Acrylic wallpaper is a wear-resistant and inexpensive covering that can withstand wet cleaning. It is these qualities that allow them to compete in the modern wallpaper market, represented by a huge amount of materials. Since acrylic wallpaper is a relatively new material, not everyone knows about it yet, and some people confuse it with vinyl wallpaper. What are acrylic wallpapers, what are their advantages and features of gluing?
What is acrylic wallpaper?
Acrylic wallpaper consists of two layers: the first is paper, the second is foamed acrylic. The latter is applied not in a continuous layer, as in the case of a vinyl analog, but in a dotted manner, which allows you to obtain a relief pattern and a breathable surface. The foamed acrylic layer is approx. 2 mm. For comparison, on vinyl wallpaper the outer layer is 4 mm, which explains some of the material differences. A thinner coating layer means less weight, but also less wear resistance.
Under the name “acrylic” is meant a group of polymers based on synthetic resins, which perfectly foam and hold their shape.
Advantages and disadvantages of acrylic wallpaper
Based on the structure of the material, one can judge its key properties. Among the advantages are the following qualities:
high wear resistance;
- the material can withstand mechanical damage, so it can be used in apartments where children and animals live;
acrylic wallpaper can be washed, so the appearance will remain flawless for a long time. You can wash only with a slightly damp soft cloth and without using detergents, but this is also not bad;
low cost. If we compare acrylic wallpaper with its direct competitor, vinyl wallpaper, then they are somewhat cheaper;
acrylic wallpapers breathe, which allows them to be used not only in hallways, like other washable wallpapers, but also in living rooms or even bedrooms;
mold or mildew will not develop in acrylic wallpaper;
- thanks to a wide range of colors and embossed surfaces, acrylic wallpaper can be used in almost any room and match many interior styles. Moreover, the relief allows you to hide some of the imperfections of the walls, but we are not talking about holes and cracks.
The disadvantages of the coating are not so many – they can be found when compared with other types of wallpaper and find fault. Due to the small thickness of the outer layer, the coating wears out faster, but this is relative, because the service life of the material is from 10 years or more, depending on the conditions of use and maintenance. The inability to wash acrylic wallpaper with detergents is also often called among the minuses, but this does not interfere with the use of water to remove dirt.
How to choose acrylic wallpaper?
The material is made by all manufacturers using a similar technology: the base is always paper, the spraying is acrylic. This simplifies the choice, because you do not have to understand the intricacies of different technologies. In addition, today acrylic wallpapers on a non-woven basis appear on sale; they are included in expensive collections of European manufacturers. Such material is characterized by increased wear resistance and durability.
When buying material, it is better to pay attention to the parameters of the rolls. The length, as a rule, is 10.5 m, and the width ranges from 0.5 to 0.9 m. If the room is small, then it will be more convenient to work with narrower wallpaper, and there will be much less scraps. When it comes to spacious rooms, it is appropriate to use the widest possible material: this will allow you to quickly cope with the installation and reduce the number of joints.
The price of acrylic wallpaper varies widely and depends on the name of the manufacturer, country of manufacture, relief, pattern, year of collection and some other factors. In this regard, everyone should sensibly assess their own budget. Experts recommend not chasing the most expensive wallpaper from import companies, but trusting the choice to a manufacturer with a well-established name, and it does not matter whether it is domestic or foreign wallpaper.
The main thing to decide when choosing acrylic wallpaper is what the design will be. Firstly, it is necessary to take into account the size of the room, its style, orientation relative to the cardinal points, the color of furniture and textiles, and secondly, from all the variety that the construction market offers, choose the appropriate option. The task is not easy, but a few useful tips will help you cope with this problem:
light shades visually expand the room and are a universal solution for most apartments in typical multi-storey buildings. Bright colors and large drawings also hide the space, so it is better for owners of small rooms to refuse them. In this case, it is better to use pastel and delicate shades with medium-sized drawings;
- You can compensate for the lack of lighting with wallpaper in warm colors: peach, yellow, coral, apricot. If the room is southern and there is, on the contrary, too much sunlight in it, then it is better to choose cold colors: light green, blue, light blue;
- you don’t have to stop at just one wallpaper, because two types of material can be combined with each other. Usually they choose a plain wallpaper with a pattern in the same tonality, but a combination of different colors, different ornaments against the background of the same color, etc. is not excluded. Different wallpapers can be alternated, used for one of the walls, or split the wall horizontally. There are a lot of combination options, and the result is an interesting interior;
- it is not necessary to choose wallpaper to match the furniture – this is already in the past, but all interior items in the room should be in harmony in color and pattern.
When purchasing acrylic wallpaper, please note that all rolls are from the same batch. So there are more guarantees that the material will not differ in shade. The packaging of the products must be complete and durable, the availability of quality and safety certificates, as well as instructions for gluing are strictly necessary.
Acrylic wallpaper is great for rooms such as a living room or bedroom, as the material “breathes”. Such wallpaper would be appropriate in a hallway that does not go directly to the street, but for kitchens, where they constantly and actively cook something, and acrylic wallpaper is not suitable for baths.
How to glue acrylic wallpaper?
Acrylic wallpaper is no more difficult to glue than paper or vinyl, but still some subtleties should be taken into account. Installation is carried out end-to-end, but some also talk about the possibility of gluing them with an overlap, if the drawing is such that the joining points of the two canvases will not be very noticeable.
Although acrylic wallpaper can hide some wall defects, large cracks and irregularities need to be leveled. Of course, if there are remnants of another finish on the walls, then before starting work, you need to get rid of it. For leveling, putty will be needed, and if the surface is far from ideal, then it is better to use plaster. Another option is to level the walls with plasterboard, but this method is relevant only for too damaged walls and provided that there is enough space in the room.
After leveling, it is imperative to prime the surface of the walls. You need to choose a composition that is suitable for the base material: concrete, brick, drywall, etc. As a last resort, you can dilute the wallpaper glue and treat the walls with the resulting solution.
After all this, it’s a good idea to mark up the walls for ease of installation. Since it is customary to start gluing from the corner near the window, a distance equal to the width of the wallpaper is set aside from it. A strictly vertical line is drawn along the mark, and the required distance is again set aside from it. You can do without this stage, but if a person who is not very experienced in this matter is working, then such a markup will help to achieve a more accurate result.
Now it’s up to the cutting of the wallpaper itself. If they are monochromatic, then there will be a minimum of problems. It is enough to know the height of the walls and add 4-5 cm to it for allowances. If there is a drawing on the canvases, then it must be correctly combined: the manufacturer indicates how many centimeters will be needed to combine the drawing. The consumption of such wallpaper will be much higher. For a more accurate cut, it is advisable to measure the height of the walls in several places to make sure that it is the same everywhere, otherwise you need to take into account the errors when cutting the wallpaper.
Glue for acrylic wallpaper is prepared according to the instructions for it. The process is simple and usually involves adding a specific amount of water to the powder and mixing thoroughly. When the glue is ready, it is applied to the wallpaper, which is gently applied to the wall and pressed from top to bottom. Since acrylic wallpapers are elastic, they can be slightly shifted during installation. The air from under the material is removed using a roller, with which the surface is ironed from the center to the edges. Better to carry out the installation together.
After the wallpaper is glued, they are left to dry for a day or two, and the room must be free of drafts and the temperature at 18-220C.
Acrylic wallpaper is an excellent alternative to vinyl, because with similar performance this material is able to pass air. The assortment will allow you to choose a material suitable for any style of interior, and installation should not cause any particular difficulties, if you correctly mark the wall in advance, cut out the wallpaper, work carefully and adhere to optimal environmental conditions.