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What is Custom Wallpaper?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 16, 2024
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Custom wallpaper is a kind of wall decoration that is made to the customer's specifications. It may be made in a specific color, a repeating pattern, or it may form a single mural. Typically, locations that offer custom wallpaper also offer borders, and occasionally smaller wall decals that can also be customized. Prices for this kind of wall decoration vary depending on the quality of the final product, the materials used, and the work put in by the designing staff.

Some people use this kind of printed wall covering to create walls that match other elements in the room, such as furniture. Others use it to create a single focus wall. Some companies even use custom wall coverings as temporary decorations in stores. As any color, design, or image can be printed on large wall coverings, there are many potential applications for this kind of product.

Wall murals are one of the most popular uses of custom wallpaper manufacturers. A wall mural typically covers an entire wall with a scene or image. When ordering a photo mural, it is important to use an image that is of a high enough resolution to print well. Particularly large photo murals using files that are not large enough often do not turn out as crisp as is desired, leaving many unsatisfied customers.

The process for making custom wallpaper differs by company and project. Some wallpapers are hand-screened, others are printed by machine. Services offered by the custom wallpaper company also differ widely. While some companies offer design services, working from a concept or a basic image, others only offer printing and will not provide assistance with graphics. Finding a company that meets one's specific needs is one of the most important steps towards achieving a satisfactory product.

Wallpapers from these companies are usually made at the size desired by the customer, so that he or she is not paying for wallpaper that will go unused. The design, then, must fit this final size. Cropping a photograph to fit a normal wall size often means giving up at least part of the image, because if the entire image were shown, there would be unused space that does not blend into the overall design. Advanced design considerations include how large or bold a repeating pattern should be given the location and intent of the wall. Thoughts on these problems should be made explicit to the custom wallpaper company, as assumptions on the part of the company can result in an undesirable product.

Many custom wallpaper manufacturers recommend using a professional wallpaper installation service, although the wallpaper can be applied by anyone with the appropriate skills. The wallpaper itself is much more expensive than normal wall coverings, so it is in some cases worth the extra expense of a professional installer. Otherwise, the process for applying custom wallpaper is the same as applying normal wallpaper. After prepping, the wallpaper is pasted to the wall, smoothed out, and trimmed, leaving a beautifully finished image. This kind of wall covering can truly turn any room into a personalized space.

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