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What are Wall Decals?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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Wall decals are decals which are designed to be applied to walls. There are a number of different styles available in a range of sizes, from decals which cover an entire wall to small wall tattoos which may be discreetly placed anywhere. Home decorating stores may stock wall decals, and they can also be ordered directly from companies which produce them. Custom decals are also available.

Many companies make wall decals which can attach to lots of different surfaces, and they are intended to be repositionable and removable. There are several different application methods which can be used, depending on the decal, with many coming in a peel and stick format. People who don't feel comfortable placing a decal can ask a home decorating professional to assist; large decals can be tricky, and sometimes require several people.

Wall decals generally look painted on when they are applied properly. They can be geometric or floral in nature, and may include animals and other features as well. Many companies make a range of colors, allowing customers to choose anything from a black silhouette which looks like a shadow to a full color tree in flower. Some examples of common wall decals include: dandelions, branches, trees, butterflies, random geometric designs, and entire scenes, such as playground scenes.

It is usually easier and cleaner to install a wall decal than to paint a stencil. The movability is also an advantage, as people may want to reposition the decal once they see how it looks, which can be a difficult task with a stencil. Being able to reposition can also be useful when people rearrange furniture. However, wall decals are usually more expensive than the base materials for painting and stenciling, which is something to keep in mind.

One area in which a wall decal can be very useful is a dorm or rental house. The contracts for such residences usually prohibit people from painting or making permanent changes, which can make the space feel impersonal to some occupants. With a wall decal, someone can change the look and feel of a room without violating the terms of the rental agreement, taking the decal away at the end of the rental term.

Wall decals can also be used in spaces like offices. Applying decals can allow people to create a scene which changes periodically to keep customers interested, and decals can also be quickly used to apply brands to walls when moving into a new space, and to change the way a space looks quickly.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a HomeQuestionsAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By summing — On Jun 08, 2012

Be sure to check out what chemicals are in the adhesives before you buy any children's wall decals. Some of them can be toxic, especially for young children.

I am very cautious of the kinds of substances that I expose my children to. They can have serious, life long consequences. You have to do your homework to know what you are dealing with but it is worth it for the health of your children.

By ZsaZsa56 — On Jun 07, 2012

I have some jungle wall decals that are designed to look like trees and animals. I have about half of one of my walls covered in them.

I found them at a garage sale and thought they looked cool and figured why not make my room look a little more wild?

By nextcorrea — On Jun 07, 2012

I bought some reusable wall decals about ten years ago and they have been on the walls of four different apartments now. They still stick really well and when you go to remove them they peel off clean.

You have probably seen the design before. They are stars that glow in the dark. A lot of people have them on their ceilings above their bed. When I was in college I had my whole room covered in them and I love the look as much now as I did then. It's like sleeping in space.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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