Permanent Vinyl

What Is the Difference Between Permanent and Removable Vinyl

Table of Contents

Holographic Cobblestone Adhesive Vinyl

Holographic Cobblestone Adhesive Vinyl available at TeckWrap Craft

Craft lovers who plan in trying out vinyl printing should know the types of vinyl. First, there are two types of vinyl — heat transfer vinyl (for fabrics) and adhesive vinyl (for tumblers, mugs, etc). Adhesive vinyl is categorized into two — permanent and removable vinyl.

In this blog, we’ll focus on what is the difference between permanent and removable vinyl. Why do you need to know this information before you hop into vinyl crafts? This is to make sure you’re using the right vinyl and sticks the way you want it. Read further and learn more.

permanent vs removable vinyl

Permanent smart vinyl available TeckWrap Craft (Compatible without a cutting mat – just load & go!)

Removable Vinyl vs Permanent Vinyl

Here’s what you should know: adhesive vinyl comes in many designs and colors. May it be permanent or removable vinyl. But of course, both products have a lot of differences when it comes to their uses and purpose.

To sum it all up, here are the differences and similarities between permanent vs removable vinyl:



Removable Adhesive Vinyl

Permanent Adhesive Vinyl

Paper backing

Same: Paper backing is sticky to touch and can be easily peeled off like a sticker.

Same: Paper backing is sticky to touch and can be easily peeled off like a sticker.


Meant for indoor temporary application

Meant for permanent outdoor application


Usually has a matte finish or matte vinyl

Most permanent vinyl has a glossy finish


Wall decals that you want to remove in the future, indoor signs, wood signs, used as a stencil, as a temporary application if you want to try out how it looks like

Outdoor signs, car decals, bumper stickers, and kitchen wares like mugs and tumblers




For printing on fabric




Basically, these are the obvious the differences and similarities between removable and permanent vinyl. But there’s so much more you need to know in order to create wonderful, high-quality, and long-lasting projects. Let’s discuss further.

Permanent Premium Vinyl

Permanent Premium Vinyl —  Opal Chrome Adhesive available at TeckWrap Craft Compatible with most craft cutters, vinyl plotters, die cutters and personal hobby use)

What You Should Know About Permanent Adhesive Vinyl

If there’s one thing you need to remember about permanent vinyl is that it sticks, thus the word permanent. If you plan permanent application on the wall, glass windows, or any merchandise, permanent vinyl is the way to go.

Here are some things you need to remember about permanent vinyl:

Fact #1: It’s Permanent and It Sticks for a Long Time

If you stick permanent vinyl on walls and try to remove it, the wall paint may get damaged. The same thing goes for sticking permanent vinyl on glass windows or wood signs. So if you want vinyl decals on your wall, and use permanent vinyl, make sure that you have no plans to remove it in the future.

If you think you might want to change your mind or it’s just a one-time occasion, using removable vinyl is advisable. Also, if you plan to place the vinyl indoors, you can use removable instead as this won’t damage the paint of the walls.

However, if you place the vinyl decals outdoors, you should use permanent vinyl, if you want it to last long. For outdoor use, where it’s exposed to different weather conditions, permanent vinyl is advisable. 

Can you use removable vinyl outdoors? Yes, but don’t expect it to last for long. Removable vinyl, when exposed to different weather conditions outdoors, won’t stick for a long time. But if it’s for one-time occasions only, using removable vinyl outdoors is fine.

Textured Metallic Adhesive Vinyl

Textured Metallic Adhesive Vinyl available at TeckWrap Craft (Ideal for making decals, wall graphics, window graphics, signage, banner art, scrapbooking, home décor use, book covers, laptop skins, windows, and walls.)

Fact #2: Permanent Vinyl and the Sealing Process

Most vinyl manufacturers, that includes TeckWrap Craft, do not recommend applying a sealer over permanent vinyl. Basically, if you use good-quality vinyl like TeckWrap, you don’t need to use a sealer. You’re confident that it will stick even without a sealer.

Whether you’re using permanent vinyl as a wall decal, for tumblers, or mugs, a sealant won’t be necessary. However, if you use glitter vinyl on tumblers, sealing it using epoxy is advisable. Why?

The tendency of glitter vinyl is it smudges off, so if you want to preserve the shining, shimmering facade of glitter vinyl on your merchandise, seal the deal with sealant.

