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How to Send Wallpaper Samples for Restoration

At Fine Print, we specialize in breathing new life into vintage wallpaper rolls. Our team of graphic designers, illustrators, and pattern artists are dedicated to preserving the original beauty of each wallpaper sample we receive.

However, the condition in which we receive these samples significantly impacts our ability to restore them efficiently and accurately. To ensure this process goes as smoothly as possible, here are some guidelines on how to submit your wallpaper samples for digital restoration, and avoid common pitfalls that can drag the process out or produce less than optimal results.

How to Prepare Your Wallpaper Samples

The Importance of Sample Integrity

The first step in a successful digital restoration is submitting a wallpaper sample that is as intact as possible. Samples that arrive damaged, creased or incomplete create additional work for our restoration department and can sometimes compromise the quality of the final digital reproduction.

You also want to be sure that you are submitting the totality of the pattern or design, so that your restoration specialists won’t have to recreate missing sections, which is among the most time intensive and costly aspects of wallpaper restoration.

Photo of core drop of a tropical wallpaper pattern

For tips on identifying the core drop of a pattern, you can read our sister article “How to Reproduce Existing Wallpaper Designs”

Three Simple Rules for Preparing Wallpaper Samples

(1) Do not cut the wallpaper into pieces. As mentioned earlier, we require the entire core drop of the pattern to accurately capture the design’s full essence.

(2) Avoid folding the sample. Creases can obscure details and colors, making digital restoration more challenging. If you absolutely must fold a sample, be sure that the artwork is on the outside as it is less likely to create cracks. This is especially true for laminated or embossed samples.

(3) Send Clean samples The fewer blemishes, stains and spills that sully the sample, the more pristine and true to life the recreation will be. Be sure that all dust, lint and hairs have been gently brushed away.

How to Package Your Sample

Proper packaging is crucial to protect your wallpaper samples during transit. Here are some tips to ensure your samples reach us in the best condition.

Packaging Samples Which are in Decent Condition

Photo of shipping tubes

If your wallpaper sample is intact, without many rips, tears or broken pieces then any of the following options are suitable for transit:

(1) Roll the sample around a sturdy tube to prevent folding and creasing.

(2) Wrap the rolled sample in acid-free paper to protect the surface from any potential damage.

(3) Place the wrapped sample in a hard cardboard tube that is slightly larger than the sample itself. You may also use a cardboard box. Fill any empty space with bubble wrap or packing peanuts to prevent the sample from shifting.

(4) Seal the tube with heavy-duty tape and clearly label it with “Fragile: Handle with Care.”

Packaging Samples Which Are Fragile or Deteriorating

Older samples need extra care when shipping. Your packaging method will depend on how badly damaged the sample is

For Moderate Damage: (Tears, Rips, Holes, etc)

Photo of a sample between sheets of paper

We recommend sandwiching each sample between two sheets of paper and placing it into a folder. This dual layer of protection avoids any friction during transit that may compromise the inks

For Extreme Damage: (cracking, peeling, or literally falling apart)

Photo of samples in a ziplock bag

We recommend placing damaged samples into a ziplock bag and then placing it into a folder or between two piece of thicker stock paper or cardboard. The ziplock helps ensure that even if the sample breaks down in transit, the fragments are consolidated and can be pieced together later on.

With either method, the folder can then be placed into a proper packaging envelope or box depending on the size.

Packaging Samples That Won’t Come Off the Wall

Photo of samples in a ziplock bag

There are occasions when removing a piece of wallpaper is not an option as doing so would cause irreversible damage. In such cases you may send an actual section of the drywall, sheetrock or plaster.

This method takes more time and will incur more costs for shipping and handling, but it’s a very common method for restoration when there are no other options for removal.

As you can see in the above photo, we’ve instructed the client to seal off all the edges of the wall section in order to reduce and eliminate dust. Since these are much heavier samples, you should consult with your shipping company to determine the most adequate box or crate for the weight of your sample.

