Paperhanging Tips from the trade

Crooked Top Edge

No room is built with mechanical precision, and where the picture rail-or, if no picture rail, the angle between wall and ceiling-are considerably off horizontal, do not use a large-patterned paper because the design at the top of each length will accentuate the imperfection. Use a plain paper or one with a less-pronounced pattern.

Seam Rollering with Safety

Rollering the joins on wallpaper, particularly heavy varieties, ensures adequate adhesion of otherwise vulnerable edges; though, by laying the fibres of the paper, rollering could cause a ‘polish’ mark to show. To prevent this, insert a strip of ordinary paper (toilet paper will do) under the roller.

Surmounting shading difficulties

As you open rolls of paper and compare them, you may be disappointed in the difference in tone from edge to edge, or from roll to roll. This is a fault of the printing process and, if pronounced, will show when the paper is hung. If the paper is plain or a random pattern you can often overcome the edge-to-edge difference by inverting every other length you hang. Where the difference is not from edge to edge but down the length -though not so likely-see if another roll has the same difference. If so, cut one length from one part of one roll and the adjoining length from the same part of the second roll.

Where half the rolls are printed on the light side and the remainder on the dark side, hang light-toned rolls on side walls and those that are darker on the wall facing the window. Light striking the latter will even out the tone and the difference at the corner of the room where the papers abut will not be noticed.

When to Size and Seal

If in doubt whether to size a. surface before papering it, dampen a finger and press it to the wall. A surface that is ‘hot’ will soak up the moisture immediately and will require size. Never size an emulsion-painted surface because size has a contracting action which could loosen the bond between the emulsion and wall plaster. The adhesive of a paper would do the same damage. Seal the emulsion coating with an oil-penetrating primer or coat of oil paint, thinned with the same quantity of white spirit. Seal hardboard with hardboard primer before papering.

Awkward Joins

If your supply of paper runs short, use off-cuts over a door or under a window. People seldom look over the top of a door when leaving, and curtains and furniture will detract from the window area. In any case, it will be relatively shaded there and imperfections will not be readily seen.

Stains on a Chimney Breast

Wall stains that ‘bleed’ through wallpaper should be sealed in with two coats of aluminium primer sealer before hanging the paper. Then add a small quantity of whiting or finely powdered pumice to the paste to give more grip to such an impervious surface. Where stains are very pronounced, metal-backed lining paper may have to be used.

Where Not to Use Vinyl

Where a wall is uneven or pitted and cannot easily be made good, use ordinary wallpaper, not vinyl, as the latter will show up every mark.

Papering New Walls

Allow several months to elapse for new walls to dry out before papering, because damp will bring forward alkali salts which interfere with the chemical constituents of adhesives and could also cause colour change of greens and blues, or even staining.

Adhesive Problems

A growing number of papers are pre-pasted. Where you have to do your own pasting, remember that cellulose pastes, though they may not stain the surface, do not soak papers so evenly as starch and flour pastes. Heavy papers should, therefore, soak for eight minutes and then be re-pasted with an almost dry brush and hung immediately; otherwise blisters may form. With lightweight papers, paste one length and put it on one side. Paste a second length and then hang the first.

Painting over old wallpaper

Use emulsion, not oil paint, because oil causes the fibres in paper to disintegrate.

Patching Up

To patch over an indelible mark on a paper, place a small new piece over the mark, with patterns matching, and cut round it with a sharp knife, penetrating new and old papers, down to the substrate. Then scrape off the old paper up to the knife cut and the new piece will fit exactly.

Another way is to tear the patching piece away from the printed side to ‘feather out’ the edge. Treat a polystyrene lining that has been inadvertently damaged in stripping an old paper, by the first method.

Avoiding hazard

Before hanging wallpaper, always fold pasted pieces inwards and put these under the pasting table, out of the way. Pasted paper is slippery and could cause a nasty accident.

10. November 2011 by admin
Categories: Featured, Handyman Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Paperhanging Tips from the trade

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