Shimmer and glitter permanent vinyl

Long-lasting vinyl with Shimmer and glitter design available at TeckWrap Craft


Fact #3: Permanent Vinyl on Mugs and Tumblers

Creating personalized gifts by using vinyl on mugs and tumblers will always be a great hit. But what kind of vinyl do you use on mugs or tumblers?

Permanent vinyl is advisable. Since mugs and tumblers need to be washed every after use, the vinyl needs to withstand frequent washing.

But what about the dishwasher? Can you place mugs with permanent vinyl on a dishwasher? The answer is no. Most types of vinyl, may it be permanent or removable, are not dishwasher or microwave safe.

Permanent vinyl when exposed to a dishwasher's high temperature coupled with water pressure may peel off. So make sure to only handwash mugs or tumblers with vinyl.

Fact #4: Removing Permanent Adhesive Vinyl

The big question is, can you remove permanent outdoor vinyl on walls or glasses? Yes, you can, but you can’t expect to perfectly peel it off the project surface. How can you remove permanent adhesive vinyl? Try out these options (this works well for car decals or window decorations):

  1. Option 1: Use a liquid vinyl remover, spray it over the vinyl you want to peel off. Wait for 5 to 15 minutes. Then remove the vinyl and adhesive altogether.
  1. Option 2: Peel off the vinyl and target the sticky residue that remained. You can drench a paper towel or damp cloth with white vinegar or damp cloth. Then wipe it over adhesive residue until the residue is removed.


Buffalo Plaid Adhesive Vinyl

Buffalo Plaid Adhesive Vinyl available at TeckWrap Craft for Christmas and Holiday decorations

Uses of Permanent Vinyl

So what are the common uses of permanent vinyl? This part is important for craft lovers. Get your notebook and take note of the uses of permanent vinyl:

Outdoor Signs

If you want to create outdoor signs that last, may it for a business or for special occasions, permanent vinyl is an excellent choice for the project. You can create outdoor signs using permanent vinyl and stick them to walls, glass doors, windows, or wood signs.

Permanent vinyl is UV resistant and can withstand even the harshest weather conditions while removable indoor vinyl cannot.

Mugs, Tumblers, and More

If you plan on making personalized tumblers using vinyl, always use permanent vinyl. As mentioned earlier, permanent vinyl can withstand washing.

Wooden Signs

Are you planning on making a wood sign perhaps for a barnyard or your mailbox or any outdoor projects? The permanent outdoor vinyl is the best choice.

Outdoor Projects

You can also use permanent vinyl for other outdoor projects like car decals, stickers for car windows, restaurant signages, welcome mats, themed decors, shop windows, and many more. TeckWrap Craft does not offer vinyl for decals, but you might want to check out TeckWrap for cars.

Holographic permanent vinyl

Holographic permanent vinyl at TeckWrap Craft is ideal for making wall decals, window graphics, signage, banner art, scrapbooking

What You Should Know About Removable Adhesive Vinyl

Indoor projects? Indoor signs? Temporary applications? In need of stencils? Then you need removable vinyl. Removable vinyl will adhere to glass, paper, wall, wood. Basically any type of surface. This type of vinyl will easily peel off without leaving any residue.

But the fallback? It’s more for temporary use only. That’s why removable vinyl is also called temporary vinyl. It’s the biggest advantage? You can change your design anytime without worrying about leaving residues behind or damaging the wall paint.

Here are more facts you need to know about removable vinyl:

Fact #1: It’s Temporary and Can Be Peeled off Without Worry

The biggest selling point of removable adhesive vinyl is its use for temporary applications. For instance, you want to brighten up your living room with some wall decals but of course, you want to save the integrity of the wall paint. Then an indoor vinyl is your best choice.

In the case in the future you want to remove the wall decal or update it to something better, you can peel off the temporary vinyl without worrying about leaving residue behind or damaging the wall paint.

Fact #2: Removable Adhesive Vinyl Is Recommended for Indoor Use

As you may know now, permanent outdoor vinyl is recommended for outdoor use but can also be used for indoor applications. But what about removable vinyl? Well, you guessed it — removable vinyl is recommended for indoor use.

Why? Removable indoor vinyl may peel off easily when exposed to different weather conditions. After just a few months of heat and rain exposure, you can expect removable vinyl to peel when placed outdoors. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use removable vinyl outdoors.

