If the Wall Decal Doesn’t Stick – What Can You Do?

If the Wall Decal Doesn't Stick - What Can You Do?

In this chapter, we’ve already given you numerous pieces of advice to follow when applying a wall decal. You know that the condition of the chosen surface plays a significant role, and improper storage of the decal can reduce its adhesive strength. Additionally, there are some options available to optimize the adhesion of the wall decal. This may be necessary, even if you’ve followed the individual steps thoroughly and according to our instructions.

If you still encounter adhesion problems, we’ve compiled some explanations, tips, and information on the topic “When the wall decal doesn’t hold.” These guidelines can also be useful if you want to inform yourself in advance about whether the wall decal will stick to your wall.

The wall decal doesn’t stick?

Whether a wall decal sticks or not is in most cases not related to the quality of the decal but rather to the interplay of chemistry and physics. The surface texture and the ingredients of wallpapers and paints can prevent the decal from adhering in these cases.

By applying heat, you can try to improve the adhesive ability of the decal on the surface. For this purpose, use a standard hairdryer on the lowest setting to warm up the wall decal and the adhesive. Even on rough and uneven surfaces, the decal can subsequently achieve an effective grip and adapt better to the texture. Simply press it firmly on the surface again with your fingers or a suitable cloth.

A targeted heating of the decal can improve the adhesive strength of the adhesive, especially on uneven and textured surfaces such as textured plaster or textured wallpaper. However, this tip won’t help if the surface is unsuitable for a wall decal.

We cannot recommend using additional adhesives!

Attaching wall decals with glue? – We advise against it!

Occasionally, ordinary craft glue is used to attach a wall decal to a wall. This is an option that we explicitly distance ourselves from in this guide. Especially when a wall decal is intended to be reused, many users see the additional use of adhesive as a welcome opportunity to reapply the design. However, this can quickly damage the wall and wallpaper when removing the wall decal because the glue can cause cracks in the wall covering. This can be an unpleasant consequence, especially in rental apartments, leading to disagreements with the landlord.

Therefore, we strongly discourage the following options: “Attaching wall decals with a glue stick” or “Securing wall decals with adhesive tape”! We also do not recommend using spray adhesive or other additional adhesives.

The transfer film cannot be removed?

The wall decal remains attached to the transfer film. In such a case, first try to reattach the element to the wall by pressing it again. If the wall decal still sticks to the transfer film, you can use tweezers to carefully peel it off the film. Then, gently attach the design to the desired spot on the wall and improve its adhesion by lightly running a finger or cloth over it. Alternatively, you can detach the design with your fingernail and gently press it with your finger.

Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly work on the design with the included squeegee before removing the film. If you are careless during this process, the application of the wall decal can be significantly delayed. Proper preparation with the squeegee is essential.

Which walls are suitable for wall decals?

In general, wall decals can be applied to all clean and smooth surfaces. Even mounting on heavily textured textured wallpaper is possible with additional heat treatment. As the design becomes more flexible due to the heat, the wall decal can adhere to this rough surface sufficiently.

The texture of the wall often doesn’t determine whether a wall decal can be applied. Instead, it depends on the type of wall paint used and its individual ingredients. These can partially or completely nullify the adhesive strength of the glue, making it impossible to apply the wall decal to the surface in question. It is recommended to check the wall paint for its ingredients before applying the wall decal. If this is not possible because the renovation work was carried out by the landlord or a painter, a test decal can provide a solution.

Please note that the following paint types are not suitable as a base for wall decals:

  • Acrylic paints
  • Paints and coatings containing silicone, latex, and acrylic
  • Latex paints
  • Clay plaster
  • Stucco
  • Roll and brush-on plaster
  • Glue paints
  • Paints or surfaces with dirt-repellent properties
  • Related binders in tinted wall paints, such as silicates/resins, can negatively affect adhesion.
  • Some non-woven wallpapers (Coated non-woven wallpapers, for example, highly water-repellent or highly washable, have been found to be unsuitable! Test adhesion on the wallpaper with a piece of masking tape. If it holds and does not fall off, the wall decal should also adhere to the non-woven wallpaper.) Even with careful consideration of all the advice – wall decal not sticking…

In the previous pages, we provided numerous tips and tricks on how to best apply a wall decal to the desired surface. The optimization of adhesiveness has been thoroughly explained. If you still encounter issues during installation, you should check the following points.

How was the wall decal stored?

Has the order for the design been placed some time ago, and you’ve had to store the wall decal for a certain period? Especially if it has been exposed to temperature fluctuations or direct sunlight during this time, it may have affected the quality of the wall decal. Damp basements or warm attics are not suitable for storing the designs. They are much better kept in drawers or cabinets. It’s best to order the desired wall decal shortly before you plan to use it, so the product’s quality isn’t reduced due to improper storage.

Is the installation on a damp or dirty wall?

Do you intend to attach the design to a wall that was recently painted? Or is the wall where the wall decal should be placed possibly in the kitchen, which may be covered with grease splatters or dirt? Contaminants and moisture are two of many factors that can make the installation of the design more challenging. Therefore, you should remove dust and clean any significant dirt from the walls beforehand with a mild cleaner. Also, caution is required when it comes to recently painted surfaces, as the paint may be superficially dry but the wall is still too moist to optimally apply a wall decal. It’s better to wait and let at least two weeks pass before you begin the wall decal installation.

What is the temperature of the chosen surface?

Consider the impact that warm or cold temperatures can have on a wall decal. If the wall or surface is particularly cold, it may make the installation more difficult and reduce the design’s adhesion. This is especially the case with glass surfaces or windows. However, cold, poorly insulated walls can also pose problems. Therefore, it’s recommended to only install the wall decal at temperatures above 10 degrees.

A test wall decal can be a solution

First and foremost, the use of wall decals should be associated with joy and creative handling of the designs. We want the installation to be as easy as possible for you and to spare you unnecessary

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