Tips on Using Wall Decals and Murals

I feature a lot of designs from RoomMates because they have them for just about any theme, they’re high quality and gorgeous. And RoomMates has several videos designed to help you with installing their products. Yeah!

Different types and what to expect

If you’re just starting your shopping for wall decals for kids rooms, you need to know that a lot of different terms are used to mean the same thing. And a lot of things are called decals or murals when they’re really something else.

Here’s a run-down of the types you can expect to see and what to look for.


You’ll see these terms used interchangeably. Generally, what it means is that you’re getting a few to a lot of individual images, not necessarily meant to be used to create a scene. For example, there’s a set of Dora stickers that includes three different images of Dora. Great for placing around the room, but strange if you clump them together.

This category also has a wide range in size. A set might be four paper sized sheets, which can hold a lot of images but they’ll all be fairly small. Great for putting on furniture or a small area around the bed, but not for dramatic effect. Others can be quite large – like at Fathead – which makes them dramatic, but you need to have the wall space to play them up.

Borders and wallpaper

Still fairly common, especially sticker-style wall borders. You’ll want to make sure you understand if you’re getting a stick-on type or pre-pasted that goes on the old-fashioned way. (And comes off the hard way!)

Note that occasionally you’ll see the word “border” to describe a particular set of stickers meant to go along a straight edge in a specific design and not necessarily an actual wallpaper border.


A term that pretty much means a scene. This could be a single piece of paper that goes up like wallpaper – a stick-on poster, if you will – or lots of wall decals that work together to create a scene.

The larger, single sheet murals come in the repositionable stick-on kind, as well as pre-pasted that require water. Make sure you know what you’re getting. MagicMurals and Murals Your Way offer you both options when you place your order.

I see a lot of murals where it says “self-adhesive” and what they’re describing is a stencil, not a graphic. So you’d end up with a mural, but only after you paint it on.


These are starting to pop up more and are another case of making sure you read the description. Traceable generally means a stencil. It sticks to the wall, and rather than paint through it, you trace the design, then go back and paint. This is a great idea if you want a specific image in a specific color, but there will be work required to get there.

Tags: tips, wall decals, wall decor

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