Note: We can scan in wall sections of up to 4x8 feet in size.

What to Include with Your Sample

Photo of a rolled up sample with color book chips

When sending your wallpaper sample, please include the following information to help us understand your restoration needs better:

Project Details and Specifications

  • Contact Information: Your name, address, phone number, and email.
  • History of the Wallpaper: Any background information, including the era, manufacturer, or any known details, if available.
  • Restoration Goals: Specify whether you’re looking for a direct reproduction or if there are any modifications desired.
  • Color Book Samples: While this step is optional, the inclusion of color samples from Pantone, Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams can greatly speed up the color matching process. This method is also useful when your wallpaper has faded or you are trying to match it to your current decor.

Project Scale and Scope

Photo of a damaged wallpaper in a hallway

Letting us know whether you’re aiming to re-paper an entire wall or just replace a specific section is incredibly useful.

While printing a smaller piece of wallpaper might seem more cost-effective initially, the meticulous effort needed to seamlessly match a small section with the existing wall can often necessitate multiple sample rounds.

This precision work can sometimes lead to higher prepress costs than if you were to print wallpaper for the entire wall. Our consultants will provide guidance on which option is best for your specific needs.

Shipping Your Samples

Photo of a sample being scanned professionally

Choosing the right shipping method can also affect the condition in which we receive your samples. We recommend using a reliable courier service such as FedEx, UPS or the United States Postal Service. You will definitely want to use a shipping method that offers tracking and insurance options. This not only ensures that your sample is handled properly but also allows you to monitor its journey to our studio.

We use FedEx as our courier of choice and once we’ve completed our scans, we will send it to you insured with the additional guarantee of a required signature to ensure the sample gets back to your hands, safe and sound.

Please Note: A small piece of your sample will be cut out and not returned to you. We keep these samples on file as a reference for color matching, press calibration and creating future reprints.

After We Receive Your Sample

Photo of a sample being scanned professionally

Upon receiving your sample, our team will carefully scan and assess the condition of the wallpaper. We utilize advanced scanning technology to capture every detail of the pattern and color.

Our retouching and pattern artists then digitally restore the wallpaper, ensuring that the final product honors the original design while meeting our high standards for quality and authenticity.

Communication is Key

Top down view of people inspecting samples and colors on a table

Throughout the restoration process, we maintain open communication with you to ensure the project aligns with your expectations. We may reach out for additional information or approval at various stages, so timely responses are appreciated to keep the project moving forward.

As part of our quality control process we also recommend ordering preview samples of your restored wallpaper so you can see and feel an accurate preview of what your final rolls will be like before making your final purchase.

This tight loop of feedback between our printing technicians, restoration artists and our clients are what help us to achieve optimal results and the most faithful reproductions using our large format digital printing technology.


a wallpaper sample before and after image

By following these guidelines for submitting your wallpaper samples, you can attain the best possible results while minimizing additional work and costs associated with sample preparation. Together, we can ensure that your cherished designs are restored to their former glory and enjoyed for generations to come.

For more information on our digital wallpaper restoration process feel free to visit our [Wallpaper Recreation Page]:/wallpaper/recreate.

If you have any questions about this process or would like a free assessment of your wallpaper restoration, send a snapshot of your wallpaper to For specific concerns or questions about your project, please contact us directly at 212.619.5446.

About the Author

Steven Garcia is a multimedia artist & graphic illustrator from Brooklyn, New York. With an extensive background in fine art and history, Steven currently oversees prepress operations at Fine Print’s Restoration Department - industry leader in digital recovery of rare, damaged or lost art. He also curates and performs restorations for, the internet’s #1 source for rare & vintage NYC images. When he’s not creating or repairing graphics, he’s traveling the world, renovating properties and recording music.

Frequently Asked Questions

Health & Safety Concerns

Are your wallpapers hypoallergenic, and how do they cater to individuals with severe allergies?

