Good, Better, Best: Wallcoverings

When it comes to digitally printable wallcoverings, you’ve got more options today than ever before. You’ve got a lot of decisions to make — do you want a self-adhesive, a pre-pasted water-based application, or a traditional wall paper paste job? And what kind of finish is your customer looking for? A basic satin for a temporary mural … or a glamorous gold metallic? You’ve got these questions, and we’ve got a few answers to get you started.

In this edition of Good, Better, Best, we’re looking at three different wallcoverings for various applications and installation needs. LexJet Solvent Print-N-Stick Fabric, HP PVC-Free Durable Suede Wall Paper and LexJet Premium WallPro all track around the same square-foot price, and they’re all latex- and/or solvent-compatible, so they won’t need an extra protective coating, unless you decide to add it. Each one could be the “best” answer for the application, but we approached this ranking in terms of longevity and variety.

LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric

GOOD: LexJet Solvent Print-N-Stick Fabric. This is a customer favorite for temporary wall murals. Just like the name suggests, it’s a two-step process. Print it and stick it, thanks to the pressure-sensitive adhesive. With a clean, sheen finish, colors really pop on Print-N-Stick, and the fabric texture makes it easy to handle and the special adhesive is very forgiving — making it simple to reposition it and fix installation mistakes. If carrying inventory is an issue for you, Print-N-Stick is also a great solution to stick to windows, metal, wood and even floors.

HP PVC-Free Durable Wall Paper

BETTER: HP PVC-Free Durable Suede Wall Paper. This HP product is formulated to pair with latex inks, which work together to create a scrub- and scratch-resistant surface that stands up to high-traffic areas, like hotels and restaurants. It also carries multiple environmental certifications, including the Type II as well as  FSC®, REACH and UL GREENGUARD GOLD, which make this odorless, mold- and mildew-resistant wall paper a great choice for sensitive environments like schools and hospitals. The wall paper is finished with a pre-pasted glue that can be installed with a simple water technique. Watch this video to see how easy it is to install and remove.

LexJet Premium WallPro 

BEST: LexJet Premium WallPro. We offer a glamorous line of finishes in our LexJet Premium WallPro line, such as Smooth Silver and Glint, Linen Pearl and Silver or Gold Mylar. These finishes offer versatility in décor style and visual impact – from subtle, elegant finishes to eye-catching, dramatic wall murals.  The high-end vinyl wallcoverings meet stringent environmental standards and work well for corporate or commercial spaces, as well as residential. They’re compatible with latex, solvent, eco-solvent and UV-curable inks, giving you the option to use your preferred print technology.

To learn more about wallcovering options, contact a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538.

Our All-time Top Wallcovering Prep, Print & Installation Tips

Any time you’re covering a wall floor-to-ceiling it’s a big job. But with some insider tips and the right products for the job, you can break it down into a manageable task. Here are some of our all-time, most helpful tricks and tips for seamless, professional wallcovering printing and installation:

Do Your Pre-Work: Before you can even think about hitting “go” on your printer, be sure you’ve got your site under control. These means doing a site visit ahead of time, testing the wall surface and taking photos and wall measurements (here’s a handy app, Photo Measures, that makes that job easier). Once that’s under control, you can begin creating tiles that you’ll print. Check out the video on this blog for more pre-printing tips and how to set up your tile files.

Know When to Go Short-Term: This isn’t your grandma’s wall paper, and chances are your clients won’t be planning to leave it on the wall for the next 30 years. There are so many options on the market today for short- to long-term wall murals for a multitude of applications. For a low-cost, temporary solution that can be cleanly removed, there’s no better option than LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric. It’s available for aqueous– and solvent-compatible technologies. Check out this video to learn how we covered a 26-foot wall for less than $2 per square foot.

Understand the Big Picture: If you’re using photography for a customized wallcovering, the photo itself needs to be technically correct to work when it’s printed in a larger-than-life size. We got all the insider tips on photographing for wide-format printing from pro photographer, Billy Elkins. Check out this airport wall mural installation project that he created images for … and all the background on how he made it come out just right.

HP PVC-free Wall PaperMeet Your Client’s Environmental Needs: If you’ve been asked to cover a wall in a sensitive environment like a school or a healthcare facility, the best option for the job is Type II compliant HP PVC-free Durable Wall Paper in Smooth or Suede. This line of wallcovering is engineered to be used with HP latex inks and don’t require top coats to maintain Type II compliance. Unlike some solvent options, this latex-compatible option doesn’t put off odors or fumes that must be degassed before installation. It also meets FSC- and UL GREENGUARD GOLD standards, so it helps designers achieve LEED certification. And because it’s pre-pasted with adhesive, it goes up easily with little more than a water bottle and a sponge. Check out this video to learn how.

Create a Beautiful Finish: Just because it’s made from a digital print and maybe it won’t be installed for decades doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. Our line of customizable wallcoverings, LexJet Premium WallPro™ comes in a variety of elegant finishes to create one-of-a-kind, eye-catching walls. The Premium WallPro line includes a variety of finishes, such as smooth, gold or silver metallic, mylar and linen textures that work beautifully in any residential or commercial space with contemporary or traditional décor.

