If you are loving the look of your new magnificent wall panels or simply contemplating using them in your interiors, you are at the right place. In an earlier edition we covered why decorative wall panels are a great choice for Indian homes, while today we talk about their upkeep.
Decorative wall panels are a rising trend in home interiors and are among the most maintenance-friendly wall treatment options available today. However, like every other surface in a home, they are prone to wear and tear with time. These quick tips for maintenance will help you care for your wall panels and keep them beautiful for a long time.
- Know your panels
The first step is to actually know what your panels are made of, as this may partly dictate how you maintain them. Decorative wall panels feature a durable substrate like MDF, particleboard, PVC or gypsum and commonly a top finish of decorative material such as printed paper, patterned fabric, laminate etc. Armed with knowledge of the base and the top finish you can take care of panels better.
- Dust regularly
Smartly patterned wall panels are great at concealing dirt stains, however like most surfaces they too accumulate dust. If possible, lightly clean the surface of your panels daily using a feather duster or a dry, lint free cloth. Or else, include vacuum cleaning of your panels in your periodic maintenance routines.
- Keep away from sunlight
Most decorative finishes including patterned paper, laminate and fabric tend to fade with prolonged exposure to sunlight. While getting them installed, make sure that they are well away from doors, windows and any other inlets of direct sunlight. If this is not possible, use curtains or louvered blinds on your windows to soften the amount of light that falls on your panels.
- Clean off stains and splatters immediately
Stains, scrawls and splashes are inevitable in any home, especially one with young children. Attending to these immediately is your best bet to avoid permanent marks. Always use a soft cloth and a gentle touch while rubbing stains; rough handling can damage the surface. Lightly dab at stains with mild soap water — work from bottom to top to avoid streaks. This method will work for most stains. Be sure to wipe dry when done since excess water can damage your wall panel. When trying stronger detergents, do a spot test on one corner of your panel before you move on to the rest. Avoid the use of harsh solvent cleaners as they generally tend to damage surfaces.
- Keep your panels dry
Decorative wall panels can get damaged if they’re exposed to wet conditions, so it’s always best to avoid installing them in areas like kitchens and bathrooms. While most treated fiber boards offer some resistance against moisture, they have a tendency to warp under excess dampness. In addition to this, paper and laminate finishes may separate from the surface if they remain wet for too long. Make sure that your panels are well protected from water; clean off any splashes as quickly as possible. Moreover, watch out for damp patches that are a common nuisance in Indian homes.
6. Cover them up while renovating
Much like furniture, you will need to take precautions to protect your decorative wall panels when you embark on renovating projects. In case you choose to repaint your walls, replace your flooring or take up any home repair projects, wrap a plastic sheet over your panels to protect them from dust and paint stains. This will also prevent scratches and tears on upholstered panels while moving them. If you need to remove your panels for a period of time, uninstall them carefully and store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture.
In addition to the above, it greatly helps to read up and follow the recommended care instructions which vary depending on the finish of your wall panels. Clearly, with slight regular maintenance you can keep them looking brand new for a long time to come.