How to Make Wall Decals Stick to Textured Walls
Did you purchase a custom wall decal or pre-printed sticker set and are now encountering problems with them adhering to your textured wall? It can be frustrating!
Wallhogs is here to assist you in determining what the problem may be and how to solve it. With 16+ years in the digital wide-format wall decal printing industry, we have tested and worked with every type of wall decal or sticker material available.
In the following sections, we will help you identify what the problem is and how to solve it, as well as provide you with information on the different types of decals and sticker materials so you are better able to make an informed decision prior to purchasing.
Prior to reviewing the issues and solutions let’s first explore the five different types of wall surfaces so you can determine where your wall surface may fall within this group.
Wall Surface Types
Wall surface textures can be made of a specific material or created with paints. Determine which wall surface type closely matches yours so you can use that information in the following sections. Regardless of wall type, all surfaces for wall decals must be painted.
Drywall or Sheetrock
Any wall decal material will work on these surfaces. Wallhogs decal materials include; Wall Decal Vinyl, Photo-Tex Fabric, and Photo-Tex EXS Fabric.
Reasons Decals My Not Adhere
- Was the wall properly cleaned prior to installation?
Dirty walls are the most common issue we find is the reason for decals not sticking. Installation surfaces must be wiped down with a damp cloth and allowed to dry completely before installation.
- Was the wall cleaned with a chemical-based solution?
This is the second most common problem encountered. No commercial cleaning products or soap may be used as they will destroy the ability of the water-based adhesive to stick to the surface.
- Is the decal installed in an indoor, temperature-controlled environment?
Certain decal materials, mainly vinyl, must be installed in a temperature-controlled environment of 68°F to 85°F (20°C to 29.44°C). Temperatures below or above these standards will cause the vinyl to contract or expand – thereby causing it to pull away from the application surface.
- Type of paint finish used to coat the wall
Latex-based satin, semi-gloss, and gloss paint are the recommended finishes. Flat-finished paints tend to hold dirt and are extremely difficult to completely remove dirt and debris from, thereby leaving the dirt on the wall that will become embedded in the decal adhesive. Oil-based paints will not work as the water-based adhesive on the decal will resist the oil base in the paint.
- Was the wall painted within the past 30-60 days?
All latex paints take 30-60 days to completely cure. They dry quickly; however, it takes 30-60 days for the water to completely cure from the paint. If a decal is installed on uncured paint, it will not allow the water to evaporate but will absorb into the water-based adhesive causing it to fail due to too much water. Refer to the paint manufacturer's instructions for curing times.
- • Was the paint used a stain or anti-graffiti-resistant type?
These types of paints include chemicals called non-binding agents. They are resistant to dirt and stains and will also resist the adhesive on the decal.
These are the main causes of decals failing to adhere to an application surface. Now let’s explore the solution to adhere a decal to a textured wall surface.
Solutions for Decals Adhering to Textured Walls
NOTE: DO NOT USE A HAIR DRYER OR HEAT GUN ON YOUR VINYL OF FABRIC DECAL UNLESS IT HAS A PERMANENT ADHESIVE APPLIED. USING HEAT ON WATER-BASED ADHESIVE WALL DECALS WILL CAUSE THE WATER IN THE ADHESIVE TO EVAPORATE CAUSING THE ADHESIVE TO FAIL.
The first step in the solution is to determine what type of material your decal is printed on – vinyl or fabric.
If the decal you currently have is printed on fabric material, you are more than likely experiencing one of the issues listed in the above section of this post or are making an attempt to stick it onto a textured surface that requires a permanent adhesive.
If your decal is made from vinyl, or you are attempting to adhere a fabric decal to a rougher surface than recommended, you may use one of the products listed below to assist you in adhering your decal to the wall surface. Please note, that all of these products are considered repositionable and could become permanent after six months to a year. These include:
- Krylon Repositionable Easy-Tack 10.25 oz (Item #K07020007)
- Elmers Repositionable Mounting Spray 10 oz (Item #E454)
- Scotch Repositionable Spray Mount 10.25 oz (Item #MMM6065)
- Loctite Repositionable Spray Mount 13.5 oz (Item #1712314)
If you are seeking to install your decal permanently the following spray adhesives are available, however, will scar your wall when removal is attempted.
- Loctite Professional Performance 13.5 oz (Item #2267077)
- 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive 14 oz (Item #77-VOC30DSC)
To utilize these products simply unroll the carrier paper the decal arrived on and lay the decal, face down, onto it.
Using one of the adhesive products spray a lite to moderate coat onto the back of the decal. The amount used will be determined by how textured your wall is from the chart above.
Once coated, you may reapply the decal.
Preparing to Purchase Your Wall Decal
If you have not yet purchased your decal you are now aware of the materials available. You can even learn more and compare the materials Wallhogs offers here.
Wallhogs is the only wall decal manufacturer to offer customers three different decal materials – each for a different type of application surface. Most competitors only offer a single material and most of that time the material is vinyl – due to how inexpensive it is.
There is nothing wrong with vinyl decals as it is the most popular wall decal product we sell; however, it is only intended for flat, smooth, painted surfaces in indoor, temperature-controlled environments.
We also offer a polyester fabric material that may be used indoors or outdoors on textured surfaces and temperature does not affect it.
Wallhogs wall décor experts are always available for you to speak with Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST using our toll-free number, (877) 900-4647, or via email 24 hours a day at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can answer any questions you may have pertaining to vinyl or fabric wall stickers or decals, as well as, murals.