How Those Dramatic, Printed Wall Coverings and Designs Are Made to Last

Imagine you’re a hotel chain that wants to create a consistent visual design experience in the lobbies of all your locations with wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling abstract murals. 

Maybe you’re a spa owner, who wants clients to feel like they’ve been transported to paradise with a photorealistic rendering of the beach displayed across the wall of your waiting room. 

Or perhaps you’re a children’s dentist who wants your youngest patients to feel like they’re floating underwater, exploring a coral reef, while they’re sitting in the dentist’s chair having their teeth cleaned.

Wall coverings are a way to achieve all of these different looks and feels.

Wall coverings come in a variety of designs and can produce a dramatic effect in a room or space. If you can imagine it, someone can help you create it.

Wall Coverings: What are they? 

Wall coverings—sometimes also referred to as digitally printed wallpaper—are large, decorative wall decals that cover all or a portion of a wall. Unlike traditional murals that are painted or sprayed onto a wall, the design is printed onto large sheets that are adhered to the wall in pieces, similar to wallpapering in a home. 

Wall coverings are ideal for high-traffic areas, because they’re designed to withstand everyday wear and tear. They are a popular way for making retail store displays, creating feature walls in hotels or restaurants, decorating healthcare facilities, or adding visual interest to commercial buildings. If you can imagine it, it can be printed and put on a wall. 

Mass-produced wall coverings can be purchased from traditional retailers like Wayfair, Overstock, or Amazon. Or if you have something very specific in mind and want to create something unique, you can commission a custom-made design from a specialty print services provider like 4walls or Magic Murals

The Art and the Science of Wall Coverings

Whether you purchase a mass-produced design or choose to go the custom route, the printing and installation process is similar. Once the design is created, the printer prints the design onto large pieces of specialty materials (ranging from different types of vinyls to woven fabric) and treats it with a protective coating. 

Once printed, the final product is shipped to you to install. You may also choose to have someone install it for you, which is typically the best option for projects covering larger areas. No printer can accommodate the size and scale of most wall murals, so the final product is printed in large sheets that are pieced together like a puzzle during install. Some wall coverings have self-adhesives already applied to them, while others require a paste adhesive to be applied separately. 

Before You Shop: Planning and Preparing

It’s tempting to focus only on the artwork and design—but a quality wall covering is so much more than that. 

The surface of the wall you intend to cover is critical to a nice-looking and long-lasting result, and it’s important to check with your vendor to be sure you select the right material for your wall type. Some materials, for example, work best on smooth, painted walls, while others can adhere to walls with more texture. 

In order for wall coverings to be suitable for public buildings, they have to meet certain technical industry standards for things like durability, chemical resistance, flame resistance, and environmental considerations—and you’ll want to be sure your vendor meets those standards. Wall coverings should hold up to routine wear and tear, like people brushing up against them or UV light coming in from a nearby window. Because they are installed in high traffic areas, they need to be stain resistant and easy to clean with common cleaning products, without fading, bleeding, or peeling. 

Long-term Care and Durability

Wall coverings are an investment, because they’re made to last. A key reason why they’re so durable and ideal for high traffic, commercial locations has to do with the protective coating applied during printing. 

Marabu’s ClearShield Wall Armor is the market leader in protective coatings for digitally printed wall coverings, and for good reason. ClearShield can be applied to latex, eco-solvent, and UV curable inks, and it protects the wall art from stains, abrasions, and heat. 

We take the quality of all our products very seriously, and it’s no different with ClearShield. We’re proud to say it’s Type II-certified, meaning it meets the highest standards for commercial use, including use in sensitive environments, like healthcare facilities.  

We’ve performed rigorous testing to make sure ClearShield Wall Armor stands up to regular use, cleaning, and even the unintended (yet inevitable) accident. We’ve even tested its resistance to things like hot water, alcohol, vinegar, orange juice, butter, tea, and ketchup—so you can rest assured that your wall art will look good for years to come. 

Interested in learning more about ClearShield Wall Armor? You can search for one of our distribution partners or contact us to speak with one of our representatives. You can check more printing designs here.

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