How to Keep Decals From Peeling Off Wall

Decals are a fun and user-friendly way of adding some color and excitement to plain walls. They can also hide a multitude of flaws and are easily removed when you want to change the look of your home. 

Peeling murals, however, detract from the overall look of your home or business. This can be easily prevented, though. To keep them looking their best, we compiled this guide full of tips for how to keep decals from peeling off walls. 

What this article covers:

Why Causes Decals to Peel off Walls?

Our custom vinyl decals are designed to look bright and beautiful for a long time. Consisting of custom-designed prints in vibrant inks, on a durable vinyl material, they are the ultimate in decor convenience.

how to keep decals from peeling off wall

Of course, to keep them looking fantastic, you need to take good care of them. 

There are several simple reasons why your decals may be peeling off the walls. The most common causes for decals to start peeling off walls are:

  • Incorrect application of wall decals.
  • Wall surfaces that are unsuitable for decal application.
  • Improper removal/ transporting of used decals for reuse elsewhere.
  • Failure to keep clean, or use abrasive cleaning agents on decals. 
  • Expecting decals to last beyond their scope – especially outdoor ones.

How to Prevent Decals from Peeling off Walls

To prevent decals from peeling off walls, we need to avoid the five common mistakes in the list above.

Correct Application

Your decals come supplied with application instructions, but it couldn’t be easier. It really is a case of peel and stick.

Why your vinyl decal is bubbling is something many people have run into and it’s a question we’ve heard over the years. The two main reasons are extreme temperature changes and incorrect application. Ensure your wall is completely dry and relatively smooth. 

If your vinyl is peeling shortly after application, chances are this is what went wrong. Any little bubbles caused by trapped air can usually be worked out by gently massaging with your fingers. However, in the case of larger decals, you may prefer to have them installed. This is especially true of commercial wall-size decals. If you’re situated in the  San Diego and South Orange County area, we can not only deliver but also install your larger decals for you.

how to keep decals from peeling off walls

Suitable Wall Surfaces

Before applying your decal, be sure that the wall you have designated is suitable for decal adhesion. The best way how to keep decals from peeling off walls is to choose the right walls at the start.

Clean the Wall First

A dirty or oily wall doesn’t allow the adhesive on the back of the decal to cling properly to the surface. 

Pick the Right Kind of Surface

The same applies to very uneven walls. While no wall is perfectly smooth, and this is usually not a problem, very uneven walls are not suitable for applying decals. Heavily textured surfaces such as brickwork are also not going to work because the adhesive won’t stick properly. 

Choosing the right surface is the first step in how to keep decals from peeling off walls. The ideal wall for the application of decals is flat, smooth, and non-porous. Decals may be applied to drywall, glass, cement, and finished wood surfaces. If in doubt, contact us and we’ll advise you of your options.

Don’t Apply Decals to Freshly-Painted Walls

Freshly-painted walls need to be left to cure before decals can be applied. This ensures that your decal adheres properly, and also prevents damage to the painted surface. If you place your decal onto a freshly painted wall, you may soon be left wondering how to keep decals from peeling off walls.

how to keep decals from the peeling off wall

The type of paint used determines how long you’re going to have to wait. Some paints allow decals to be applied after a week, whereas latex paints can take up to a month before it’s safe to apply a decal. If you are at all unsure, ask us for advice before proceeding with the application.

Removal and Reuse

An area where many decal owners fail is in how to transfer wall decals when moving. First, be sure to specify that you are looking for reusable wall decals when ordering your product. Not every custom mural product is repositionable, so mention this need right at the start.

Remove with Care

Our reusable decals are removable, and can therefore be reused at your new home or office. However, the way that you store and transport them is crucial. Rough treatment during removal, or reckless storage when moving, may result in damage to the adhesive backing.

Has your decal has been on the wall for a longer time than the normal life expectancy, or been subjected to harsh outdoor conditions? In such a case,  removal may prove to be a little more difficult. Simply apply some gentle heat with a hairdryer on low heat, but do not hold it too close to the decal. 

The heat helps to loosen the decal, and you may then remove it by pulling it away from the wall at a 45-degree angle. Do not use any sharp instruments to pry the backing away from the wall.

how to keep decals from the peeling off walls

Transport Carefully in a Flat Position

If possible, reapply the backing film or a similar sheet to the back of your decal, and lay it flat for storage and transportation. Failure to do so may damage the adhesive backing properties of your decal. In that case, it is sure to start peeling from the walls after installing it in your new spot.

If your decal was in use for some time or used outdoors, it will naturally show signs of wear and tear. It may be best to replace it with a new custom decal. Simply provide us with the old one, or a picture of it, to have an identical one made up for you.


Proper maintenance is essential how to keep decals from peeling off walls. Decals last longer when kept clean, and we’re not just talking about dust on the surface. Dirt and grime can get in between the adhesive backing and the wall, especially after a long time, or if used outdoors. 

Keeping the surface free from dust makes this less likely to occur. Don’t worry about how to clean vinyl decals. It’s really very simple and should form a part of your regular household cleaning routine. No special products are required, just some good old-fashioned common sense.

What to Do

A simple wipe-down with a soft, clean cloth usually does the trick. You may even use a traditional feather duster if you wish, to remove any loose specks of dust. The important thing is to prevent dust from getting in underneath the decal. Regular dusting significantly lowers this risk.

When used as outdoor wall decals or in high-traffic areas, simple dust can quickly turn to sticky grime. When this happens, a simple dusting isn’t going to be sufficient. If necessary, use a moistened cloth with a very mild solution of bleach-free dish soap in tepid water. 

how to keep your decals from peeling off walls

What Not to Do

Don’t be tempted to use harsh cleaning agents on your decals. This could damage your print, and may also seep in between the backing and the wall, weakening the adhesive. Also, avoid the use of scratchy sponges as these may cause damage to the decal’s surface. 

When used outdoors, our decals are surprisingly resilient and waterproof in rainy conditions. This does not mean that you can use a high water pressure machine to blast away the dirt around your decal. 

Extending the Life of Your Decals

You may have wondered if you can seal your custom-printed wall murals and decals by applying polyurethane over vinyl decals. Yes, you can do this to preserve your decal. Save yourself the hassle, and ask for our lamination service. 

how to keep your decals from peeling off wall

Professional Lamination for a Longer Life Span

We professionally seal your decals, without any loss of vibrancy in the process. This extends the life of your decal, with no damage to the print or fading of the colors. 

Not only is this going to make your decal look better for longer, but it also prevents you from damaging your decal in the event of sealing it yourself.

What Is the Lifespan Without This Lamination?

This is the best way we know how to protect vinyl decals. That being said, decals have a life expectancy, like any other product. They can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from -20°F to +150°F, and should last for up to 5 years indoors and 2 years outdoors. Lamination extends this life. 


Decals provide a quick and easy transformation of any space. They are quick and easy to apply, and thanks to our custom decal service, can match any decor theme you desire. 

To keep them looking their best you need to take proper care of them. Follow the tips above, and they’ll serve you well for years to come.

Did you enjoy reading our blog? Then consider checking other guides: