Avoid Wasting Money and Materials: Give Worn-Down Spaces a Fast Face Lift with 3M DINOC

May 4, 2023

We sell and install lots of window film, but that doesn’t mean we only work on windows.

3M DINOC is a product that functions as an architectural finish. It can cover practically any flat surface and make things look smooth and refreshed. Rather than replacing with new materials, this film goes over any surface to make it look new.

Below, we explain how architects and owners use DINOC to refresh worn-down lobbies, walls, and assorted surfaces. We also offer 3 case studies so you can see how DINOC completely transforms at a fraction of the cost of replacement.

What is DINOC?

DINOC finishes are a premium, lightweight, durable architectural vinyl. We can install it over a wide variety of surfaces, though primarily we cover drywall, metal, laminate, or wood. DINOC comes in over 700 varieties and is notable for the similarity to natural materials.

To see a full range of DINOC samples, you can visit our showroom in Manhattan or contact us to request a sample. For now, here is a link to a product catalog.

DINOC (sometimes written DI-NOC) is an abbreviation for the words “diurno nocturno.” The phrase means day and night, which fits the product because indeed, it does look good both both day and night. It’s also resilient: it doesn’t scratch, tear, or stain easily. Coffee spills and busy hallways are no trouble for this thick film that can be easily cleaned with a cloth.


3M has been manufacturing DINOC for over 50 years, though the product has been more popular in Asian markets until recently. Between a renewed focus on sustainability and a 3M portfolio refresh, North American customers are increasingly aware of the many benefits, including:

  • Cost: DINOC can be purchased and installed for a fraction of buying new materials, often with similar aesthetic results.
  • Efficiency: Instead of searching for new furniture or equipment and waiting for delivery, our installers can put in DINOC in a weekend.
  • Sustainability: Full scale renovations mean many materials end up at the landfill. When you use an architectural finish like DINOC, you create less waste in the process.
  • Durability: DINOC is thick (8-mils, normal vinyl is 2-3 mils), scratch-resistant and extremely durable. There are even abrasion-resistant exterior-rated versions.
  • Credits: This product qualifies for LEED credits.
  • Aesthetics: DINOC has over 700 patterns to choose from to cover a wide variety of use cases.
  • 3M Warranty: 3M warrants this product from peeling, cracking, de-lamination or excessive damage for five years. Coupled with the cost and aesthetic benefits, DINOC is a home run for commercial clients.

Installing DINOC

One of Layr’s experienced technicians installs DINOC on a NYC elevator lobby.

Though the process of installing DINOC seems straightforward, we highly recommend hiring certified installers (like Layr). Commercial owners looking to refinish surfaces expect a tremendous attention to detail, and installing DINOC is slightly different than installing window film or vinyl. Big picture, here is how we approach each job:

  1. Prepare the area, removing any dirt, hardware, bumps, or irregularities. This process also includes sanding and the use of BONDO, since we want the substrate to be as clean and flat as possible.
  2. Cut the DINOC to the precise size and shape.
  3. Apply the DINOC, cutting and trimming each piece. DINOC is designed to be “double cut” so as to remove any potential seams or lines.
  4. Reinstall hardware, smooth out the work, and add finishing touches.

Below, you can watch a video by 3M showing an expert installing DINOC on hotel doors. Take a look at the radical aesthetic improvement and don’t miss the savings of nearly a million dollars.

Hotel door upgrade using 3M DINOC film.

Here are a few of our projects, installed locally in New York City, and nationally through our national account managers.

Case Study 1: Shabby to Chic Nursing Stations

Installing DINOC over a faded facade on a nursing station shows what a difference a targeted effort plus these modern materials can make.

A large health care customer contacted us about their nursing stations, heavily trafficked areas that are the beating heart of a hospital. They wanted to improve the look of the place and after seeing their old formica-based stations, we knew that we could help out.

We worked with the architect and project managers to specify the ideal looking finish and consulted with them throughout the process.

Though quick, this install instantly raised the space’s overall appeal. Nurses, doctors, and patients no longer had to spend time in a station that looked like it was from the 1970s. In addition, the hospital saved money on what would have been an expensive total renovation.

Case Study 2: Commercial Kitchens Get Upgraded

Jobs with DINOC range in scope. Sometimes we do hotels and large commercial projects with thousands of square feet. Sometimes the scope of our work is much smaller, but no less satisfying.

We refreshed the kitchen pictured above without the demolition, supplies, or cost of a renovation project. This office kitchen had seen better days. It had scratched surfaces, chipped off sections, and faded colors.

By installing DINOC, we lightened the look of the office and gave the space a new life. For a small cost and with minimal materials, we made this kitchen a place where employees actually wanted to eat.

Case Study 3: National Account Re-Brand

A mall display case with DINOC film. DINOC helps our national retailers change up their marketing efforts, saving money with great impacts.

Large national retailers are always adjusting branding, marketing, and messaging, and the use of color is key.

However, working in malls is expensive, overtime work. To renovate spaces in malls, much coordination with others is required. We help our clients reduce the time, cost, and overall headache. 3M DINOC gives new life to cabinets, millwork, and paneling with a speedy turnaround.

A client of ours has been using DINOC to renovate 30+ stores in months. We’ve easily helped them save millions of dollars through the strategic use of this film.

Single-color DINOC is simple, but beautiful!

Other Possibilities With DINOC

DINOC is an incredible product and in this post we’ve only scratched the surface of its use cases. It can create a whole new look on surfaces that our clients thought were beyond repair.

We’re proud to stand behind this product and our experienced installers. If you’d like to talk with us about how DINOC can refresh your space, come visit our showroom or contact us.