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Will Cut Decals Work on Textured Walls, and How to Make Decals

personalized wall stickers

Will Vinyl Cut Decal Adhere to Textured Walls? How Are Printed Decals Made?

Question: I have textured walls, will a Cut Decal work on textured walls?

Absolutely. However, do note that the thinner the material, the better the adhesion.

Two Types of Vinyl

There are two basic types of vinyl material that most wall stickers are comprised of. There are others, but for simplicity, we’ll talk about the most common.

The higher quality vinyl material is known as “cast” vinyl, and typically is 2mils thickness. Various companies such as 3M and Avery manufacture these films and sell them in rolls varying from 15” in width up to 60” in width.

Cast vinyl is cast using a heat process in which the hot plastic is poured and pressed into very thin sheets. Adhesive is added, then a release liner, and the material is put onto a cardboard core, and shipped to supply houses who in turn sell to sign and print shops.

Calendared materials are similar in appearance, but are pressed using heat from solid material, and therefore cannot be made as thin and has a “memory” for its original shape, and will tend to shrink when cut into decals and wall letters, etc. It ranges from around 3.5 mils thickness and up.

What to Use on Textured Walls

We will only use cast vinyl for walls or banners due to the above issue. As the letters shrink they will leave a glue halo around the letters or logo that attracts dust and appears as a brownish shadow. Not attractive.

So, to answer your original question, yes, cut decals will work, especially if the proper material is used – cast vinyl.

Question: What is a Printed Decal and how are they made?

Decal Stickers in full colorWow, that is a very broad question! I’ll try to boil it down to a relatively simple answer, though.

There are several ways to make a printed decal. In fact, you can also call them printed stickers or labels as well, and they’re all pretty much the same thing, although labels tend to be small, where as a sticker or decal could cover the side of a building.

The Printing Methods

Most printed decals and stickers are printed either digitally or by screen-printing. We’re leaving out flexographic, lithographic, and offset printing for this discussion as it would complicate things enormously. I’ve also written about them in some previous posts if you want to use the search feature to find those discussions. Since we’re dealing with larger decals in this conversation, I will still say that most of these are digitally printed or screen printed.

The digital print process is quite simple. You can send us a file and we’ll “RIP” it, send it to a wide format printer, and print it. We can also match colors where needed or use Pantone Matching System colors to hit your target colors.

Lamination Option and Large Format Prints

Often, we’ll laminate these prints, or laminate and die cut them on a vinyl plotter if required. The roll stock is typically 30, 36, or 54 inches in width, and we can print within half an inch of the edge typically. Sometimes closer if we noodle with the settings.

We can create large graphics by “paneling” the prints that can be used as window or wall decals that create a large advertisement or mural.

On-Screen Printing Method and Die Cut Sizing

Screen printing uses a different process, and is somewhat limited in size to whatever size the press is. So there are often different sizes of presses used to make printed decals and stickers, depending on the size requirements, but rarely larger than 12 feet by 5 or 6 feet.

These decals can also be die cut, but not usually with a plotter. Steel rule dies are used to die cut stacks of decals within a typical accuracy of 1/32 of an inch.


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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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