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    Which wallpaper quality suits you best? Anna María will guide you through the selection process

    What happens if I spill or splash food on the wallpaper? Can a child who uses the wall as a car track scratch the wallpaper? Can the wallpaper get scratched by other means? Can leftover wallpaper be used as a crafting material? What is the difference between standard and premium in terms of quality? I was asking myself this and other questions before I put Photowall's wallpapers to the ultimate wallpaper test. Both wallpapers are durable, washable and environmentally friendly. But what happens if I put them to my tough tests? Join the test lab and get answers to all questions as well as some tips and tricks that you may find useful before choosing wallpaper.

    What can a wallpaper withstand?

    A wallpaper can really make the difference in a room. It can make it cozy, create a comfortable atmosphere or make it sleek and stylish. Of course, in addition to the aesthetics, it should cope and withstand various stresses such as moisture, sunlight, stains and wear. I have put the wallpapers to various tests so that you will get some help and guidance when choosing wallpaper for your particular room and project.

    Scratch test

    What is tested?
    The scratch test shows us what happens if you take objects and scratch the wallpapers. Do they leave marks? Does the wallpaper's color fade?

    How has the test been performed?
    I got loose and scraped hard (Botany Banana and Brume - Cobolt) wallpaper in both Standard and Premium designs with a spoon and a wooden block.

    To the left, the Botany Banana wallpaper in Premium option has no visible scratch marks. To the right, Botany Banana in Standard option has scratch marks.

    A more detailed picture of how the scratch marks look. Here, on the Brume - Cobolt (standard) wallpaper.

    Outcome:
    The premium wallpaper is scratch-resistant and can be scratched without losing the colors or having marks.

    The standard wallpaper gets scratch marks and when I scraped it with the wooden block, the color came with it and stained the wallpaper. The spoon left unstained marks.

    Conclusion:
    If you want wallpapers in a room with potential wear and scraping, such as children's rooms, halls, kitchens, public spaces and restaurants, choose the Premium quality wallpaper.

    How much splashes and spills can a wallpaper withstand?

    Photowall's wallpapers, both standard and premium, are made of non-woven material. To put it simply, they differ from the classic wallpapers by the fact that the latter are made of paper, while the modern Photowall wallpapers are made of non-woven material which is a textile one. Non-woven material is slightly thicker and stiffer than a regular paper tape, which means it does not swell or shrink as paper one usually does. This means that non-woven wallpaper is easier to be wallpapered and pattern-fitted and that you can apply the glue directly on the wall when wallpapering. In this test, we will test how Photowall's non-woven wallpaper reacts to usual food splashes.

    Spill test

    What is tested?
    What happens if food is spilled on the wall?

    How has the test been performed?
    In the spill test, I spilled baby food and blueberry soup on the wallpaper, left it for a few minutes and then wiped off with paper towels and then a damp cloth.

    The Fractal Chalcedony and Geode (standard) wallpaper with spots of baby food and blueberry soup. I wiped it with paper towels and damp cloth.

    The Fractal Chalcedony and Geode (premium) wallpaper with spots of baby food and blueberry soup. I wiped it with paper towels and damp cloth.

    Spilled stuff and closer view of the standard (on the left) and the premium wallpaper (on the right). Wallpaper: Butterfly Poetry - Mustard and Silver

    Outcome:
    The blueberry soup left clear stains on the standard wallpaper and the baby food left a slight yellowish spot even though it was easier to wipe.

    The premium wallpaper remained clean, and both the blueberry soup and the baby food wiped off very easily, without leaving any trace.

    Conclusion:
    If you want wallpapers in a room with frequent food splashes and spills, such as kitchens, halls, children's rooms, public spaces, restaurants, etc. choose Premium.

    How much should the wallpaper reflect at different lights?

    When it comes to wallpapering a room, you should decide how you want the wallpaper to be perceived in the room. A large part of the wallpaper experience is how it reflects the light. Sometimes, you want to have a glossier feel and sometimes you want a smoother color experience. If, for instance, you have a lot of light coming in through numerous or large windows, you might prefer choosing a matte wallpaper that creates a calmer and smoother feeling compared to a wallpaper reflecting much light. A shiny wallpaper can accentuate colors and effects, so if you have chosen a wallpaper with a glossy and shiny feel, it can be smart to enhance that feeling.

    Reflection and glare test

    What is tested?
    How much should the wallpaper reflect at different lights? What is the difference between the quality options?

    How has the test been performed?
    I have tested the wallpapers in daylight as well as with direct and indirect light.

    Kerstin Dark Standard (on the left) and Premium (on the right) direct daylight.

    Kerstin Dark Standard (on the left) and Premium (on the right) from an angle in daylight. A clear difference in terms of reflections and glare.

    Kerstin Dark Standard (on the left) and Premium (on the right) direct lamp light.

