Can I just paste a self adhesive vinyl onto a wall?

The answer is most cases is NO. For the uninitiated, self adhesive vinyl (or a sticker or a decal) is just a kind of paper with adhesive applied of one side. Vinyls are available in several colors and white (which is used for printing). Vinyl printing is the most commonly used technique for wall and store branding.

So why can’t I just apply it directly?

The reason is that vinyls need a very smooth surface to stay fixed. Since wall surfaces with paints are not usually smooth, even if you do paste if temporarily, it’ll soon start peeling. Dust and rough surfaces do not let the adhesive stay for long.

What’s the way out?

Since vinyls require a clean and smooth surface, the most common practice is to mount the vinyl on a foam board or sun board and then apply that sun board to the walls. Sun board is a light and strong PVC board which is commonly white and smooth. A 3mm sun board is the most popular product. But you can also paste vinyls directly on these surfaces without worry

1. Sun Board
2. PVC sheets
3. Acrylic (or smooth plastics)
4. Laminates
5. Glass

Can I paste vinyls on MDF or Wood?

Yes, vinyls can be pasted on MDF (medium density fibre) board or HDF (High density) board. But this is not a recommended practice since MDF and HDF surface are porous and ultimate not as smooth as the other substrates we specified. The vinyl stays on temporarily but starts peeling from the edges after a few days. The best way to avoid this is to print directly on MDF. 

I’ve seen wall stickers, how are they possible?

As we mentioned vinyls don’t adhere to walls in most cases. Here we talk of the industrial grades of vinyl used for advertising and branding. However, manufacturers such as 3M and Avery produce special wall grade decals which are strong enough to adhere well to surfaces like walls – but they are speciality and expensive products.

Do you have any other questions? Let us know.