How to Remove Vinyl from Walls and Doors

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IMG_2515Remember for awhile there, when everyone was putting big, long sayings on their walls?  Bible verses and cute phrases like “Always Kiss Me Goodnight,” and “Happily Ever After?”  I had one on my kids’ bathroom wall reminding them to Brush, Rinse, Flush, Floss, and a few other things–now THAT was useful!  Anyway, I think there’s still a place for vinyl in the home, and trust me, I use lots of it still (there’s an enormous three-initial monogram on the wall above my bed, for example), but if you’re wanting to take your vinyl down in some areas to keep your decor cutting-edge :), then you may be wondering if it’s really as removable as we were promised that it is!

I’ve been waiting for warm enough weather to paint our front door.  Our house is on the rental market, as most of you guys know, and an immaculate front entry is key to curb appeal.  First step, though, was to remove my cute vinyl house numbers from the door:

Front door at 11 Magnolia Lane


Sadly, vinyl is removable, but not reusable, so don’t think you’re going to be able to move it somewhere else or put it back up later.

Using a hair dryer set to medium heat, warm the edge of the vinyl until a plastic spatula or putty knife can lift up the edge.  If you don’t have a putty knife, maybe a credit card, or even a razor blade?  Be careful that you don’t scratch the wall with the razor blade, though!

Use a hair dryer to warm the vinyl

Working SLOWLY, peel the vinyl away.  If it starts to resist, just shoot it with the hair dryer!  Be patient and remember that it’s better to go slowly than to have to spackle a wall!


I was favorably impressed with how my door looked when the vinyl was off.  You can barely see the outline of the numbers on the right side of the door, but after I wiped it down, I realized that was dirt and/or pollen, and not adhesive residue.  I had planned to lightly sand any glue away before I painted, but it wasn’t necessary.

Door after vinyl is removed.

I forgot to snap a picture of the door after I painted and before I reapplied the vinyl, but it looked perfect.  I could easily have left the door vinyl-free, and no trace would have remained.  But, since I loved those door numbers, I cut a new set and reapplied them.  Just a side note; the font is different.  I bought the original set before I got my vinyl cutter and while I like the original font better, this one is just fine for now!


The bottom line is that the vinyl held up perfectly for almost two years, and then was easily removed without leaving a trace behind.   And while removal was slow and steady, it was also easy.  Two thumbs up!

Thanks for stopping by.



  1. CatellyaRose says

    That’s good info. I never would have thought of that in a million years.

  2. Love your tip! I have been admiring your front door and wondered if you miss having a storm door. I also have a mostly white-trimmed front door so i would love the contrast of the darker wood door next to the white but my husband loves to open the main door and let the light in. Just curious about your opinion? Thanks.

    • Debbie, I have to admit that I have never had a storm door, so I guess I haven’t had an opportunity to miss what I don’t have! If I could choose any door at all, though, I’d pick one with glass panels (like in Amy’s house on the right sidebar). That way the light would still come through.

  3. Great tip and love, love your door..!! Have a wonderful week!

  4. MARY CHANONA says


    • The reason I wrote the post was that it’s obvious but only once you think about it. I had a lightbulb moment the first time I thought of it, too. Glad it was helpful for you!

  5. Katrina Blake says

    Vinyl is removable & REUSABLE. Using a blow dryer, remove one symbol at a time. While vinyl is still warm, place it where you want it and reheat with blow dryer while smoothing out. If the vinyl has cooled, reheat it with the blow dryer before placing it where you want.

    • Well, technically you’re correct, if you’ve got a very simple design that doesn’t require the spacing that transfer tape can provide, you’ve got plenty of time on your hands, and you didn’t use permanent/outdoor vinyl. That being said, the only times I remove vinyl are 1. if it’s faded/peeling or 2. I’m sick of it, so in cases like that, I’m just going to peel it off and cut something new!
      Thanks for your comment–

  6. Elliscia says

    HI! Will this strategy work with permanent vinyl?

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