Sweat off your forehead but a smile on your face, you admire the beautiful flower mural you just installed on your baby girls Nursery room. You take a few pictures, call your mom, signal the neighbor for a peek to your successful wall art project. Celebrate all around, finally the Nursery is finished! You go to bed super happy.
The next morning, you wake up and what do you do? Of course! you go back to the Nursery to continue to soak in the beauty.
But this time, oh no! DISASTER! your Vinyl Decal is peeling off the wall!!!! What went wrong? What did I do? You wondered. The answer is: nothing, you did nothing wrong... (well, at least not in regards to your decal application)
You cannot believe your eyes, you think your life is ending.
WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BEAUTIFUL DECAL?
After more than 7 years doing this, we have experienced a variety of situational environments, materials and wall paints. Based on our own experience (yes we paint walls too on our free time) and our customer's experience, we have pinpoint 3 different issues that might be the cause of this disaster pictured above:
- Freshly painted walls still outgassing
- Dirty Walls (dust and oily substances)
- Paints contain certain additives that prevent dirt and smudges to stick, but they also prevent VINYL decals to stick:
KILZ PREMIUM High Hide Stain blocker.
PPG from Home Depot
What do I do now?
Based on our own customer's experiences we have put a list of options that might work depending your situation:
CLEAN THE WALL:
Yes, you should do this step before the decal failed to adhere to your wall, however, it might not be too late to do this step. VOCs can be cleaned with baking soda or alcohol and if these VOCs are preventing your decal to stick, this cleaning method could be the solution. Lets say your wall decal is peeling on the edges. Try peeling a little more than what is lifting, and try our Enhance Adhesive Cleaning method on that area. Make sure you let it dry and warm up after cleaning (alcohol tends to lower the temperature on the surface)
NOTE: If the decal has been applied to very dirty walls, the adhesive now has some particles of dust and it wont' stick. This option will only work if the wall was mostly clean to begin with.
WARM THE DECAL AND SMOOTH DOWN THE AREAS THAT AREN’T STICKING
Adhesive activates with heat. Maybe, at the time when you installed your decal, the wall was very cold and the adhesive needs some help waking up. So, grab a hair dryer and start blowing an area wall sticker at a safe distance (do not burn your house while doing so!) and push down to smooth it to the wall. NOTE: If the decal has been applied to dirty walls, the adhesive now has some particles of dust and it wont' stick. This option will only work if the wall was clean to begin with.
USE GLUE TO ADD STICKINESS WHEN WALL DECALS WON’T STICK
While we never recommend using glue on your walls, this is an option if there are edges or pieces of your wall decals falling off.
REMOVABLE ADHESIVE GLUE that you can use to keep your decal on the wall. You can order these online or buy it on your local craft store. (Note, prices might not be updated)
- Aleene's Tack-It Over & Over Liquid Glue 4oz ($2)
- Aleene's Repositionable Tacky Spray, 10-Ounce ($13)
- ELMERS Repositionable Mounting Spray Adhesive, 10 Oz, Clear ($15)
- Gorilla Heavy Duty Spray Adhesive, Multipurpose and Repositionable, 11 ounce, Clear ($8) ** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS AND ANIMALS
- Krylon K07020007 10.25-Ounce Easy Tack Repositionable Adhesive Spray. Style:Easy Tack Repositionable Adhesive ($13)
PRO's TIPS: Thank you for our wonderful customers who have sent us their experience with the following products! Gorilla Brand has been the one that most of you liked, and also applied with a roll instead of spray onto the adhesive. For the thin vinyl (like the one used to make the trees) the Elmers or the Krylon are better, the Gorilla seems to be a bit too much for the thin vinyl.
DISCLOSURE: We do not endorse any of these any of these brands, These are just the most popular brands you can find in the market but we should not be held responsible for any issues or damages arising/caused from these products. Please always follow manufacturer recommendations on all products and contact us if you have any further questions.
HOW COULD I PREVENTED THE THIS FROM HAPPENING?
If you are reading this blog post before purchasing your decal, please read the PROS and CONS of each material, make sure you choose the right one for your environment and project.
DURABLE VINYL DECALS
PROS: These are thin decals with very bright colors and they are smooth with minimal luster. These decals will look like painted on your wall. Will last +5 years on your wall (they might last longer but we do not recommend leaving them longer than 5 years) Durable Vinyl will stick to walls painted with Glidden Essentials Flat, SW Duration, SW Cashmere Flat, Dutch Boy Flat interior paint.
CONS: They cannot be repositioned. Do not work with BEHR, VALSPAR, Paramount, Benjamin Moore, PPG Dunn Edwards and any paint that is LOW or ZERO VOC. We have seen how decals fall off the wall if you try to apply them to walls painted with these brands. Select Self-Adhesive FABRIC if you have these paint brands. If recently painted your walls, wait 8 weeks before applying your decals.
SELF-ADHESIVE FABRIC DECALS
PROS: GREENGUARD GOLD Certified Inks. Removable Medium Tack Adhesive that can also be re-positioned many times from wall to wall. It is durable and it won't rip easy because it is polyester fabric. It has a canvas-like texture and it is matte. This material could be better for textured walls because it is thicker than vinyl and can hid the texture better. However, if there are many "peaks" on your textured wall, no material will have enough surface to hold on to which might prompt the decal to fall off the wall or be punctured by the sharp peaks on the texture.
- There is no Glycol-Ether or Formaldehyde in the adhesive and no Detrimental concerns of Phthalates.
- Environmentally safe and bio-degradable over time, No PVC and nontoxic.
- Not recommended for brick, non-painted cement surfaces, or heavy painted spackled wall board.
- Make sure you allow 60 days on newly painted surfaces for out-gassing. Otherwise bubbles may develop.
CONS: It is slightly thicker material than vinyl which makes it impossible to achieve good performance on smaller designs with too many details. It has a higher price than Vinyl. If recently painted your walls, wait 8 weeks before applying your decals.
IMPORTANT: During shipping the vinyl is exposed to extreme cold temperatures that might damage the adhesive. I recommend to all customers to keep the package away from the weather elements (avoid leaving on porch, garage or attics) and to allow time for the decal to be expose to room temperatures for at least 4 hours before attempting installation. The adhesive on the decals is activated with heat, you can use a hair drier to warm up the wall before applying decals (avoid getting too close to the wall to prevent burning down your home) We also suggest to install the decals within 30 days of delivery in order to obtain a full guarantee for the products.