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What To Do If Your Wall Decals Won't Stick

Wall Decal Edge Curling | Wallhogs

You are frustrated, angry, disappointed, and maybe feeling a few other emotions.  You’ve spent a substantial amount of money and invested a great deal of time in decorating the perfect room with your new wall decals. A few hours or days lapse and you notice sections, or the entire decal, is not adhering to your application surface. Believe it or not, this is a common issue, especially with vinyl wall decals.

     Fear not – Wallhogs is here to assist you with nearly two decades of expertise in the production of both vinyl and fabric wall decals and murals.

     First, we will provide you with information on the reasons your decal may not be sticking, and second, will explain procedures you can use to potentially correct the problem.

Why Your Decals Won't Adhere to the Wall

    Over the past 17 years, we’ve tested hundreds of decal materials on hundreds of different application surfaces. Let us assist you in determining why your decal may not be sticking to the wall by providing you the 9 reasons, from most common to least, why adhesive-backed decal materials fail.

Don't Panic - What You Can Do to Correct the Problem

     Now that we’ve assisted you in identifying which of the issues above you may be encountering, let’s get you on track to correcting the issue and reinstalling your decal.  Again, these are listed in the same order as the problems described above.

Problem 1:  Properly Cleaning Dirty Walls

      We've provided 3 steps for what stage your failing decal may be at.

  • For decals that have completely fallen off the wall, you need to clean the entire surface, using a damp cloth only, where the decal will be reinstalled. You may need to repeat several times to ensure the space is clean. Allow the wall to then dry for, at least, one hour prior to reinstalling.
  • For decals where only the edges are lifting there is no reason to remove the entire decal. Simply pull the area that is already lifting back another 2”-3” then wipe the area with a damp cloth. Let the area dry completely then smooth the vinyl back into place.
  • If these steps are not working the adhesive may be completely compromised by dirt. Read alternative installation techniques below in Problem 10.

Problem 2:  My Walls are Textured

  • Your only recourse here, if your wall decal is made of vinyl, is to remove it and reinstall it on a smooth, flat, painted surface.
  • If your wall decal material is fabric determine the severity of your texture and determine if the material you purchased can be installed on that surface. Here is a guide that will work for fabric wall decals.

All Decal Materials
Vinyl & Fabric

Standard Fabric Decal Materials
(Wallhogs Photo-Tex Fabric)

Aggressive Fabric Decal Materials
(Wallhogs Photo-Tex EXS)

Aggressive Fabric Decal Materials (Wallhogs Photo-Tex EXS)

Aggressive Fabric Decal Materials (Wallhogs Photo-Tex EXS)

Aggressive Fabric Decal Materials (Wallhogs Photo-Tex EXS)

Problem 3:  My Wall was Cleaned with Chemicals

  • First, you need to completely remove the decal and place it back onto the carrier paper it arrived on. Next, you need to remove the chemical or soap residue from the wall using a clean, damp cloth only. Repeat this step three or four times to ensure all residue is removed. Allow the wall to completely dry for, at least, one hour prior to reinstallation of your decal.
  • If this does not work the chemical agents in the cleaning compound or soap residue have destroyed the adhesive. Read alternative installation techniques below in Problem 10.

Problem 4:  The Temperature of the Room Was Not Consistent

  • If you are experiencing edge curling, you will need to utilize the alternative methods in step 10. Once the edges curl this exposes the adhesive to air and the water in the water-based acrylic dries out very quickly – making it unusable.

Problem 5:  I Have a Flat Based Paint Finish or No Finish

  • In this instance, you simply need to remove the decal and then reinstall it elsewhere. If you intend to reinstall it on the same wall surface it will need to be repainted with a satin or semi-gloss finish. Please ensure if you repaint to allow curing time of 30-60 days prior to reinstalling your decal.

Problem 6:  My Paint Was Not Completely Cured

  • Once excess water is absorbed into the adhesive it is not possible to salvage. Read alternative installation techniques below in Problem 10.

Problem 7:  Old Adhesive

  • If the printed decal was not peeled from its carrier paper backing within the two-year manufacture time frame it cannot be activated. You will need to use one of the alternative installation techniques below in Problem 10.

Problem 8:  The Paint On My Wall is Anti-Stain & Graffiti Resistant

  • If this is the case you would need to repaint the wall with a standard satin or semi-gloss latex paint or install the decal on a different wall.

Problem 9:  Decal Material Backing Not Coated with Adhesive

  • In this instance, you will need to use one of the alternative installation techniques below in Problem 10 or contact the printer of the decal so they can have it returned for review.

Problem 10:  Alternative Wall Decal Mounting Installation

     There are several repositionable adhesive spray products you may use to install your wall decal. 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)

No Matter What...

