Questions and Answers Concerning Wallpaper Techniques

Wallpaper Techniques- Wallpaper Application - Wallpaper Removal

Q. Recently, we had a room wall papered. There was background wallpaper, a top border, bottom border and two tree trunks, which are over the background wallpaper but under the two borders. The tree trunks, which are heavily scalloped, have tears in some of the interior cuts. Is this something that is normal or is this the result of a poor hanging? There are some rips in the bottom border, which is less intricately cut then the tree trunks. How should have the tree trunks and the border been applied?

A. Most scalloped edges tend to be delicate, so some small tears can happen. However, a good hanger can usually hide these tears effectively. For the border, the same applies. "The skill of paperhanging is hiding the skill." If they are very evident, I would have the hanger fix them. If they aren't evident, and in order to see them you need to be only 6" away, then that is acceptable.

Q. Do we overlap the inside corners as we do with regular paper? We now turn the corner, leave 1/2 inch extra, and then overlap the next sheet. It seems as though this paper would look too thick.

A. Yes, you do the overlap, only much less. Since there is no pattern to this paper, it will be easy. Hang the first piece and allow wrapping around the corner as much as you want, up to an inch. Then, tuck it real tight, and free hand with a razor blade; trim the overlap to 1/8". Only allow the tiniest overlap possible. Then, pull that piece back out of the corner and back about 6"-10", allowing you full access to the corner.

Now hang the second piece, overlapping it back around the corner at least a 1/4". Tuck it in tight, and using your 6" wide blade/putty knife/trim guide, trim it dead in the corner. Remove excess. Now, pull the second piece back out of the corner, and re-set the first piece in the corner, tucking it tight. Now lay the second piece back into the corner. This method will give you a very tight corner, with minimal overlap.

Q. I just painted the bathroom with semi-gloss latex paint, off white on top and dark green on the bottom. I plan to apply the wallpaper border where the two colors meet. How long should I wait for the paint to dry and cure before applying the border?

A. Wait at least 48 hours fo it to dry. Using a 4' level and pencil, or a laser level. Mark a line on the wall 1/8" below where the top of the border will be, and another line 1/8" above where the bottom will be. Definitely brush on a wall covering primer first, as semi-gloss paint is a bad surface for adhesion. After the primer is dry for a couple hours, hang the border.

Q. My husband is about to hang a mural today and the directions say to overlap the seams. He is reluctant to do this with a mural, and wants to butt the seams. What's the proper way to do this?

A. These murals are easy to hang if you do the following:
A) Dispose of the instructions.
B) Dispose of the supplied adhesive.
C) Do normal wall prep.
D) Lay out the panels dry and figure out pattern placement, and draw level lines: one horizontally at the mid-seam level, and one vertically at the edge of the first panels, upper and lower.
E) Paste the wall with a light coat of clear adhesive.
F) Mist the back of the panel lightly with water, preferably with a mini-sprayer, and book the panel without creasing it. Roll it up like a newspaper. Make sure each panel is booked exactly the same amount of time.
G) Apply panel to wall.

It is best to hang the top panel first only on the first sheet, then lift the bottom edge and tuck the lower panel under it to hide the raw edge. These murals are too delicate to double cut, therefore they must be overlapped to achieve pattern match. The lap is normally about 1/4 inch. Once you get the first panel up, proceed along the wall hanging the bottom panel then the top panel of each sheet. Since you are pasting the wall and must allow for overlap when pasting, it is important to clean thoroughly as you go, being sure to get all adhesive off the surface. You can't over wipe the murals, as the pattern will eventually abrade.

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Wallpaper Techniques- Wallpaper Application - Wallpaper Removal