Wall Stickers and Decals: Materials, Removal, and Reusability

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 18, 2022
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Wall stickers are decals that can be applied to walls or other smooth surfaces. They are usually made of vinyl or another type of self-adhesive material, and they come in a variety of designs, colors, and sizes.

Wall stickers can be used to decorate any room in the home, from the living room to the bedroom, and they can also be used to decorate office spaces, retail stores, and other commercial businesses.

There are many different types of wall stickers available on the market, including those that depict popular cartoon characters, sports teams, animals, landscapes, and more. There are also wall stickers that can be customized with personal messages or images.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about wall stickers. We’ll explain what they are, how to apply them, and how to remove them without causing any damage. We’ll also share some tips for choosing the right stickers for your home.

What are wall stickers

Wall Decals: The Perfect Addition to Any Room

Wall decals, also known as wall stickers, are a type of vinyl sticker that can be applied to any smooth surface for decoration or informational purposes. They come in a range of sizes, from small designs to large art pieces, and a variety of shapes and extras to choose from. Wall decals are commonly made of vinyl material, which makes them durable and long-lasting.

What Are the Differences Between Wall Decal Companies?

Different wall decal companies offer different features and extras, such as the ability to remove decals easier with proper techniques or the option to customize designs. Some companies also offer a wider range of shapes and sizes, making it easier to find the perfect wall decal for any room. The price of wall decals can also vary depending on the company and the specific product.

What Is the History of Wall Decals?

Wall decals have been around for many years, but they have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their versatility and ease of use. They were first featured in the 1970s as a way to add a unique touch to any room. Since then, wall decals have evolved to include a wider range of designs and materials, making them a popular choice for people of all ages and interests.

Remember, wall decals are a great way to add a special touch to any room. Whether you’re looking to complete a kitchen or add some art to your living room, wall decals are an easy and affordable way to make a big change. So go ahead and get creative with your wall decals, and see how they can transform your space!

What Goes Into Making Wall Decals?

Wall decals are made of vinyl, a strong and durable material that is perfect for creating unique designs. Vinyl is an excellent material for wall decals because it is easy to apply and can be stuck to any smooth surface effortlessly. The vinyl used in wall decals is produced in a range of colours, so you can choose the perfect colour to match your style and the area you want to cover.

The Process of Creating Wall Decals

The process of making wall decals is pretty simple. First, the manufacturer creates the design using a computer program. Then, the design is cut into a single piece of vinyl using a vinyl cutting machine. The pieces are then weeded, which means that the excess vinyl is removed, leaving only the actual design. Finally, the decal is covered with a transfer tape, which helps to keep the pieces of the decal together during the application process.

The Different Types of Wall Decals Available

There are a variety of wall decals available, each with their own specific uses and requirements. Some of the most commonly known types of wall decals include:

  • Traditional wall decals: These are the most basic type of wall decal, and they come in a range of designs and sizes.
  • Custom wall decals: These are wall decals that are created specifically for a particular area or design idea.
  • Focal wall decals: These are wall decals that are designed to be the main focus of a room, such as a large tree or a city skyline.
  • Parts wall decals: These are wall decals that are sold in pieces, so you can create your own unique design.

The Importance of Proper Application

Proper application is essential when it comes to wall decals. If the decal is not applied correctly, it may not stick properly, or it may leave marks on the wall when removed. To ensure that your wall decal is applied correctly, it’s important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and to use the proper tools.

Can Decals Damage Your Walls?

When it comes to wall stickers and decals, one of the biggest concerns is whether they can damage your walls. The answer to this question largely depends on the type of adhesive used on the decal or sticker. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Decals and stickers typically use either a water-based or a heat-based adhesive.
  • Water-based adhesives are more common and are generally considered to be less damaging to walls.
  • Heat-based adhesives are stronger and more permanent, but they can also be more difficult to remove and may cause damage to the surface they are applied to.

