How Topcoats Make Wallpapers more Durable

Topcoats are specialized coatings are designed to extend the life of your wallpaper, ensuring that the beauty and vibrancy you fell in love with remain intact through the years. They serve as a protective varnish and barrier against wear, tear, and environmental factors, making them invaluable for homeowners, interior designers, and commercial spaces alike. Whether it’s a bustling café, a serene bedroom, or a high-traffic office corridor, the right topcoat can make all the difference in maintaining the aesthetic appeal and longevity of your wallpaper. Let’s delve into some topcoat options to help you make the best choice for your space.

Option #1: DreamGuard ProTex3 Topcoat

Photo of DreamGuard ProTex3 Topcoat

DreamGuard ProTex3 Topcoat, from the same company that brought us Dreamscape Printable Wallcoverings, is a unique solution in the area of wallpaper protection, offering a perfect balance of durability, aesthetic variety, and practical application. This topcoat is perfect for both home and business areas since it protects your wallpaper from the demands of daily life. Its Matte and Satin finishes allow for customisation based on the desired look and feel of your room.

Key Features and Benefits

Versatile Finishes: The Matte finish provides a subtle, non-reflective look that enhances modern and minimalist interiors, while the Satin finish adds a touch of sheen, enriching the color depth and pattern details of your wallpaper.

Ease of Application: DreamGuard ProTex3 is formulated for a smooth, hassle-free application process, making it accessible for both professional installers and DIY enthusiasts. This ease of use ensures a uniform, streak-free finish that enhances the wallpaper’s appearance.

Durability: The topcoat is designed to withstand the challenges of high-traffic areas, protecting against scuffs, stains, and fading. This durability ensures that your wallpaper maintains its pristine condition over time, reducing the need for frequent touch-ups or replacements.

Eco-Friendly Composition: In line with contemporary environmental concerns, DreamGuard ProTex3 is developed with an eco-friendly formulation. This aspect makes it a responsible choice for projects where sustainability is a priority.

Ideal Use Cases

DreamGuard ProTex3 is versatile enough to be used in various settings. In residential spaces like living rooms and bedrooms, it adds an extra layer of protection while preserving the wallpaper’s aesthetic appeal. In commercial environments such as hotels, restaurants, or offices, where wallpaper might be subjected to more wear and tear, the topcoat provides an essential protective barrier, extending the life of the wall coverings. Its combination of aesthetic flexibility, ease of application, and eco-friendly attributes makes it a smart investment for a wide range of wallpaper projects.

Option #2: Marabu ClearShield Professional Wall Armor

Logo of Marabu ClearShield Professional Wall Armor

Marabu’s ClearShield Professional Wall Armor is a high-performance liquid laminate designed specifically for digitally printed wall coverings. Well-known for its unrivaled protection, this topcoat is an excellent choice for commercial applications that require Type II certification. It’s compatible with a variety of inks, including latex, eco-solvent, and UV curable, making it adaptable to a variety of printing methods.

Key Features and Benefits

Increased Durability: ClearShield Wall Armor provides additional stain and abrasion protection, ensuring that wall graphics and wallpapers remain pristine even in high-traffic areas.

Fire Resistance: This product is crucial for commercial settings since it has fire retardant features, which contribute to the overall safety and compliance of the space.

Type II Certification: Wall Armor meets the rigorous standards of Type II accreditation and is ideal for areas such as retail stores, hotels, restaurants, healthcare facilities, and commercial buildings where durability and safety are critical.

Versatile Application Methods: The product can be applied manually with a short nap roller, automatically using equipment such as the StarLam 1600R liquid laminator, or with an HVLP spray gun, providing flexibility dependent on project requirements.

Compatible Substrates: ClearShield Wall Armor works well with a variety of wall coverings, including DreamScape Matte, DreamScape Terralon, Korographics Abaco Beach, PhotoTex, and Ultraflex Wallscapes Suede, among others.