You can use removable indoor vinyl outdoors if you expect to use it short term. For example, one-time holiday occasions like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, New Year, you know the drill. Most shopping malls use removable vinyl on their display windows for “SALE” signs or Christmas decorations.

Fact #3: How Long Do Removable Indoor Vinyl Last

Removable vinyl, when used indoors, will last for one to three years. Of course, this will depend on environmental reasons. For example, if there’s too much humidity inside the room and the wall starts to become moist, the removable vinyl may have a shorter life span.

As for removable vinyl, when used outdoors or printed on a mug, it won’t last long. Most likely, removable vinyl will only last for 1-3 months. That’s why it’s important to know the difference between permanent and removable vinyl. This is to ensure that it sticks longer and better.

Glitter adhesive vinyl

Glitter Adhesive Vinyl available at TeckWrap Craft

Fact #4: Indoor Vinyl — Sealing Process, Washing, and Fabrics

Can you seal removable vinyl? Yes. If you want the removable vinyl to adhere well to the surface you can use dishwasher safe Mod Podge, spray sealer (polyurethane polyacrylic spray), or epoxy.

In which kinds of projects can you use a sealant on removable vinyl? For projects like wood signs, glass surfaces, or ceramics.

How about washing removable vinyl? The answer is no. In the first place, you should never use removable vinyl on mugs, tumblers, or cups. Even though removable indoor vinyl is waterproof, it will peel off after several washes.

How about using removable vinyl on fabrics like T-shirts or tote bags? No, it’s not a good idea. For fabrics, it’s recommended to use heat transfer vinyl (otherwise known as iron-on vinyl) and use a heat press machine.

Just a note: never use any kind of adhesive vinyl on fabrics. Always use heat transfer vinyl on fabrics.


Reflective Adhesive Vinyl Roll

Permanent Reflective Adhesive Vinyl Roll available at TeckWrap Craft

Uses of Removable Indoor Vinyl

As a craft lover, you should take note of the uses of removable vinyl. Just remember, you can apply removable vinyl on smooth surfaces without worrying about leaving a sticky residue behind. Here are several uses of removable vinyl:

Removable Wall Decals

If you want a temporary wall decal indoors, you can use removable vinyl for that. May it be for a living room welcome sign, updating the restaurant’s Menu of the Week, or maybe inspirational quotes on a coffee shop wall removable is the answer for that.

Glass Doors or Windows 

Vinyl decals for Christmas or Halloween? Use a removable sticker paired with removable vinyl with that. This is a great idea for coffee shops or restaurants. So what does this mean? Aside from being a hobby, vinyl decals are also a great business idea.

Removable Stencil

Do you need a stencil for painting other decorations on your wall? Then you can use removable vinyl for that. Stencil is different, but both pretty much do the same job.

Other Project Ideas for Removable Vinyl

Nail decals, picture frame decal, condiments label, label for household or office items, wood signs (for indoor or one-time use), decals for themed parties, invitation cards, sticker for notebook and many more.

Removable wall vinyl

Wall decoration use of removable vinyl

Image from WikiMedia

Frequently Asked Questions About Removable and Permanent Vinyl

Why Is My Permanent Adhesive Vinyl Not Sticking to the Cup?

The most common reason why vinyl is not sticking to the cup is that the surface is wet. Make sure to let it completely dry off. After you cleaned the surface with rubbing alcohol and the vinyl still doesn’t stick to the surface, leave a transfer paper to the surface before applying the vinyl again.

How to Tell if Vinyl Is Permanent or Removable?

You can tell the only difference between permanent or removable vinyl is through its finish. Usually, permanent vinyl has a glossy or shiny finish. While removable vinyl has a matte or dull finish.

Got your vinyl rolls/sheets all mixed up and now you don't know which one is permanent and removable? Luckily there is a super-duper easy way to tell the difference between permanent and removable vinyl.

Glitter vinyl

Glitter vinyl available at TeckWrap Craft

The Takeaway

So what’s the bottom line of all of this? The big difference between permanent and removable vinyl is their permanence and the strength of the adhesive contained. Removable vinyl has weaker adhesive and permanent vinyl has stronger adhesive.

So the next time you have craft projects, you already know which kind of vinyl to use. It’s always important to use the right type of vinyl on the style and purpose of the project you’re aiming for.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.