Factors That Can Affect Wall Damage

While the type of adhesive used on a decal or sticker is an important factor in determining whether it will damage your walls, there are other factors to consider as well. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The quality of the decal or sticker can affect its ability to stick to the wall without causing damage. Cheap, low-quality decals may be more likely to peel or leave residue behind.
  • The surface of the wall can also play a role in whether a decal or sticker will cause damage. Rough or textured surfaces may be more prone to damage than smooth surfaces.
  • The length of time a decal or sticker is left on the wall can also affect the amount of damage it causes. The longer it is left on, the more likely it is to cause damage when removed.

Tips for Minimizing Wall Damage

If you want to use wall decals or stickers but are worried about damaging your walls, there are some steps you can take to minimize the risk. Here are some tips:

  • Choose high-quality decals or stickers with a water-based adhesive.
  • Test the decal or sticker on a small, inconspicuous area of the wall before applying it to a larger area.
  • Clean the wall thoroughly before applying the decal or sticker to ensure that it sticks properly.
  • When removing a decal or sticker, use a hair dryer or heat gun to soften the adhesive and make it easier to peel off.
  • If you do notice any damage to the wall after removing a decal or sticker, use a patching compound to fill in any holes or cracks.

Wall Decals: How Long Can They Stick Around?

Before applying a wall decal, it’s important to prepare the surface properly. Here are some tips to ensure your decal lasts as long as possible:

  • Clean the wall thoroughly and make sure it’s completely dry before applying the decal.
  • Remove any peeling paint or wallpaper, as this can cause the decal to come off more easily.
  • Choose a decal that is appropriate for the surface you’re applying it to. Some decals are designed specifically for smooth surfaces, while others work better on textured walls.

Application Tips

Once you’ve prepared the surface, it’s time to apply the decal. Here are some tips to help ensure it sticks around for a while:

  • Be gentle when peeling the backing paper away from the sticky side of the decal.
  • Roll the decal onto the wall slowly and carefully, making sure to avoid any air bubbles.
  • Use a cloth or squeegee to smooth out the decal and remove any air bubbles.

Maintenance Matters

To keep your wall decal looking great for as long as possible, it’s important to take good care of it. Here are some tips to help maintain your decal:

  • Regularly check the decal to make sure it’s still sticking properly. If you notice any parts starting to come away from the wall, gently press them back into place.
  • Avoid using harsh cleaning products on or around the decal, as this can cause it to peel away from the wall.
  • If you need to remove the decal, do so slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the wall underneath.

Overall, wall decals can last for a long time if they’re applied and maintained properly. By following these tips, you can enjoy your wall decal for years to come.

Removing Wall Stickers: A Sticky Situation

Yes, wall stickers are removable! But, the ease of removal depends on various factors such as the type of wall sticker, the surface it is attached to, and the manufacturer. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Most wall stickers are designed to be easily removable without causing damage to the wall surface. However, some types of wall stickers may leave a residue or damage the paint or wallpaper if they are not removed carefully.
  • Wall stickers are produced in various designs, types, and sizes. Some are sold as single sheets, while others are custom-made to cover an entire wall. The larger the sticker, the more careful you need to be when removing it.
  • The adhesive used in wall stickers is usually a low-tack glue that bonds the sticker to the wall surface without leaving a sticky residue. However, some brands may use a stronger adhesive that can be difficult to remove.
  • If you want to remove a wall sticker, start by peeling it off slowly and carefully from one corner. If it starts to resist, use a hairdryer to warm up the area to soften the adhesive. This will make it easier to remove the sticker without leaving unwanted residue.
  • For precision designs, it’s best to use a plain sticker that can be effortlessly removed without leaving any residue. Some brands offer a quick and accurate way to create custom designs that can be easily removed without leaving any marks.
  • Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting to remove a wall sticker. Some stickers may require a specific method of removal, and failure to follow the instructions could result in damage to the wall surface.