    Outcome:
    The standard wallpaper effects reflections and glare while the premium, with a rather matte surface, does not reflect and is not too much shiny.

    Conclusion:
    If you want a matte surface without glare and reflections in the wallpaper then choose premium wallpaper quality. The premium quality is better suited for taking pictures because it does not glare. The wallpapers also ideally serve as a basis for making flat-lays or having a nice back-drop. This is where the premium quality is preferable. If you blog or photograph a lot in the home then I would choose Premium. It provides smooth and nice matte surface on the wallpaper, which makes the motif visible from all angles.

    The standard quality wallpaper gives a slightly glossier surface and can be good if you want to emphasize and enhance the effect of, for example, gold, silver or copper. As with any of these wallpapers: World Map Golden, Madame De Pompadour Gold, Vintage Bronze Background and Marble With Golden Veins.

    The black color in the standard quality is somewhat blacker because it gives a little more glare. 

    Can the wallpaper withstand cleaning agents?

    Cleaning test

    What is tested?
    I have tested how the wallpaper withstands cleaning agents.

    How has the test been performed?
    In the test, I have used soap and an all-purpose cleaner that I have sprayed directly on the wallpaper and dried off with a cloth.

    The Brume - Cobolt wallpaper has been cleaned and wiped with both soap and all-purpose cleaner (standard to the left and premium to the right), without noticeable difference after test.

    Outcome:
    Both wallpapers work great with the two cleaning agents. The standard wallpaper felt slightly wetter in the paper, but it dried quickly. So no visible change at all after the cleaning.

    Conclusion: Both wallpapers can withstand cleaning agents with no visible change effected.

    Bonus - creative ways to use wallpaper leftovers

    When you have finished wallpapering and some wallpaper residues might have left over, then there is, of course, much fun you can do with them! Here is nothing will go to waste! Consider sustainability, recycling and DIY! You can easily make fine pennants and pendants by cutting out different geometric shapes and either glue, staple or sew them on a thread or wire. You can make stylish table decorations matching the room's style. Consider napkin rings, plate and glass pads or nameplates. If you want stylish storage boxes, an old shoe box can be perfect for dressing with the wallpaper. Do you need to pack a gift? Wrap the gift with your wallpaper leftovers. Or you can create nice interior details by folding the wallpaper in different shapes. For that purpose, I have done a folding test to see how the wallpapers work as a crafting material.

    Here's how to fold a stylish fan of wallpaper leftovers

    How do the different wallpaper qualities work as a crafting material? For example, how to fold the wallpaper?

    Wallpaper Bramble Hill Vintage as a crafting material.

    The wallpapers have been folded into a fan folding using a weatherstrip tool. The weatherstrip tool is a tool with a rounded tip made of bone or similar hard material used to make straight and even folds. If you like crafting and using paper/wallpaper a lot, I recommend folding with a weatherstrip tool. In that case, you can easily get nice and straight folds.

    The Bramble Hill Vintage (Standard to the left and Premium to the right) wallpaper folded using a weatherstrip tool. Slightly visible differences in the folds.

    Both wallpapers are easy to work with; the folds are fine and the color remains in the folds. There is a very small difference between the wallpapers that can be barely seen. However, if you look closely you can see that folds on the premium wallpaper are slightly softer.

    The wallpapers can be folded equally well in any material you choose, it is just a matter of choice whether you want a matte (premium) or shiny (standard) surface.

    My summary

    After performing these tests, my personal opinion and conclusion are as follows: Both wallpapers are good ones with nice prints and they are fun to work with. If I were to wallpaper a room I would probably, in most cases, choose Premium as I prefer the matte surface and the possibility to remove food stains and they are scratch resistant.
    I felt that there was slightly higher contrast in the standard wallpaper, and that their black areas were slightly blacker compared to the premium wallpaper.

    Hope this test can help you choose the right wallpaper quality for your next interior design project! Did you know you can order samples on all wallpapers to check and compare the quality? It would be perfect to get a physical sample to test how it feels and squeezes at home. It also would be easier to see how the light falls in the particular room you are going to wallpaper.

    Finally, below goes a list of the differences in the wallpaper qualities.

    Standard

    ● Non-woven material
    ● Does not fade in the sunlight
    ● Environment friendly
    ● Glue is applied to the wall
    ● PVC-free
    ● Fire rated

    Premium

    ● Non-woven material
    ● Scratch-resistant
    ● Matte surface (more than standard)
    ● Low-glare
    ● Withstands cleaning agents
    ● Does not fade in the sunlight
    ● Environment friendly
    ● Glue is applied to the wall
    ● PVC-free
    ● Fire rated

    Anna María Larsson is a creator, design inspiration, and DIY professional. She firmly believes that everyone is creative and has the ability to create — it just requires a little bit of training. Anna appears on TV, at workshops, and as a lecturer on a regular basis. She shares her creations and her inspirations on her blog and her Instagram account, @dnilva.

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