrates, for example, images can be printed using ceramic oxide-based colors. These, below, are applied on the cold ceramic.
The material is baked in the oven at very high temperatures for fix the decoration, thus obtaining tiles, plates, cups and vases of great aesthetic impact.
But it doesn’t stop there: the decal can be used for decorate the glasses of glasses, mirrors and windows, the fabrics of sheets, pillows and curtains, even i furniture quickly and easily.
How to make DIY decals
Have you decided to give new life to a piece of furniture or an accessory in your home? Good! To begin with, you need to get the decals necessary for this purpose.
Those with a penchant for manual activities can do them by hand. How?
Drawing on a sheet of greaseproof or vinyl paper the desired image or writing and coloring it with India ink. Alternatively, we can take a free one from the web and print it.
Here is thenecessary:
- pc for quick editing of the chosen image;
- laser or inkjet printer;
- white adhesive paper in PVC vinyl (be careful to choose the one suitable for the type of printer you have);
- scissors and utility knife.
Now let’s see how to proceed.
Step 1: opt for an image or a writing from which it is possible to obtain a decal.
Step 2: after having edited it (make sure that the dimensions are adequate for the application surface), set the file for printing, taking the vinyl sheet.
This has two sides of different material: the first in vinyl, or the adhesive PVC side, will act as a decal, the second paper, will be useful as proof.
Advice: to print on the paper side, you need mirror the image horizontally, that is, reflected in the opposite way to the original.
This is to ensure that once the mirror image is printed on the paper side and cropped, it will be visible as the original on the PVC side.
Step 3: Print the mirror image on the paper side.
Step 4: cut the printed image.
Step 5: separate the PVC from the paper.
The decal is ready to be applied using the adhesive it comes with.
Ready to use decals
If you want to avoid all these steps, you can buy some ready-to-use decals.
They are available in classic e-commerce (Amazon, Etsy, Stylight), which also sell hobby items, or in specialized ones, where customized solutions can be found.
One of them is the portal stickermule.com. How does it work?
Upload the graphics, select the measures and quantity. If you are convinced, you can approve the draft or request changes until you are sure that the decals are the way you want. Then just proceed with the order and that’s it.
He also designs and prints custom products ITC Decal.
The Florentine company offers its creative department to create cold and hot decals which can be applied on different surfaces (porcelain, ceramic, bone china, glass, crystal, stainless steel, wood, plastic and resin).
Dry decals on walls
Would you like to welcome guests with a welcome sign or customize the home office?
Just one dry decal to be placed on one or more walls. How to apply it?
The dry decals, as you can imagine, they do not need water to be attached, as the printed sheet is covered with a transparent adhesive and a layered support with lacquer. It is sufficient, therefore, to place the decal on the surface and make it adhere.
In the case of hand drawn decals, some further steps need to be considered.
How to apply hand drawn decals
The wall on which to attach the decal must be smooth and clean.
After having sanded and cleaned it with a damp cloth, pass some glossy wall enamel, avoiding brush streaks.
Once dry, sprinkle it with some trielina and place the sheet of vinyl paper on which you had previously drawn the decal, it is also valid for images cut out from magazines, illustrated books and comics; trichlorethylene is a volatile substance, you need to work quickly, protecting yourself with a mask so as not to inhale it.
To make sure the image is transferred smoothly, fix the paper with the image facing the wall, using the gummed paper.
For a good result, rub it with a pencil several times and in all directions.
Remove the gummed paper and gently peel off the vinyl paper sheet to admire the image imprinted on the wall. After any ink touch-ups, wipe the transparent flatting so as to stop and protect the decal.
Wet decals on ceramic accessories
Are you planning to organize a themed birthday party?
Why not make it special by personalizing mats and coasters with some wet decals.
Once the printed sheet is moistened, simply press it on the chosen surface and the film comes off by lifting or sliding.
Before starting, get everything you need:
- a basin;
- a first;
- a brush;
- a spatula;
- a sponge;
- clear varnish.
Here’s how to proceed: roll one out primer layer on the object chosen to make the decoration more resistant and durable.
Fill the basin with warm water and immerse the decal for a few minutes, previously deprived of the protective film.
Take the decal and place it on the object to be decorated, using the spatula to avoid air bubbles and spread it out better; remove excess water with a sponge.
After a few minutes, remove the paper backing to admire the decal.
Wait a few days for it to dry and go for one transparent varnish layer on the decoration to make it shiny. Remember to wash the accessories created by hand.
Decals on fabrics
There is an easier way to transfer your favorite images onto textiles and wooden furniture items: it is the hot decal, the image of which adheres through heat, for example, using an iron.
Let’s start with a fabric: you can make a decal using the food paper. You have to give it the size of an A4 sheet, choose the design with which you want to decorate and print it.
Be careful when picking up the sheet as it can get stained and spoil the print.
Prepare the iron, it must be warm, and the fabric on which you want to apply the decal; transfer the printed image onto this by stretching it.
With the same procedure it is possible to embellish wooden objects.
With a little practice, you will become more precise and faster and you can try your hand at making small gifts for loved ones.
With the start of the new year, we all need to fantasy and color.
Why not recreate them with a decal?
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