How to Remove Wall Stickers

Removing wall stickers can be a breeze if you follow these steps:

1. Start by peeling off the sticker from one corner. If it starts to resist, use a hairdryer to warm up the area to soften the adhesive.

2. Once you’ve peeled off the sticker, use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe away any residue left behind. If the sticker has been bonded to the wall for a long time, you may need to use a mild adhesive remover.

3. If the sticker has left a mark on the wall surface, use a magic eraser or a mixture of baking soda and water to gently scrub away the stain.

4. For large stickers, it’s best to remove them in sections. This will make it easier to handle and reduce the risk of damage to the wall surface.

5. If you’re unsure about how to remove a wall sticker, it’s best to contact the manufacturer for advice.

What Happens When You Peel Off Wall Stickers?

Wall stickers are designed to stick to walls and other surfaces. They are made with an adhesive surface that allows them to stick to the wall without falling off. The adhesive is strong enough to keep the sticker in place, but not so strong that it damages the wall when you remove it.

Marks and Stains

One of the biggest concerns people have when it comes to wall stickers is whether or not they will leave marks or stains on the wall. Unfortunately, the answer is yes, they can. When you remove a wall sticker, it can leave behind a residue or stain on the wall. This is especially true if the sticker has been on the wall for a long time.

  • Reusing a wall sticker too many times can cause it to lose its adhesive properties and become less effective.
  • Attempting to reuse a sticker that has been on a surface for a long time can damage the sticker and the surface it’s on.
  • If you’re unsure whether a sticker is reusable, it’s best to assume it’s not and purchase a new one.

Wall Decals vs Wall Stickers: What Sets Them Apart?

When it comes to wall decor, wall decals and wall stickers are two products that are often used interchangeably. However, there are some key differences between the two that are worth noting:

  • Wall stickers are smaller in size compared to wall decals, making them ideal for smaller spaces or for adding a touch of personality to a specific area of a room.
  • Wall decals, on the other hand, are larger and can cover a significant portion of a wall, making them a great option for creating a focal point or statement piece in a room.

In terms of materials, both wall decals and wall stickers are made of vinyl sheets. However, wall stickers are typically made of thicker vinyl sheets, which makes them more durable and longer-lasting.

Application and Removal

Another key difference between wall decals and wall stickers is how they are attached and applied to a wall:

  • Wall stickers are self-adhesive and can be easily applied to a smooth wall surface without the need for any additional tools or materials.
  • Wall decals, on the other hand, require a bit more work to apply. They typically come with a transfer tape that needs to be used to apply the decal to the wall. This process can be a bit more time-consuming, but it also allows for more precise placement and customization.

When it comes to removal, both wall decals and wall stickers are designed to be easily removable without damaging the wall surface. However, it’s worth noting that some wall stickers may leave behind a small amount of adhesive residue, which can be easily cleaned up with a damp cloth.

Benefits and Availability

So, which one should you choose? Ultimately, it depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here are some benefits of each product to consider:

  • Wall stickers are a great option if you’re looking for an affordable and easy way to add some personality to a small space.
  • Wall decals are ideal for creating a high-impact statement piece or for customizing a larger area of a room.

Both wall decals and wall stickers are widely available on the market, with a range of options and designs to choose from. Many makers also offer custom design services, allowing you to create a unique product that meets your specific needs.

In summary, while wall decals and wall stickers may seem similar at first glance, there are some key differences between the two products to keep in mind. By understanding these differences and considering your specific needs, you can make an informed decision when it comes to getting the perfect wall decor for your space.


Wall stickers are a great way to add some personality to your walls. You can get them in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and they’re pretty easy to apply. Just make sure you get the right kind for your wall. 

So, if you’re looking for a way to make your walls more interesting, wall stickers are the way to go. You can’t go wrong with wall stickers!

Also read: this is paint vs wallpaper, the pros and cons

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.