Wallpapering tips for when things go wrong. Hints to make the best of the mistake and sometimes even cure it.
Wallpaper is the fastest way to add texture and colour to a floor or ceiling. In addition to traditional wallpaper, you'll easily find paper-backed vinyl, relief papers designed as a base for paint and a range of textures from silk to grasscloth.
Some are easier to hang than others, so if you are a novice, your first try should be with a medium-weight traditional wallpaper with a random design, which is unlikely to tear and won't need awkward pattern matching. To avoid getting paint marks or splatters on a newly papered wall make sure that all the paintwork is completed and dry before you start to hang your desired pattern.
A quick guide to wallpapering
1. Using proper shears, cut sufficent wallpaper for one wall at a time, adding 3 inches to the bottom of each drop.
2. Roll the lengths against the curl to flatten them and then turn them over so that the pasting side is uppermost.
3. Mix the paste as instructed on the packet and brush it down the center of the wallpaper with a pasting brush. Brush the paste out from the center, first away from you and then towards you, so that the edges are covered. Ready pasted paper needs soaking in water in the trough provided and can be smoothed into place with a sponge. Apply extra paste to the edges if they tend to lift.
4. Move the paper over to the wall, gently folding the paper over so the pasted edges meet. When you have pasted the whole drop, fold the other side so that the top and bottom meet in the middle.
5. Vinyls can be put up straight away but you can leave standard wallpaper to soak for five minutes and heavier relief designs for ten so the paper streatches and bubbles won't occur.
6. To make the paper hang straight, find the vertical using a plumb bob and line as a guide. Mark a line less than the wallpaper's width if you're starting at a corner and hang the first piece of wallpaper allowing about 2 inches to overlap the ceiling and 1 inch at the floor.
7. Manoeuvre the piece in place and smooth down with a soft brush pushing it well into the corner. Release the bottom half gently and do the same. Mark a line over the excess and trim with the shears.
8. Hang the next piece so that it butts up against the last, matching the pattern before sticking down completely.
What went wrong?
These form if the wallpaper isn't pasted thoroughly or isn't given time to soak. They can also occur if the length isn't smoothed out properly.
Solution: It's sometimes possible to slit air bubbles with a razor blade and then paste back to the wall.
These can usually be made when hands or fingers are dirty when hanging the paper.
Solution: Removal is easy with a white eraser (use with care so as not to rub out the pattern) or a piece of stale white bread.
These appear when lengths are not pushed together sufficently or if the paper has been stretched too much when smoothed out and had shrunk.
Solution: If the paper is thoroughly dry there isn't anything you can do. Otherwise trying to smooth and push out from the middle of the paper may have some effect. It is important to stand back and check your work after every piece is hung to ensure any gaps can be ironed out before the paper dries.
This is caused by dampness. If it's not substantial, try lifting and re-pasting the piece affected. Tears may not be noticeable if stuck down well.