It’s The Paint: Why Wall Stickers Won’t Stick


Sherlock Holmes look-a-like studying painted wall with a magnifying glass

By: Naomi J. Myrick, Staff Writer

Are your custom wall stickers falling off the wall? Perhaps they just won’t apply quite right in the first place. Well, it’s probably because of the paint. Let’s explore some paint-related reasons why your wall art isn’t sticking. 


  • Low-VOC paint affects adhesives
  • Proper paint curing duration
  • Paint finish types
  • Wall texture matters


How low-VOC Paint Affects Sticker Adhesion

What in the world is VOC? It is "Volatile Organic Compounds”. This compound can mess up your wall graphics plans.

In this article, 3M states, ”paints that are low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are now the most commonly available wall paint. These newer paint formulations are being driven by laws intended to help protect the environment – something we can all appreciate. However, the new paint formulations have reduced how well a film’s adhesive can adhere to a painted wall.”

Low or no-VOC is important for fire resistance, as we want our walls to be safe from burning. (Ignore this if you want them to burn.) The more VOCs in the paint, the easier it is to catch fire. This feature makes the paint blend popular for consumers.

Vertec Biosolvents goes more into depth in their article about VOCs. To sum up, when modern paint dries, it releases the VOC gas. This gas is toxic, therefore we advise against sniffing fresh paint.


Proper Paint Cure Times

You need to allow the paint time to cure, not just dry. 

Make sure you figure out how long your paint needs to cure for — according to the manufacturer. Be warned, some of this low-VOC paint can take weeks or longer to set completely.

SO, you’ll need some paint-tience. That just gives you more time to work on your high quality sticker designs.


Paint Finishing Options Matte

Just like our stickers come with either glossy or matte laminations, paint also offers similar finishing options. For paint, though, it is a choice of either eggshell or satin: flat and porous or shiny and smooth. 

Basically, smooth surfaces work better than textured ones. So if peel and stick wall graphics are in your future, choose the satin finish option.


Wall Texture Factors

Another problem area for your stickers is the wall texture. In general, most decals will adhere better to smooth walls. They could adhere to bumpy or textured walls, too, just usually not as well as a smoother one.


In conclusion

Paint could be a problem for wall sticker adherence.  3M has even admitted, ”with the rapidly changing  formulations of paints, there is no single film or adhesive from any film manufacturer that works best on all painted surfaces.”

Even if you cleaned the surface with a damp cloth and let your paint cure, texture and finish could still be factors. Please share this article if you found it useful.