If you’re looking for more tips on creating unique wallcoverings for your customers, give one of our LexJet pros a call at 800-453-9538.

Create a Faux Effect Wall Paper with LexJet Premium WallPro™

We love it when multiple market trends converge — and especially when we can help make them come to life. One recent industrial décor trend, the use of natural materials in interiors such as brick, steel, leather and wood, will continue in 2018 and beyond according to a recent article in House Beautiful Magazine.

Achieving that look by installing new tile or stripping back a wall to brick is messy and expensive. That’s why designers and DIY enthusiasts are turning to faux effect wallpaper. LexJet Premium WallPro™ can be used to digitally print wallcovering with all the style of natural materials in an array of seven realistic looking finishes to complement any design. From wood, to brick or tile, LexJet Premium WallPro™ wallcoverings can create a completely new, realistic texture on walls and may have your customers questioning reality.

Wallcovering printed to look like cork.

We visited Sarasota, Fla., interior retail showroom, Blu Home, where we met owner and interior designer, Chelsea Dunbar, to find out where wallcoverings have been and where they’re going.

Just 10 to 15 years ago, faux painting on walls and columns were all the rage, with painters spending hours creating marble, wood or brick effects with paint. Today, it’s hard for designers to find skilled painters for those jobs. “When the economy crashed, a lot of them left the market,” Dunbar says. Not to worry though, printed wallcoverings are a quick and less-expensive way to “make it look contemporary … and feel high-end,” she says. “Wall paper has gotten so much cooler — and it’s become a replacement for faux painting.”

Digital wallcoverings can make walls look like they’re built from wood.

Digitally printed wallcoverings make the design process faster and easier, too. Print a desired digital file to a richly textured wallcovering vinyl, and apply with traditional wallcovering installation techniques. “This isn’t your grandmother’s wall paper,” Dunbar says. “You can do so much more with it.”

LexJet Premium WallPro™ wallcoverings are a higher grade of vinyl that’s also environmentally cleaner than other products on the market. Suitable for the most sensitive of areas such as healthcare facilities and schools LexJet Premium WallProTM digitally printable wallcovering meet EPA requirements for low-VOC emitting products.

Want more digital décor ideas? Visit LexJet.com/decor.

LexJet Named a Digital Output Readers’ Choice Top 50

Once again, LexJet products have been named to Digital Output magazine’s 23rd Annual Top 50 Readers’ Choice Awards, as featured in the November issue. These awards recognize products that attract high reader interest throughout the year.

“We continue to work with some of the most influential vendors in the space, and our readers respond by inquiring about their products year after year,” says Tom Tetreault, editor-in-chief/publisher, Digital Output.

Three LexJet products made the list, including:

“This recognition from Digital Output readers confirms that we’re bringing innovative products to market that our customers want and need,” says Dean Lambert, LexJet Vice President. “We’re extremely grateful that these readers continue to count on LexJet to produce excellent work for their customers.”

Other Top 50 products, available at LexJet, include:

5 Ways to Grow Your Business with an Epson S-Series

If you’re considering adding a wide-format solvent printer to your operation, you’re on the right track to increase production and add lots of new capabilities. We sat down with our printer training pro, Michael Clementi, to learn five top ways that an Epson SureColor S-Series printer (S40600S60600 and S80600) can help you grow your business.

  1. It’s two printers in one. Particularly with the S80600, you’re going to see a major uptick in production speed. So much so, that it is like having two printers instead of one. The print speed is nearly doubled in comparison to older model solvent printers. Plus, you’ll see the consistent, photo-realistic/fine-art quality that Epson printers are known for.
  2. Quick-drying solvent inks. The new ink formulation that Epson has introduced with these printers are so quick-drying that you can now use a take-up reel and save space and time on waiting for ordinary solvent inks to dry. The UltraChrome GS3  inks are low-odor and nickel-free and produce an enhanced color gamut. So, you’ll print faster and with better results.
  3. More pinch rollers = more material options. With 40 individual media rollers with five independent pinch rollers, you’ll experience better control of the media you’re printing to. The additional rollers prevent the material from bunching, causing fewer head strikes. Try it with polyester or other fabric solutions.
  4. More applications, indoors and out. With solvent, you’ll not only increase the longevity of your outdoor print jobs (aqueous may last a year, solvent lasts five times that), but you can also branch out into other growing markets, like décor. The recently launched LexJet Premium WallPro line, for instance, is solvent-compatible. Even more benefits: Solvent materials and inks are less expensive than aqueous, and typically don’t require a protective coating. So, you’re getting savings on savings!
  5. Less maintenance. Any printer knows that maintenance is a time-sink and production-killer. Epson’s eco-solvent inks will save you here, as well, because they are far less harsh than aggressive, volatile hard solvent inks. Your printheads will thank you. “You’re looking at once a month maintenance, rather than once a week,” Clementi says. “We ran the S80600 for four months, maintenance-free, with no problems.”