Our Most Frequently Asked Wall Covering Questions

If you’re interested in a decorative wall covering for your space and you’re not familiar with the large format printing, you probably have a lot of questions. Questions about artwork or installation, or even just the definition of some of the terms you see pop up on wall mural websites. It can be a daunting undertaking for the layman. So we built a guide answering the most frequently asked wall covering questions.

Most Frequently Asked Wall Covering Questions

Whatever your most pressing questions might be, do not worry. The MetWest team is here to answer your most pressing questions! Here are some of the most common questions we get from clients, and our answers. It’s a great starting point for anyone feeling overwhelmed by their wall covering project.

What Does Level 5 Mean?

Level 5 refers to a particular drywall finish. It designates how rough or how smooth the wall is built. It ranges from Level 0 (completely unfinished – barely a wall) to Level 5, which is basically as smooth as you can physically make a wall.

Most walls are built to Level 3, a wall that is technically finished but rough and has been given a heavy or medium texture. A classic spray-on “orange peel” finish is an example of this. Also common in office buildings are Level 4 walls – an imperfectly smooth finish. These have been sanded down and refined pretty well, but have small imperfections.

What’s Level 5? It’s taking a Level 4 and going that extra step to get it as smooth as possible. No texture, no bumps, no nothing. This is the wall type that comes up a lot in the world of wall covering. “Level 5 wall required.”

Do I Really Need a Level 5 Wall?

Ok it’s “required”… but is it though? There’s a reason why Level 5 isn’t the default in construction – they’re time-consuming and expensive. The cost of reskimming a wall to get to Level 5 makes a lot of our clients cringe.

Level 5 is recommended because most wall coverings are thin. Any imperfections or lumps and bumps are going to show through. These are especially noticeable if your wall covering is glossy or being installed in severe lighting conditions. The idea is, a mural wall covering is often an artistic centerpiece of the space – so make it as beautiful as possible with a smooth install surface.

However, we can install on Level 3 or 4 walls. The material will go up and stay up just as long as it would on a Level 5 wall. For many wall coverings, slight imperfections don’t detract much from the overall effect. How often do you find yourself distracted now by the slight texture in your wall?

Level 5 is the ideal – but if it’s not possible, then don’t worry. It’s not absolutely necessary.

How Big Does My Artwork Need to Be?

A photo that looks beautiful printed at 6” is not necessarily going to look great printed 12 feet high. Vector artwork is the ideal. These are digital graphics saved as AI or EPS files. They’re often created using Adobe Illustrator. The advantage of vector art is that you can scale it to any size and the quality and crispness will be unchanged. Any size is fine for use as a wall covering.

The other option is pixel-based artwork. An example of this is a photograph. These are images saved as a JPEG, TIFF, PSD, or PSB file. Unlike vector art, pixel-based images lose quality the larger they are printed, so it’s important that the original artwork is as large as possible. The higher the resolution, the better the final outcome will be.

A good standard is 5000px Width X 3000px Height or larger.

But that size isn’t a 100% guarantee that the image will have the desired quality at print size. If a pixel-based image needs to be purchased on Shutterstock or other photo stock site, while the image size is usually a good indication of quality, it is impossible to say for certain if the image will be suitable until we have the original size.

That’s why we always provide a sample of the wall covering printed to scale so that you can approve the quality.

Can You Match This Paint Color/Pantone Color?

Yes! If you provide us with the Pantone (or PMS) number we can print to match. If you have a paint color you’d like us to match, provide us with the swatch or the paint manufacturer and number and we can match that as well!

Furthermore, for your peace of mind, we always provide a physical sample of the material before production. For custom wall coverings, that means a couple of square feet custom printed with your design. So you can see in person the color and print quality is exactly as it should be for the final product.

Will the Wall Covering Have Seams?

Yes, our material has 52” width print edge to edge. We install panels with vertical seams about every 50”, but with correct installation, seams practically disappear.

Can You Do Dry-Erase or Magnetic Walls?

Yes to both! Our writable wall covering product is called peerhatch. It can be custom printed with any image, color or branding to create the perfect collaboration hub. Furthermore, it wipes clean every time – really. No more smudges or impossible to get rid of traces of dry-erase. Even if you leave writing up for months or write with a Sharpie marker.

Peerhatch is available as a magnetic option as well. Still writable with an extra level of functionality. Finally, we also have non-writable magnetic wall covering. These can also be custom printed with any design for a stunning addition to your space.

Still Have Questions About Wall Coverings?

We covered a lot of the most frequently asked wall covering questions our clients have, but every project has its own unique concerns. It’s impossible to cover everything in one article. If you’re interested in a wall covering for your space and have questions or concerns, give us a call! Or shoot us an email. Our experts at MetWest are happy to assist you. We’re available at [email protected] or 562-357-8033.

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