Wallpaper Hanging: Guide to Putting Up Wallpaper
While the paper is soaking the hanging tools and steps can be placed in position for hanging the first roll. The tools required for this part of the job are the smoothing brush, paper-scissors and a clean sponge or dry cloth. The pasted and folded strip of paper is taken from the table and draped over the left arm as you would carry an overcoat. With this done, mount the steps and unfold the top half of the paper. This may be found rather difficult at first, but the handyman will soon get the hang of the job after handling one or two strips. There is no need to rush this part of the work and there is plenty of time to hang each strip slowly and carefully. The bottom half of the paper should not be unfolded. After unfolding the top half, hold the edges with both hands, one at each side at a distance of about 3 in. from the end of the strip.
Hold the paper between the thumb and forefinger of each hand with the remaining three fingers resting lightly on the wall. This holding position enables the paper to be raised or lowered, moved sideways, or tilted easily. If the paper is being hung to a chalked line the appropriate edge of the paper should be placed at the top against the edge of the chalk line and the position of the other hand raised or lowered so that the lower end of the paper is exactly level with the line. If there is no chalk line, as in the case of unmatching papers, the tilting adjustment should be made so that the inside edge fits into the corner with about a 1-in. allowance for turning the corner.
Once the vertical position of the paper is adjusted to the worker’s satisfaction, the top edge should be pressed to the wall gently with the thumbs, without tilting the paper. Hold the paper lightly against the wall, take the smoothing-brush, sweep it once across the top of the paper, then down the middle of the strip. Following brush-strokes are then made each side, from the middle outwards to the edges of the paper. If any wrinkles or creases form, peel back the nearest corner until the crease is reached, then re-brush the paper from the crease to the loose corner.
The completely inexperienced paperhanger should take plenty of time to do this part of the job properly and there is no need to rush the work at all. With the top of the paper secured to the wall, the worker should dismount the steps, continuing brushing the paper downwards through the middle first and outwards to the edges until the fold is reached. Gently unfold the paper and continue brushing until the bottom of the strip is reached. When hanging the paper, of course, the trimming overlap should be allowed for by overlapping both the top and bottom ends by 3 in. With the complete strip pasted to the wall and all wrinkles smoothed out, remount the steps to trim the top edge. To do this, use the tip of the bristles of the smoothing-brush to tap the paper well into the angle formed by the wall and the lower edge of the picture rail, or the angle of the wall and the ceiling. The paper should fit snugly into the angle and a cutting line is then marked by running the back of the tip of the closed scissors in the angle.
With the trimming line marked, peel the paper away from the wall, and with a lightly dampened sponge or dry cloth, wipe the surface paste from the picture rail or ceiling. With the paper peeled back the cutting line marked with the point of the scissors on the face of the paper will be clearly seen. The scissors are used to trim neatly along this line. The top of the piece is then brushed back to the wall, where it should fit neatly and snugly into the angle. When dismounting the steps to trim the bottom edge of the paper, use the tips of the bristles to tap the edge of the paper at both sides firmly to the wall.
The bottom edge of the paper is trimmed in exactly the same way as the top, by brushing the paper into the angle, marking a line with the point of the scissors, peeling the paper back from the wall, wiping paste from the top of the skirting-board before trimming along the edge line and re-brushing the paper to the wall. The scissors should be used gently to mark cutting line — if they are used too vigorously the paper may tear. The seam-roller is not used at this stage.
Following strips of paper are pasted and hung in exactly the same way. Care should be taken when hanging pieces, after the first piece, to ensure that the joints are hung neatly, and this is done by a careful adjustment of the hang when holding the top of the paper. The inexperienced person may have to make several attempts before getting the feel of the job. No attempt should be made to hurry the work and should, in the extreme, a piece of paper be badly hung and found very difficult to adjust, it should be removed from the wall, re-pasted before re-hanging, or put aside for filling in short lengths, and a new piece hung. It would be foolish to spoil the job for the sake of one strip cut from a roll. Some practice in hanging may be gained by tackling a small job first, such as a larder.