Our wallpapers are designed with health and safety in mind, catering to the needs of individuals with severe allergies, asthma or other respiratory ailments. By selecting materials that are less likely to harbor allergens, our products aim to create a safer, more comfortable indoor environment. Additionally, we ensure our wallpapers are resistant to mold and mildew growth, further supporting the well-being of sensitive individuals.

How do your wallpapers ensure indoor air quality is not compromised?

Maintaining indoor air quality is a paramount concern for us. Our wallpapers are characterized by low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, adhering to stringent guidelines for indoor air quality. By minimizing the release of these harmful compounds, our products help ensure a healthier indoor environment, conducive to well-being and comfort. Through rigorous testing and compliance with industry standards, we ensure that our products maintain VOC levels that meet or exceed regulatory requirements, offering a safer choice for both residential and commercial spaces.

Are there any chemicals or synthetic materials used in your wallpapers that might trigger allergic reactions?

We are dedicated to producing wallpapers that are safe and non-irritating for all users, including those with allergies. Our products are formulated without the use of harmful chemicals or synthetic materials known to trigger allergic reactions, such as formaldehyde, phthalates, and heavy metals. This careful selection of materials underscores our commitment to health and safety.

How does your wallpaper resist mold and mildew growth, ensuring a safe environment for sensitive individuals?

Our wallpapers are engineered to resist mold and mildew growth, an essential feature for ensuring the safety and comfort of sensitive individuals. Through the use of inherently resistant materials and treatments, our products prevent the adherence and proliferation of mold and mildew, thereby promoting a healthier indoor environment.

What certifications do your wallpapers have regarding environmental and health safety?

Our wallpapers are backed by rigorous certifications that attest to their environmental and health safety. These include low-VOC certifications, compliance with international toxicity standards, and certifications for mold and mildew resistance. Through these certifications, we demonstrate our commitment to upholding the highest standards of safety and sustainability in our products. All materials are perfectly suitable for healthcare facilities, nurseries, retirement homes or any other environment where health is a primary concern.

General Wallpaper Questions

Is there a minimum square footage?

Yes, we have 50 square feet minimum per order.

What are the most popular sizes?

The three most requested sizes are 100, 300 & 500 square feet.

What is the maximum width x height you can print per roll?

The maximum roll size wisummaryh is 52 inches wide by 360 inches in length.

How can I make a payment?

We accept all major credit cards and company checks. Please note, a job ticket must be created and payment is required before we can start proofing/final production.

What is the standard turnaround time?

Once final proofs are approved, standard production time is 5-7 business days. Please note, production time may change depending on our current press schedule and how many specialty options have been selected.

Wallcovering Material Concerns

What kind of wallpaper material do you use?

Our wallpapers are a non-adhesive, fabric backed vinyl material which is installable via traditional pasting methods. They are available in matte, gloss, semi-gloss or textured coating/finishing options. We also offer peel and stick wallpaper.

Can I pick my own design/image?

Yes, if you provide high resolution artwork, we can print your custom design.

Is the material durable and washable?

Yes, ordinary dirt and smudges can be removed from the surface with a mild soap and warm water.

Is the material removable?

Yes, our wall coverings can be removed. Please note, all surfaces must be primed with a drywall sealer and water based primer prior to installation.

Do you provide installation services?

Unfortunately, we do not provide or recommend installation services, however the following article is a useful guide for installers: How to Prepare Wall Surfaces

Wallpaper Sample Questions

Can I see sample before printing my project?

Yes, you can order a press proof sample of your custom artwork. We offer four coating/finishing options: matte, gloss, semi-gloss and texture.

Can I see a digital proof before final production?

Yes, our pre-press department will provide two rounds of digital proofs for approval prior to final print production. Please note, any additional digital proofs will be billed accordingly.

Can you ship material/printed samples for my review?

We can not send out material/printed samples without a job ticket being generated into our system.

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