Decal Tool

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LEARN HOW TO DEBATE EFFECTIVELY WITH DECALS. Apply any user-generated texture to certain items! It is a whole new way to influence people and hurt them.
Decal Tool publicity blurb

The Decal Tool is a tool item. It is represented by a red utility knife on top of a slightly peeled-off red decal sticker of the Team Fortress logo.

This item can be used to apply a custom texture (or 'decal') onto items that allow it. Purchasing any item that the Decal Tool can be used on from the Mann Co. Store also gives players one free Decal Tool.

While using the tool, the player is guided through the steps to get their image onto the item. The file types accepted are:

Oversized or odd aspect ratio images can be stretched or cropped to fit the 128x128 square. Depending upon the item, the decal is applied differently; check the specific item page to see a template for the most efficient decal templates. Once the decal has been chosen, the image can be filtered using different options ("Team Fortressize!") and finally applied to the item.

Applying the Decal Tool on the Conscientious Objector adds small blood stains and wood details on top of the custom image being used.

It is worth noting that, with the removal of the Painterly effect, players can no longer create full colored decals and are instead limited to a maximum of five or so colors. Items that had a decal applied before the painterly effect was removed still retain their original color.

Decals can be removed from an item to restore it to its default appearance by selecting the item in the Backpack and clicking 'Restore'. However, the Decal Tool used on the item is not returned to the player.

Lastly, any image applied with the decal tool must comply with the Steam Subscriber Agreement as stated in the Terms of Service when you apply your decal.

Usable items


Update history

October 13, 2011 Patch #1 (Manniversary Update & Sale)

  • The Decal Tool was added to the game.

October 17, 2011 Patch

  • Removed the painterly filter option on Decal Tools.

April 18, 2024 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit related to uploading invalid custom decals that would crash other clients.


  • Decalable items may have the incorrect decal in client view if multiple people have same decalable items on the same server.
  • Items that have been used with a Decal do not show the Decal in the trading interface to either trader.
  • The item with the decal showed in the dialogs can't be rotated.
  • Despite being a valid file type, .vtf files cannot be used for applying decals.