Tips & Tricks for Wall Murals
Probably the most difficult part of creating a wall mural is choosing the right image. The right image will fulfill your vision, but can also be very challenging as mural sizes are usually very large.
To ensure the chosen image will look right a couple of things to keep in mind.
What is the viewing distance of the mural?
If the mural is to be viewed from a distance you can have a lower resolution image than if it will be viewed up close and at eye level. The overall size and use of the room will determine from what distance the mural will typically be viewed.
The best images to enlarge are “vector”; however, many times a photograph is the desired image. If a photograph is chosen, then it’s important to work with a high-resolution image. One long-standing rule has been to have 1.5 MB/sq. ft. of original image size, but that rule isn’t hard and fast. Most sources agree that the image will need to be a minimum of 100 dpi when enlarged to its final size, with 300 dpi optimal for fine-art subjects and closer viewing.
Subjects such as nature scenes, textures and abstract artwork are generally more visually acceptable at lower resolutions. Subjects such as human faces, logos, and photos of small subjects are less visually acceptable at lower resolutions.
When purchasing a stock image online, the files size specs should be clear on the website. However, images shot from many digital cameras can be problematic. Although the file size might be sufficient, there may be problems with other elements of the stock photo, such as composition, color balance and aspect ratio. Image flaws not visible in small prints become glaring imperfections when enlarged to grand scale.
There are numerous image stock sites available and professional photographers with fantastic images. Scantech Graphics can work directly with your choice of image provider to ensure the highest quality mural is achieved. We provide full scale printed proofs of critical sections on the specified material to ensure image quality.
Scantech Graphics offers many different types of media wall coverings, including adhesive backed vinyl, fabric, PVC free paper and Type II wall-coverings with various textures and both permanent and removable adhesives.
Media selection is based upon the environment, wall type and visual expectations. Each one has different covering and installation characteristics. The main difference is installation procedure. Thinner materials such as adhesive backed vinyl and PVC free paper are installed with a “butted seam” or no overlap.
Wall Measurements and Preparation
Accurate wall measurements are critical, not only in determining your image file-size requirements, but eliminating problems during installation. Scantech Graphics team will field verify all wall measurements before printing to ensure accurate printing and installation. During field verification, we make sure the wall is properly prepared.
Wall Surface Preparation and Painting Tips:
- Patch and repair the walls to make a smooth surface
- Properly prime the wall; two coats may be required.
- Paint walls with semi-gloss silicone free paint, wall primer or polycrylic sealer.
- Allow paint to dry a minimum of five days for proper out-gassing. Murals may bubble or not adhere without allowing enough time for paint to out-gas.
- Clean wall prior to installing mural. Freshly painted walls should be wiped down with a lint free cloth to remove dust. Existing walls should be washed with a mixture of 1 oz. synthetic detergent per gallon of water. Allow wall to dry a minimum of one hour.
- A Level 5 finish will yield the best quality and trouble free installation
As part of our Type II wall-covering procedure, we will seal all walls a minimum 24 hours prior to installation.
You have chosen the correct image, the proofs look great, the site is prepared, it’s finally time to install!
Ideally, the installation of wall murals should take place after all trades have finished. Wall coverings are magnets for dust when the adhesive is exposed, so the site must be free of debris and dust.
Scantech Graphics’ professional installers each have a specialty. We have a team who specializes in adhesive backed vinyl and another specializing in wall coverings to ensure the final step in the process is done right the first time!
Scantech Graphics is proud to offer an AIA Continuing Education class to educate interior designers and architectural professionals on the benefits of producing custom digital wall coverings.
To schedule a class, learn more about our wall-coverings, get an estimate or schedule a meeting with our team, you can reach us at: 858-495-0727.
Scantech Graphics, located in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood of San Diego, has what you need to make it all happen.