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What You Need To Know About Wall Decals

custom wall stickers

How safe are wall decal stickers? What you need to know.

Question: Do wall stick-ons damage walls?

Do guns kill people? The only way wall stick-ons (more commonly called wall stickers or wall decals) will damage your wall is if you don’t follow the instructions for installing or removing them.

Basically, to prevent wall damage from wall decals, simply make sure your walls are freshly painted or de-greased before applying your wall decals, then, when you take them off, if needed, use a hair dryer or heat gun to help the glue to release cleanly from the wall.

Can You Reuse Wall Decals?

For those of you who are wondering if you can re-use a wall decal, the short answer is almost always NO. At least for adhesive wall decals. There are some offset-printed static stick decals available for commercial usage that don’t use adhesive, so those are reusable, but they’re not generally available yet in the consumer market.

Question: Are wall decals safe?

Stick-on Wall Decal GraphicsI can verify that no one I know has ever been attacked by a wall decal, at least not in the last decade.

If you mean are they safe for your walls, I’ve addressed that several times in our FAQ series, but since I love to expound on this, I will cover it for the nth time.

No building is airtight. It is estimated that most modern building exchange all the air in the building every 7 minutes. Older buildings and homes are even faster.

That means whatever is in the air, such as moisture, oils or other pollutants from vehicular exhaust or your neighbor’s barbecue, will be filtered through your home or office.

And it will stick to your walls, furniture, ceiling, carpet, and dog. Among other things. So, if you want the decals to stick properly and release with ease when you remove them, make sure you apply any wall graphic to clean walls, preferable freshly painted about 30 days prior.

Question: What Should I Know About Wall Decals?

What do you want to know about Wall Decals or Stickers? First, they stick to walls. They’re good for advertising in commercial venues like malls or retail stores or temporary walkways.

Easy to Apply

They apply relatively easily, at least if there are two people applying them. You can create large murals with wall stickers, by paneling them vertically (typically – it’s easier than horizontal paneling).

Easy to Remove

They remove quite easily as well, and with a heat gun or hair dryer, they should release quite cleanly from your walls.

There’s a lot more to this that you can find here.

Question: Why can’t I apply wall decals in freshly painted rooms?

Empty wall

Paint takes time to dry. It maybe dry to the touch, or surface dry, but in reality, it is not dry underneath the surface, and if you apply stickers or decals to a freshly painted wall, the adhesive may bond itself through the dry surface paint into the wet paint, which, when dry after 30 days, may create a deep bond with the adhesive.

At this point, it’s not a big deal, until you want to remove the stickers. Now you have a problem, as the adhesive goes below the surface of the paint, and when you attempt to remove the wall decal, it will take paint off the wall with the adhesive.

Applying Decals to Newly Painted Walls

The other potential issue in applying stickers to freshly painted walls is that if they’re still releasing moisture, it may simply expunge the decal off the wall because it’s just too damp for the adhesive to grip to. If this is a commercial endeavor, you need to make sure you have time to accomplish what you need before affixed wall advertising decals to a wall, or that grand opening may not look that grand.


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Barry K. Brown

Barry Brown has been in the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Business for over 20 years. It isn't what he thought he'd do with his life, but he says he knows too much now to do anything else!

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