Wall Art & Murals: Printed Or Painted?

November 1, 2019

Wall Art & Murals: Printed Or Painted?

When it comes to wall art is printed or painted the best way to go?

One of the best things about wall murals is that it gives your company a unique look, as it’s created to your exact requirements. That in turn, makes your business stand out from the rest, and more likely to stay in the mind of potential customers. A wall mural allows you to create the atmosphere you want in your business, to suit your personality, your business’ décor and branding and of course, your budget.

Whether we are talking printed wall murals that are applied like a wallpaper or decals, or a hand painted piece of art, the effects on your staff and customers will be very similar, so it is worth exploring the differences between printed and painted, and which is best in any given situation.

Things to consider:

Environment. This has soared up the list of criteria that companies are looking at of late and this is an area where painting is a clear winner. Consumers are looking to spend their money with companies that are seen to be ‘doing the right thing’ so having metres of printed plastic on the wall is not going to give the right message. Most printed murals are on plastic, plastic coated or plastic backed material and cannot be recycled. The printing process itself, makes even paper un-recyclable. They will end up in landfill, and no one wants to discard metres of plastic unnecessarily. Whilst paint is not completely free of chemicals, the impact is considerably less.  Our partners at Charlotte Designs, use only use low or very low VOC paints (VOCs are the nasties in paint) and can also offer mineral based paints or vegan paint if required.

Wall mural provided by Charlotte Designs

Surface. Printed wall murals need to be applied to a flat well-prepared surface, painted murals can be applied to bare brick, breeze block, wood and other uneven surfaces. Painted murals can be made completely waterproof, so are better suited to areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Longevity. This depends on the environment, many restaurants shy away from certain printed materials that contain solvents, but in short, in most commercial environments, there is little difference in how the murals will wear. It is worth bearing in mind that if a printed mural is damaged, it will have to be replaced, whilst a painted mural can be repaired and this is good for the environment too. In high wear areas such as schools and children’s play areas, Charlotte Designs murals are treated with a protector which makes them fairly indestructible and much harder wearing than paper or decals.

Flexibility. This is one area where the painted mural has a huge advantage. The main issue with printed murals is, once they are printed, that is it. If it doesn’t quite fit, or the client changes their mind, there is no other option than starting again. However painted murals can be changed or added to, right up to the last minute. Murals have been reversed, new elements added or removed and even colour schemes changed on the day of painting, that saves time, money and keeps projects on track.

Timescales. The process of producing printed and painted murals is quite different. Whilst the design process is quite similar, mural printing will usually be quicker, depending on how busy the printer is. Large scale painting of a mural will certainly take longer than installing a printed mural once it is printed. So all in all, printed murals may have a quicker turn around than painted ones.

Great use of printed wall art to create a repeated image. Credit: Charlotte Designs

Overall look and feel. Whilst there are always practicalities to take into consideration when selecting the right product for the project, the overriding factor will be, how does it look? Both photographs and painted art have their unique qualities, the printed wall mural can be reproduced exactly if continuity is required. With painted murals, you are getting a genuine, original piece of art. No two are the same, and you simply can’t beat hand painted for that authentic feeling.

Cost. If the image to be printed is not already owned, the difference in cost between printed wall murals and painted is negligible, so not really a differentiator. If an image has to be purchased, or a professional photographer hired, the costs for printed can be much higher.

Whether you want photo realism or a piece of original art that your customers and employees and walk right into, wall art is the modern way of creating an exceptional, memorable interior that will make a lasting impression on all who see it.

If you are thinking of wall art or murals for your organisation, please contact us at service@jpa-workspaces.com or 01727 840800 as we’d love to hear from you.

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