Factors That Influence How Well Decals Will Stick to Surfaces

The biggest reason for businesses to use wall decals and stickers is that they allow a very high degree of customization for decorating plain surfaces in a simple, yet cost-effective manner. However, to ensure that the decals can deliver the optimum performance, it is important to understand the factors that can influence how well they stick to the surfaces.

Different Kinds of Adhesives

Various kinds of adhesives are used for fixing decals. Elastomeric adhesives require the application of a solvent or heat to make the decal bond with the surface. According to Science Direct, elastomeric adhesives are ideal for applications that require removing or repositioning. One of the most common adhesives is a rubber that is ideal for use on removable decals, however, it is not recommended for use in environments with temperatures of more than 160-degrees F. Rubber adhesives adhere well to even highly-polished surfaces like silicone, Teflon, plastic, as well as rubber. You can also use acrylic adhesives in applications that require pressure sensitivity or pressure activation. Pressure-sensitive acrylic adhesives come in a range of tack and can perform well at temperatures up to 200-degrees F, while pressure-activated adhesives allow the decal positioning to be adjusted. 

Factors That Determine How Well the Decal Will Stick

Factors that determine how well the custom wall decals will adhere to the surface it is pasted on include:

Time: The power of all adhesives to bond with the surface becomes stronger with time. However, the time required for the point of maximum adhesion varies from one adhesive to another. There are some that bond instantly, while others require significantly more time to achieve maximum adhesion. Therefore, to extract the best bonding performance from the adhesive you are using, you should follow the installation instruction provided along with the decal.

Degree of Tack:The kind of adhesive used by the decal manufacturer plays an important part in deciding its overall bonding strength. Decals that are intended to be removed typically use low tack adhesives as the less strength makes it easier for it to be peeled away. On the other hand, decals for permanent display are fixed with high tack adhesives. The “tack” refers to the degree of adhesion offered by the adhesive; the higher the tack, the bond strength.

Surface type: Among the most important factors that determine how well a decal will stick is the type of surface. Flat and smooth surfaces are the best because they offer more surface area for the adhesive to bond with. If the surface is textured, the adhesive has less space to bond with and thus the bonding strength of the decal is also lower.

Temperature: A reaction occurs when a decal is pasted on a surface. The ambient temperature plays a critical role in the reaction time. Decals stick better if the temperature is higher, which means that if you apply them on a cold surface, you need to give them more time to set.


As easy as the fixing of decals seems, you need to take into account various things like the type of adhesive, time, tackiness, type of surface, and temperature to ensure that they adhere as intended.

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