The short pieces of paper trimmed from the lengths hung should be folded with the paste side inwards, or they may be hung to dry over the top of the door or banister rail, if it is thought that they may be required for later filling in of small surfaces. However, if estimating has been done properly, it should not be necessary to waste time with these scrap pieces, but they should not be left on the floor because, if they are left for any length of time, they will stick to the linoleum or floor-boards, also, if trodden on, there is the danger of an accident. After hanging each strip of paper, the scissors should be wiped clean with a dry cloth. This is necessary, because paste quickly attacks metal and if the scissors are not cleaned for any length of time, paste may corrode the blades. When using the smoothing-brush care should be taken toand free from paste, that is why surplus paste on skirting-boards or ceiling is wiped off before the paper is brushed to the wall.
The seam-roller is used after hanging three or four strips. When the first seam is rolled the following seams are then rolled after each new strip is hung. The seam-roller should not be pressed too heavily on the edges of the paper or the edges of the roller will mark the new paper with lines. To avoid marking the face of the paper, hands should be washed after completing every three or four strips.
Continue hanging pieces until the first corner is reached. Professional decorators do not turn wallpaper into corners or round protruding corners and the handyman should not attempt to do this. The correct method of papering a corner is to cut the strip of paper along its length. To do this properly, measure the unpapered wall surface at both top and bottom, transfer the measurements to the next strip of paper, plus an extra 4 in. for turning. Join up the measure marks with a straight-edge or by folding the paper, and cut neatly along the line. The part strip is then hung in the usual way, using the tip of the bristles to tap the paper neatly into the angle. The remaining part of the trimmed strip is then hung next. With unmatching paper, odd wall lengths over fire-places, doors and windows may be filled in after the full strips have been hung.
Short sections of walls between the edge of the last strip hung and the edge of a door should be treated in the same way as a corner, by measuring the strip and trimming the next piece of paper to fit. An allowance of about in. should be made for trimming neatly at the upright edge. The paper should be tapped with the tip of the bristles into the angle, marked gently with the scissors in the usual way, peeled back from the wall, surplus paste wiped from the framework and the paper cut neatly along the trimming line before brushing it back on to the wall.
When hanging paper round a fire-place, the top of the paper should be secured to the wall in the usual way; the strip is then brushed down until the first horizontal angle is reached; the paper is brushed snugly into the angle, the appropriate length marked lightly with a pencil, peeled back from the wall and trimmed and the brushing continued to the next horizontal angle. If it is at all necessary to join short lengths in difficult positions it will be found best to tear the paper across the width rather than cutting it. A torn edge is much less noticeable than a cut edge.
Some special care is needed to paper neatly round electric-light switches. If the switch is of the flush type the current should be switched off at the main, the switch-plate removed, by releasing the screwed ring in the middle of the plate, the paper hung in the usual way, tearing a small hole for the knob of the switch and replacing the plate after the strip has been hung.
In the case of dome-shaped switches which protrude from walls the paper should be hung in the usual way, making a small hole for the switch knob, and the complete length should be brushed to the wall, and ends trimmed, before returning to the job of neatening round the switch. This is done by gently tearing the paper to make a series of star-shaped tears. The paper is then gently tapped into the base of the switch with the tips of the bristles of the smoothing-brush, the angle marked lightly with a pencil, the paper pulled gently from the wall, and the trimming line snicked through with the point of the scissors before re-brushing the paper to the wall. When a paper is torn in this way, or to deal with an awkward strip, care should be taken to ensure that the white edge of the tear is under-most and is not visible on the face side of the paper.
Lincrusta papers and heavy papers require special treatment before hanging them. In most cases these stiff, thickly embossed papers are soaked with water before applying the paste and the paste is applied thickly. Manufacturers of these special papers usually include pasting instructions with each roll. When hanging patterned papers it is necessary to take extreme care that each strip is hung squarely on the wall and that the matching pattern at the edges is neatly joined up.
Read more on: