Several discussions have been made about why they are used instead of printed parts. But it all comes down to providing more details and making them attractive while being also scalable at production.
This involves finding balance in production cost, in the number of elements in a set, and larger inventory control and management issues.
LEGO stickers can sometimes be notorious for peeling or cracking which can make the sets looks less cool or even old.
But how to fix peeled LEGO stickers?
You can follow the steps below to repair printed paper stickers if you want to take the time and effort to do it.
- Remove the sticker from the piece: You can do this by using a razor blade and carefully holding it nearly flat against the brick. You then carefully start at the edges of the sticker and pull it away until you have pulled enough that you can hold it with your fingers. After that, you should then start pulling it out evenly while separating it with the razor blade. It takes patience and you should do it slowly.
- Flatten and realign the torn spots as much as possible. You can do this on a piece of waxed paper. Any glue that is leftover on the sticker will hold on the waxed paper, but it can be easily peeled off. After you flat and smooth it again, put another piece of paper and cardboard over it and then put over some heavy brick, or book and leave it under weight for a couple of days.
- Clean the residue off the brick: You can be able to rub most of it off, however, you can use a petroleum-based product like Goo Gone (use this sparingly). You then wash the brick with warm soapy water after getting rid of the residue.
- Take the sticker out from under the weight and clean it off using a kneadable eraser if necessary. However, if the sticker is mostly intact and the layers of the paper haven’t peeled apart, you should then remove it carefully from the waxed paper and reapply it.
In some cases where there is enough glue on the back of the paper, you can just reapply it to the piece as is.
But in other cases where the layers of the paper have peeled apart or if the glue is missing, you can just re-glue them together using a thin layer of glue.
Then carefully apply to the top of the paper, position the printed paper smoothly over it, and put it back under the weight to dry.
If there is any part of the paper that has been torn away, for example, a left stuck on the piece, you can replace it with thin tissue paper.
And if the layers are intact, you can restore the stickiness using a “repositionable” glue. You apply this glue, let it dry for a minute, and then put the sticker back on the piece.
How Do You Protect LEGO Stickers From Peeling or Cracking?
One of the best ways I’ve found to protect LEGO stickers is by applying a thin layer of clear coat to them while they are still new.
After applying, you can then wait until the clear coat dries and then apply the sticker to the LEGO set.
You can use any acrylic clear coat, varnish, or medium which you can easily find at craft or hobby stores. Anything in the scrapbooking or decoupage section should be safe, but you should always test them on a small corner of the sticker sheet.
You only need a thin layer of the clear coat over the sticker as applying too much can yellow over time.
Just like the building instructions, once LEGO stickers are damaged, it will be almost impossible to repair them, and applying clearcoat on a damaged sticker will not help and it will continue to peel.
It will be much easier to get a replacement sheet sticker from LEGO or get extra stickers for your set on BrickLink or other platforms that sell LEGO parts.
You can even make it a habit of always picking extra stickers when you buy a new LEGO set because it will be much cheaper and easier to get while the set is still new than trying to get pristine sticker sheets for a 10-year-old LEGO set.
You can just store them in a ziplock bag and store them away from heat and direct sunlight so that they won’t deteriorate.
Troubleshooting Why LEGO Stickers Aren’t Sticking
You can carefully look at the surfaces of the piece of your LEGO stickers peeling off to see the cause of the problem.
Carefully removing your LEGO sticker arts such as decorative wall elements can help ensure that the wall itself is smooth and clean because stickers won’t adhere to a rough surface.
However, you shouldn’t remove the decals if you found them to be the problem. Instead, you can use a hairdryer to loosen the adhesive and flatten it with a dry, clean cloth and heavy pressure.