Do wall stickers damage walls?
A question often asked is if wall stickers will damage walls when they are removed. It is a fair question if you have never used our wall stickers before. The answer is neither yes or no I am afraid! As with all things sticky there is a risk when you attach them to a painted surface. A few different factors affect how high the risk of damage is. It is probably easiest if I explain by breaking it down:
1. The sticker adhesive
Vinyl comes with pre applied adhesive (hence the name self-adhesive vinyl), the type of the adhesive comes in varying strengths which dictates the surfaces it will bond to and the length of time it will stay up for. The stronger the adhesive the more surfaces it will stick to and the longer it will last however it will cause more damage when removed. This is high tack. At Eliza Doodle Designs we only manufacture our wall stickers with low tack self adhesive vinyl. This means that the life span of stickiness is 3-5 years and the damage when removed should be minimal.
2. The surface (aka your wall)
A low tack vinyl will apply to most flat surfaces and bond well however some things can prevent this and because the adhesive is low tack the vinyl is unlikely to be strong enough to grip through these issues.
i) Flat surfaces
We always recommend a flat surface for your wall stickers. The flatter the better. A textured surface means there is less of the sticker sticking to wall as the undulations of the surface cause parts of the sticker to remain unconnected to the surface and therefore the grip or bond is reduced by a great deal.
ii) Clean surfaces
Dust, grease, grime and debris are all reasons that a wall sticker may resist from bonding to the wall. It is another layer of material that is stopping the adhesive from gripping to the wall. Simply clean down your wall before you begin to apply your wall stickers.
iii) Quality of the painted surface
How well the wall decals remove can also be down to the quality of the paint work. If paint has not keyed well to the wall initially then even a low tack vinyl wall sticker may bring paint with it, this is because the paint hasn't gripped to the wall enough and the adhesive is stronger. Adhesive hardens over time and therefore if the sticker has been attached for a while and the paint isn't strongly keyed to the wall it is likely to pull the paint away.
However if your paint is well cured (10-21 days) before you apply anything adhesive there it is far more likely that the stickers will perform as they are intended and peel away easily and leave no damage.
If paint is cracked or peeling or is very new or very old it is at risk of coming away from the walls. However a wall that has been painted many times over the years is likely to be hardy and can withstand a low tack adhesive.
Best way to remove wall stickers to avoid damage
Once your wall stickers are applied and you decide to remove them there are a few things you can do to take extra care of your walls.
1. Use heat
Gently warming the sticker with a hair dryer will melt the glue making it more malleable and slightly easier to remove (most people will not need to take this step though)
2. Peel downards
Good practise is to peel each sticker slowly and downwards with a gentle rolling motion. This eases the sticker away from the paint work decreasing the risk of damage.