Tips and Tricks : Say Goodbye to Boring Indoor Spaces! Wall Film Preparation and Application
- Written by Jessica Tailby. As seen in Visual Impact Magazines 2016 Buyers Guide
Wall films come in a range of textures, with durability and adhesive features to match many applications including:
- walls, doors, ceilings
- reception areas, offices
- retail stores, gyms, restaurants
- home décor, furniture
- showrooms, exhibitions
- hallways, walkways
Beyond meeting concept and design objectives, the key points to consider for wall graphics are:
- Choosing the right wall graphic product
- Careful surface preparation
Preparing the surface properly is the foundation to a successful application. To prevent your wall graphic from bubbling, peeling or sliding off, the surface has to be free of dust and damage. Success can be guaranteed with patience and attention to detail. By hastily installing wall graphics, you are inviting failure.
Irrespective of wall type - plaster, brick, concrete or rendered walls; loose joints, flaky material, chipped or peeling paint, holes and cracks – anything that might affect the quality of the wall graphic must be attended to.
Repairs will avoid two issues:
- The wall graphic film will adhere to the surface better and maintain quality and longevity.
- Imperfections are more evident when graphics are applied, and may be even more obvious if a protective overlaminate is used
To be certain of the surface quality, repaint with a high quality semi-gloss or gloss paint. A textured surface will limit the adhesion of the graphic, i.e. the film sticks to the high points only. A smooth flat surface will give the best opportunity for a quality application and thorough adhesion.
A newly painted wall, after curing still needs to be cleaned with a lint free cloth to remove any dust particles. Existing walls, if in good condition, are to be washed with Isopropyl Alcohol and dried thoroughly.
Time is Your Friend
Allow time for paint to cure not merely dry. Curing gives maximum hardness, time for outgassing, and covers other factors such as the thickness and colour of your paint and the surface type. For water based paints curing can take as long as 30 days whereas oil-based paints can take 7 days. Your paint manufacturer should provide clear guidelines. Applying a graphic before complete curing may cause lifting, or bubbles that result in failure.
Sometimes speed is necessary, particularly for business advertising and workplaces. Vipond’s Self Adhesive Prep Coat can be used to enhance the adhesion of self-adhesive digital prints onto internal and external surfaces.
Choosing the Right Product
Get it right first time! Understanding objectives, the look and feel of the wall graphic and the surface type are the first considerations. Knowing the traffic flow and if the graphic will be touched, brushed or scratched may mean adding protection through laminating.
To be confident of success, test the compatibility of the graphic film in an inconspicuous surface area.
The following examples show some of the many vinyls, wallpaper fabrics and high tack films available:
Vinyl Indoor Wall Film
Vinyl wall film is a common solution for wall murals, POP and tradeshow applications in high traffic areas such as shopping centres, businesses or conventions. Being a tough and scuff resistant film, it is perfect to ensure longevity and maintain a fresh appearance.
The Avery MPI 2611 Wall Film suits these applications perfectly. Being a 152 micron satin white vinyl film with a thick face construction it provides extra stability to eliminate curling and bubbling. Its adhesive qualities work well with many kinds of walls and painted surfaces, while at the same time it can be removed if necessary. This film is often laminated for added protection as well as making it easier to install.
Printable Wallpaper Film
Changing old wallpaper perceptions, with digital print technology and modern wallpaper graphic media you can have a unique design to achieve a WOW factor.
The Sihl 3258 Satin Wallpaper is a market leader. Being a printable wallpaper film coated with a satin finish it provides outstanding scratch and water resistant qualities. Easy to apply it comes pre-coated with a wateractivated adhesive that is quick drying.
Fabric Textile Film
Fabric materials are proving very popular for a soft, textured feel. One advantage of these films are that they are removable, repositionable and reusable.
Phototex Blockout is a tinted removable/reuseable textile film that is seen in retail outlets, shopping centres, commercial buildings and homes. Its tinted adhesive ensures a solid colour finish and can be installed on any
surface except non-painted brick. In addition it can be used over and over again.
High Tensile Wall Film
Where the quality of the surface is unknown a high tack adhesive film is recommended to ensure that the wall graphic is effective. This is particularly true when applying to highly textured surfaces such as brick and concrete. The Arlon DPF 8000 Series Outdoor Wall Film is equally suitable to indoor applications. This product is a 90 micron satin white poly vinyl chloride film with high tensile properties designed to last.
Wall Film Preparation and Application
In addition to the above products, Graphic Art Mart offers a wide choice of leading brand wall graphic media. Take advantage of our experience and expertise to help you find the right product and give you the right advice so you can “say goodbye to boring indoor spaces”.