Wall Art and Print Substrate Options

Frozen Beauty by Zim Killgore

Article by Leily Zhu

Empty walls are great for new beginnings, but the task of filling the space can be intimidating, especially when you don’t have a clear vision of what will best complement the space. Too often, when people try to accomplish this on their own, it can result in a less-than-stellar end result, so you may want to consider free art advisory. It also helps to educate yourself on all the options. 

If you’re in need of some wall art ideas, it’s time for you to explore wall decor and learn about the various print substrate options that can help you accomplish your goal within budget.

Paper Giclée Prints

Giclee print of a man in a long red top hat with birds in a nest
Fine art giclee print by artist Paul Bond – a classic piece that enhances wall decor

A fancy French term for “to spray,” a giclée is a fine art print with an archival rating of 80+ years. Giclées are printed using high-end inkjet printers and pigment inks. Pigment inks are made of microscopic particles that bond to the surface of the paper or substrate. Contrastly, inexpensive dye inks are water-soluble and are simply absorbed into the fibers of the paper or canvas. Because they are reproductions of fine art or fine art photography, giclées are a great option for gorgeous, affordable wall art.

There are a variety of archival papers you can choose to print the giclee on. For most images, our favorite is the Epson Hot Press Bright, which offers an extremely-high color gamut, black intensity, and a smooth matte finish. You can take it to the next level by having the limited edition print signed and numbered.

This option is the least expensive option in terms of printing but you will need to invest in quality, conservation framing, and museum-quality acid-free matting to finish the look and make the most of your investment. This combination is classy and an excellent choice for wall art in spaces with traditional decor.

Canvas Giclée Prints

Stretched canvas is an economical choice for wall art and it closely resembles the original painting, particularly if the artist hand-embellishes the print. The textured material of the archival canvas brings art to life with the look and feel of traditional canvas. The prints are UV coated and hand-stretched on premium-grade stretcher bars for a high-end result. Paired with a floater frame, the canvas appears to be floating within the frame, which finishes the look beautifully.

Whenever possible, you should take advantage of hand embellishments on canvas and have the artist hand embellish the fine art print, which will make it a one-of-a-kind artwork. This makes a huge difference in terms of texture. Instead of seeing the image printed on standard canvas texture, you will see the artist’s brush strokes. Hand signing and numbering this gorgeous artwork is the final step to making this a true limited edition collectible artwork.

Check out this video to see how artist Paul Bond embellishes his artwork:

Modern Acrylic Facemounts

If you like a sleek, modern look similar to what you find in a high-end gallery, then an acrylic facemount may be the perfect choice for your wall decor. Acrylic facemounts are giclée prints on archival paper that are mounted to a clear glass-like piece of acrylic. The acrylic adds brilliancy and depth to the image. 

There are a variety of photo papers to choose from. Epson Premium Photo, MOAB Metallic Pearl, and MOAB Silver Metallic are three top choices for acrylic facemounts. The Epson Premium Photo is great for nature and landscape photography, as it captures every detailed pixel without tarnishing sharpness or clarity. The MOAB Metallic Pearl has a unique metallic surface that enhances the richness and depth of the photo, perfect for images with vibrant colors. If you want to make your two-dimensional photo seem 3D, look into the MOAB Silver Metallic. With its ultra-shiny, metal-like surface, the MOAB Silver Metallic adds a level of depth and reflective shine that brings the art to life. Naturally, it’s incredible for black & white images.

Adding a layer of complexity is the difference between standard acrylic and TruLife®.  TruLife® adds about 25% to the cost of your fine art print, but it’s not without good reason. TruLife® captures details with lifelike colors, incredible depth, and clarity for the highest-resolution viewing experience possible, all while minimizing reflections and blocking up to 99% of UV rays, making your wall art print truly archival quality. Its anti-static properties repel dust, and its durable hard coat protects against scratches. It also cleans like glass – so unlike standard acrylic, you don’t need special acrylic cleaners.

Frozen Beauty by Zim Killgore acrylic facemount next to pool
“Frozen Beauty” by Zim Killgore – a gorgeous TruLife Acrylic print that showcases color vibrance and glass-like material

With an acrylic facemount, you’ll have your guests wondering if they are looking at a museum wall.

Durable HD Metal Prints

Are you looking for unique wall art prints that make a strong impression at a reasonable price-point? If so, HD metal prints may be your best option. ChromaLuxe HD Metal Prints infuse dyes directly into specially coated aluminum sheets, illuminating color vibrancy and resolution. 

In pragmatic terms, HD aluminum prints are lightweight, durable, scratch-resistant, and easy to clean. They are also eco-friendly since they are made with recycled material. In terms of vibrancy and clarity, they are just a step down from an acrylic facemount. Although they are 100% recyclable, we doubt you’ll ever be ready to recycle these stunning images. 

HD metal prints are a wonderful choice for areas with heavy traffic, like a hospital, corporate setting, or kitchen. You won’t need to worry about submitting the artwork to frequent cleaning.

Be Dynamic - Be Downtown by Scott Murphy image of fast moving traffic downtown
“Be Dynamic – Be Downtown” by Scott Murphy – an HD Metal Print that will draw attention in a heavy-traffic hallway.

Using the Epson ink set, ChromaLuxe HD Metal Prints achieve an archival rating of 65 years. If you want wall art that lasts generations of wear and tear and still looks brand new, take a look at HD metal prints and ask us if your favorite image is available on this substrate.

Wall Murals

Wall murals are another great and simple way to fill your empty walls. Free of size limitations and easy to customize, wall murals are an affordable and impactful choice for wall decor. They are recommended for lobbies, conference rooms, hallways, bathrooms, and entertainment areas inside offices, healthcare facilities, hotels, restaurants, and residential environments.  

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind original mural from the Artlita Artist Community, we would love to work with you on that. In this blog post, we’re discussing a less expensive option, which includes printing fine-art photos, or a high-definition scan of artwork, as wallpaper.

Wall Murals IVA of trees fill the wall of a conference meeting room
Large-scale wall mural of trees in a forest makes a lively atmosphere for corporate conference rooms

By nature, these large-scale images command attention in the room so it is important to make an educated choice about the design and texture best for you. Texture options such as Matte Smooth, Matte Suede, and Matte Canvas each offer their own perks and bring personality to the wall mural. 

As indicated by its name, Matte Smooth has a smooth surface and flat finish that suits photography and detailed designs. This texture works well for sharp-edged designs with large color areas. Matte Suede has a fabric-like texture with a light stipple surface that reduces glare from direct light and adds warmth to the print. This is a popular choice because it’s the midpoint in terms of texture between the three options and can be used for nearly any type of project. Matte Canvas has the most texture and makes for a wonderful wall art canvas with its fabric-like appearance. It softens details and adds a threaded dimension to the artwork. 

With a vast array of texture and design options, wall murals make a real statement.

Find Wall Art that’s Right for You

Regardless of your environment, budget, or aesthetic preferences, there is a print substrate and design that will meet your wall art needs. Stop staring at blank walls. It’s time to find the wall art that is right for your space.

Don’t be shy about asking to have your favorite image printed on the substrate that most resonates with you.

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