Decal, an Alternative to Wallpaper That is Rising in Popularity
There are many alternatives to decorate walls, with wall paint being the most common one. Another way is by using wallpapers, which are available in a wide variety of colours and motifs/patterns that can be suited to the overall theme of your home, from the classic to modern. But if you want to personalise your wall to the next level, your choice is probably decal.
The word ‘decal’ is the shortened version of ‘decalcomania’, which is the process of transferring designs from prepared paper on to certain types of material, like mirror, glass or others. At glance, decal looks like a sticker but a sticker generally has two layers: the decorative layer with pattern/motif and a covering layer that protects the adhesive before usage. Decal has three layers: a transparent protective layer on the front, a pattern layer and a layer on the back that protects the adhesive of the decal.
Decal can be made of vinyl, polyester, polyethylene, polycarbonate or other types of plastic depending on the necessity. However, wall decals in general are made of vinyl. There are also fabric wall decals that don’t stretch easily, long-lasting and reusable. Several years ago, decals were only offered in one colour, but they are available in various choices of colours and patterns nowadays.
The advantages of decals?
Compared to installing wallpaper, decal is a far more practical choice. While wallpaper requires a professional service for installation, installing decal is as easy as sticking regular stickers. You can simply peel off its protective layer and stick it on the wall. Then peel off the transparent layer that protects the pattern vinyl, and that’s all you need to have your decal set on your wall.
Besides the hassle-free installation, decal is also easy to remove. Simply peel it off like stickers without having to worry that it will remain glued to the wall as sometimes happens when you remove wallpaper. For wall decoration, decal comes in lettering form, geometric patterns, cartoon characters, and so on. You can even have it customised to suit your preference. Custom-made decals are printed by using a laser-based specialised decal machine.
Like a sticker, a decal is used not only on walls but also on kitchen cabinets, glass, mirrors or any other flat surfaces. Some decals can be reused, but most sold in markets are single use.
The size of a decal varies from small and simple ones to adorn walls, kitchen cabinets, or bookshelves to big and intricate decals that can cover the entire wall. In general, you can choose 30x50cm or 60x100cm decals. Instead of the common material decals in plain colour, you can also opt for a vinyl decal with various types of finishing, such as sparkling mirror-effect or metallic to glitter.
When to use decal?
There isn’t a fixed rule of when you should use a decal, as it comes back to your personal preference. However, if you fancy a room that looks dynamic yet organised, you can consider decals.