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Using Wall Decals With Wallpaper

At Prime Walls, we offer an unprecedented level of customization, whether it’s fine-tuning a digital print wallpaper mural or creating your own wallcoverings from scratch. The ability to customize wall décor products allows designers to put their own touch on their project, whether it’s for a residential or commercial space. Of the 50+ different digital substrates we offer, one presents a unique opportunity for creating custom looks.

In terms of wall décor, wall decals are on a much smaller scale than traditional wallpaper or digital murals, yet it still offers a high degree of personalization (for more information on our digital substrates, be sure to read our mini-guide, Everything You Need To Know About Prime Wall’s Digital Substrates). In this article, we’ll be taking a look at why designers should consider using wall decals and how wall decals work with wallpaper.

Why use wall decals?

Traditional wallpaper is generally used on all walls throughout a space, as a single feature wall, and there’s even a growing trend of using wallpaper on the ceiling as well. Digital murals work best as a single feature wall or can be framed to create an artistic look. Wall decals are completely different. They’re not meant to cover the wall as much as they’re used to enhance it through text or imagery. The image below illustrates an example of a wall decal. With an adhesive backing, wall decals are simply peeled off and applied directly to the walls.

So, why should interior designers use wall decals? Wall decals offer a world of possibilities. Designers can get creative and customize wall decals for their specific project. Are you working on a kid’s bedroom for a residential project? Why not create a wall decal of their favorite animal or even their name to truly personalize their space? For commercial design projects, wall decals can be used to create the company’s logo or brand. Other examples of wall decals include entire quotes, shapes and other geometrics, numbers, and more. Best used as stand alone images or text, decals can be as small as a letter-sized page all the way up to 54” wide. The great thing about Prime Wall’s wall decals is that it’s completely customizable, easy to install (just peel off and press on!), and one of the best ways designers can personalize the space.

What type of wallpapers can I use decals on?

Because of their adhesive backing, wall decals work best on wallpapers with a smooth, clean surface. Wall decals will have a harder time staying on heavily textured wallpapers, such as mica wallpapers. Be sure to take different wallpaper materials into consideration as well. Natural, flock, textile, and glass bead all feature more fragile surface materials that are less suitable for wall decals.

On the other hand, vinyl and non-woven wallpaper generally feature an even, sturdy surface that makes it perfect for adding wall decals. Keep in mind that wall decals are meant to be used on the wall directly, but it can be applied to the surface of wallpaper for additional personalization of your space. When using wall decals in conjunction with wallpaper, designers should consider it to be a permanent addition to the wallpaper’s surface. Removing the wall decal may result in damage to the wallpaper’s surface, so once the wall decal is applied, it’s best to leave it on until the entire wallpaper is removed. If you’re still unsure whether a wall decal can be used on a specific wallpaper material or substrate, feel free to contact us and speak with our designers.

Which wallpaper styles work best with decals?

Our Digital Substrate Guide features dozens of unique substrates that works well with wall decals. Look for ones with a flat, non-textured surface so that the wall decal can be safely and easily applied. Some examples include Photograph, Pearl, Reflect, Fiber, Airy, Matte, Gold, and Noir. Substrates with textured surfaces and would be less suitable for wall decals include Gold Glass, Linen, Stitched, Plaster, Dry Paint, Tight Weave, and Flax.

When browsing through our residential wallpaper, contract wallcoverings, or digital prints wallpaper murals, some wallpaper designs work better with wall decals than others. Focus on wallpaper patterns that are simpler rather than ones that are more complex. Since wall decals are meant to be enhancing the wall and be noticeable at a distance, choosing a highly detailed wallpaper pattern won’t allow the decal to stand out. Wallpaper color should also be taken into consideration. Wallpaper with a lot of different colors can take attention away from a wall decal, whereas one with a simpler color scheme will help the wall decal stand out.

Of course, this will depend on how large your wall decal is. Even if a wallpaper design is on the busy side, a larger wall decal will have fewer problems standing out than a smaller wall decal. Alternatively, let’s say you’re using a wall decal of a quote. The font selection will affect how well it stands out from the wallpaper – is the quote bolded or standard? Is the font easy to read at a distance? A cursive or handwritten font may have thinner letters, meaning it’ll work better on plainer wallpaper, whereas text designed in all capitals can easily stand out even on more detailed wallpaper.

In general, here are some examples of wallpaper patterns that would help accentuate the wall décor:


Here are some examples of wallpaper designs that are more complex or “busy.” Smaller wall decals or text-only decals may have a harder time standing out against the background.