Vinyl (PVC) print media has a long list of benefits. It is cost-effective, conformable, durable, and can be engineered to meet unique demands.
One thing vinyl is not; sustainable. Since more end-users are seeking to go eco-friendly, PSP’s should also adapt to meet these demands.
Alternatives to Vinyl/PVC Wall Graphic Media
Since fabric is durable and maintains its original composition very well, it’s ideal for wall graphics that will be re-used or re-positioned. It’s great for end-users because it provides room for error in installation and removal.
Fabric print media for wall graphics comes in a variety of attractive textures, weights, and finishes. In addition to being PVC-free, there are fabric-based print media options that carry the Type II rating for commercial use.
Pesto print media products are ecologically friendly and feature microsphere adhesive that is removable / repositionable and won’t peel paint or damage walls.
Nonwoven print media is a combination of polyester (fabric) and cellulose (paper). It is an excellent choice for wallcoverings because it is breathable, durable, and has a soft to touch velvet-like finish. The subtle appearance of fibers embedded in the media makes it a great choice for designer wallcoverings and graphics.
Nonwoven wallcoverings are typically less expensive than fabric and more durable than paper. Nonwoven materials also exhibit anti-tearing properties, an important feature to prevent tearing during removal.
Easy Image Wallcover is made from an innovative nonwoven material and features a patent-pending water activated adhesive that speeds up installation by up to 60%
Available in 4 textures, DaVinci Nonwoven Wallcoverings are PVC-free, breathable, and dimensionally stable. Apply using wallpaper paste.
Traditional paper-based print media has poor wet strength and tears easily. Those characteristics are not ideal for wall graphics. Thanks to recent advancements in technology, paper-based wall graphic materials are now available that break away from those characteristics are offer exceptional durability, wet-strength, and even fire-retardancy.
PVC Free and FSC certified featuring a pre-pasted water activated adhesive backing system for easy installation.
Preparation and recommended surfaces for PVC-free wall graphics
Inspect/repair wall surface
It is important to inspect the wall for unsound surfaces including loose paint, damaged surface, cracks, or inconsistent surface. Repair any wall damage prior to installation. Scrape away all loose paint and then prime and paint the surface. Look for moisture behind the wallboard especially surrounding cooling units, water pipes, overhead windows, or any water pipes that could drip on the graphic. Moisture can cause the wallboard paper to release. It is not recommended to apply adhesive vinyl over wallpaper.
Clean the surface
Make sure to clean your wall of any debris before you place a wall graphic on its surface. Hair, dust, dirt, and oils (even if they are not visible) can interfere with the adhesion of the wall graphic. By cleaning the surface, the longevity of the graphic should also improve.
For indoor applications, smooth painted surfaces yield the best results. Clean, sealed surfaces such as painted drywall or painted poured concrete/block walls are suitable for wall graphics.
Stucco, heavy texture, plaster, or rough-finished concrete require print media designed specifically for these surfaces.
Additional Surface-Prep Recommendations:
- Semi-gloss and satin paint are ideal for best adhesion
- Remove dirt and grime with a 70% IPA/ 30% water mixture before graphic application
- Allow any liquid cleaner application at least 1 hour dry time before graphic application
- Wipe down the wall with a lint-free towel
As more and more businesses and organizations look to go green, PSP’s should have a few PVC-free wall graphic materials in their arsenal. Consider testing several products including fabric, nonwoven, and paper-based wall graphic materials so you are prepared when the need arises.