Ideal Use Cases

The Marabu ClearShield Professional Wall Armor is an excellent alternative for safeguarding digitally printed wallpapers and wall graphics. Its mix of durability, safety features, and compatibility with diverse substrates and inks makes it an ideal choice for commercial applications that require beauty, utility and safety. It is a popular choice for restaurants, healthcare, or any other sector with stringent requirements for safety and air quality.

Aqua-Clear Water-Based Topcoat 3.0

Logo of Aqua-Clear Water-Based Topcoat 3.0

Colour & Design’s Aqua-Clear Water-Based Topcoat 3.0, available since 1998, offers a substantial development in wall covering protection. This topcoat is a patented composition that uses urethane, acrylic, and vinyl polymers to seal and protect the surface of wall covering goods. Aqua-Clear distinguishes out as a Teflon-free, water-based topcoat that meets the growing demand for environmentally friendly, low-emitting protective solutions.

Key Features and Benefits

Enhanced Durability: The topcoat has been engineered for improved abrasion resistance, ensuring that wall coverings can withstand the rigors of high-traffic areas and everyday use. Exceptional Stain Resistance: Aqua-Clear is formulated to be scrubable with sanctioned commercial cleaners, including diluted bleach, providing a robust defense against stains and spills.

Non-Yellowing Surface: The topcoat maintains the original color and vibrancy of the wall covering, ensuring a non-yellowing surface that preserves the aesthetic appeal over time.

Compatible Substrates: Aqua-Clear Topcoat works with various types of wall coverings, including vinyl, non-woven, and fabric-backed wallpapers. Its compatibility extends to both residential and commercial-grade wallpapers, ensuring that regardless of the material, this topcoat provides a durable and protective finish.

Ideal Use Cases

Aqua-Clear Water-Based Topcoat 3.0 is ideal for a variety of commercial and residential settings where wall coverings require extra protection. Its compatibility with a range of wall covering materials, including those offered by Colour & Design, makes it a versatile choice for different design needs. Whether it’s a hospitality venue, healthcare facility, or a residential space, Aqua-Clear provides a durable and aesthetically pleasing protective layer. It’s an ideal topcoat for a wide range of applications. With Aqua-Clear, you can ensure that your wall coverings remain as striking and vibrant as the day they were installed, even in the most demanding environments.


If you want your wallpaper to last for many years while retaining its quality and color, then opting for a topcoat varnish is a no-brainer. Not only will the inks look richer, but you will have additional control over the finish and there’s the added element of protection and safety. We highly recommend the use of topcoats for both permanent and temporary projects for the added value they provide for any wallpaper installation.

About the Author

Joseph Gornail is a multimedia artist and fourth-generation print craftsman whose family has lived on the same block in SoHo for over 90 years. With an extensive background in photography, writing and creative direction, Joseph has a love of the arts and a proud New Yorker. When he’s not documenting city life or curating historic images for, he can likely be found sailing the New York harbor to enjoy his native city from a different perspective.

About Fine Print

We're a NYC Print Shop & Design Firm Devoted to the art of Custom Wallpaper and the Replication of Vintage Wallpapers.

Related Products

The #1 Independent Wallpaper Printing & Design Shop in New York

Request Estimate • Call us at (212) 619-5446

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.

Guidance & Tips

Read More
Learn How to Prepare Walls for Wallpaper InstallationUnlock expert tips for installing wallpaper. Learn how to prep walls, test moisture, and select adhesives for wallpaper that stands the test of time.Continue Reading
Read More
Learn How to Design Files for Custom Wallpaper Printing DIYDiscover the art of designing files for wallpaper printing and DIY techniques for custom wallpaper to create personalized wall murals, wall media & wallcoveringsContinue Reading
Place Order for Custom Samples12" x 12" Press Proofs Available in 4 finishing options.
Corporate Headquarters

Open Monday - Friday: 9:30am-5:30pm
*Closed Saturday & Sunday*

Open in Google Maps
Production Facility

Open Monday - Friday: 7:30AM - 3:30PM
*Closed Saturday & Sunday*

Call us at (212) 619-5446  Request an Estimate  Email us at
All Rights Reserved  © 2024 Fine Print, Inc  Terms of Use  Privacy Policy  Contact Us