     You’ve just learned the reasons adhesive-backed, removable wall decals fail and how to correct the issue. Of course, the solutions may not work depending upon certain factors. With two decades of experience in working with wall decal materials, we’ve learned they are not all created equal.

      When purchasing custom or catalog decals make an attempt to obtain information from the manufacturer on what type of vinyl or fabric they are using, as well as the thickness or ounce weight of the material.

      Nearly all vinyl wall decal materials will be manufactured in one of four thicknesses (called mils – standing for thousandths of an inch); 4 mils, 6 mils, 8 mils, or 10 mils. The thicker the material the more sensitive it is to the issues talked about above. Wallhogs has utilized the same in-house brand of 4 mils removable/reusable vinyl for the past 17 years.

      Fabric decal materials are far superior to vinyl as they are not affected by factors such as temperature or wall textures. They are much more flexible and are sold by weight in ounces. Most decal fabrics range anywhere from 6 oz. up to 9 oz. Wallhogs utilizes a brand called Photo-Tex and that media is measured at 8.5 oz. and is considered a premium wall decal and mural material.

      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 a cs@wallhogs.com. They can answer any questions you may have pertaining to vinyl or fabric wall stickers or decals, as well as, murals.

Custom Reusable Vinyl Wall Decal Product & Order Page
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Custom Reusable Vinyl Wall Decal Product & Order Page
Customer Installed Custom Die-Cut Vinyl Wall Decal
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Wall Decal Sizing & Cutting Sample

Custom Reusable Vinyl Wall Decal

$12.99
Wallhogs Vinyl Wall Decal material is intended for use as wall decals or stickers.  This white vinyl maintains an adhesive that may be removed and reused up to 5 times - without leaving any residue, and is intended for temperature controlled, indoor use only on smooth, flat painted surfaces.  The media features a semi-gloss based finish that is both UV and water resistant and requires a three business day production turnaround time.
Custom Reusable Photo-Tex Wall Decal Product & Order Page
Customer Installed Custom Die-Cut Photo-Tex Game Machine Decals
Customer Installed Custom Print As-Is Photo-Tex RV Window Decal
Customer Installed Custom Die-Cut Photo-Tex Wall Decals
Customer Installed Custom Die-Cut Photo-Tex Wall Decals
Photo-Tex Wall Decal Sizing & Cutting Sample
Fabric Transfer Tape for Install Text or Small Graphics
Custom Reusable Photo-Tex Wall Decal Product & Order Page
Customer Installed Custom Die-Cut Photo-Tex Game Machine Decals
Customer Installed Custom Print As-Is Photo-Tex RV Window Decal
Customer Installed Custom Die-Cut Photo-Tex Wall Decals
Customer Installed Custom Die-Cut Photo-Tex Wall Decals
Photo-Tex Wall Decal Sizing & Cutting Sample
Fabric Transfer Tape for Install Text or Small Graphics

Custom Reusable Photo-Tex Wall Decal Fabric

$24.99
Wallhogs Photo-Tex Fabric is intended for use as wall decals or murals.  This white, finely woven polyester fabric maintains an adhesive that may be removed and reused up to 100 times - without leaving any residue, and is intended for indoor or outdoor use on smooth, flat painted surfaces or slightly textured surfaces (orange peel, eggshell, etc).  The media features a semi-gloss based finish that is both UV resistant and weatherproof and requires a five business day production turnaround time.
Custom Permanent Photo-Tex EXS Wall Decal Product & Order Page
Customer Installed Custom Printed As-Is Photo-Tex EXS Sign Decal
Customer Installed Custom Die-Cut Photo-Tex EXS Building & Sign Decals
Customer Installed Custom Printed As-Is Photo-Tex EXS Door Decals
Custom Photo-Tex EXS Hi-Tack Wall Decal Fabric
Fabric Transfer Tape for Install Text or Small Graphics
Custom Permanent Photo-Tex EXS Wall Decal Product & Order Page
Customer Installed Custom Printed As-Is Photo-Tex EXS Sign Decal
Customer Installed Custom Die-Cut Photo-Tex EXS Building & Sign Decals
Customer Installed Custom Printed As-Is Photo-Tex EXS Door Decals
Custom Photo-Tex EXS Hi-Tack Wall Decal Fabric
Fabric Transfer Tape for Install Text or Small Graphics

Custom Photo-Tex EXS Hi-Tack Wall Decal Fabric

$29.99
Wallhogs Photo-Te EXS Hi-Tack Fabric is intended for use as permanent wall decals or murals.  This white, finely woven polyester fabric maintains a permanent adhesive and is intended for indoor or outdoor use on smooth to medium textured, painted surfaces.  The media features a semi-gloss based finish that is both UV resistant and weatherproof and requires a five business day production turnaround time.

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