Problem solving and special wallpapers

Wallpaper edges and seams

To make sure the edges of paper are firmly stuck down, use a seam roller. Do not be too vigorous with this as it may damage the paper or leave a sheen on it, which will show when the paper is viewed from an angle. It is, however, not suitable for use on certain types of paper such as flock or embossed.

Air bubbles or blisters under wallpaper

Despite your best efforts to remove air from behind the paper as it is hung, you may find a blister remaining afterwards. There are two ways of dealing with this: Inject adhesive into the blister and use a seam roller to smooth it. Or, make a neat incision with a craft knife, and lift the edges enabling paste to be reapplied before smoothing back down.

Vinyl wallpaper adhesive

When hanging vinyl papers, you will need to use a special "vinyl to vinyl" adhesive along any overlaps, since vinyl will not stick to itself.

Pasting the wall

Some papers require the wall to be pasted rather than the paper. In this case, use a roller to apply the adhesive to an area slightly wider than the strip to be hung. This will enable you to paste the next section without having to work right up to the previous piece.

Embossed or relief wallpaper

Embossed papers need to be handled with care to avoid flattening the pattern – particularly at joins and corners. Many people prefer the durability offered by ‘blown vinyl’ relief papers.

Ready pasted paper

Ready pasted papers. You will rarely see professional decorators hanging this in the way suggested by the manufacturer, as it often leads to difficulties with misses or dry spots in the adhesive. They will normally paste it up as they would ordinary papers, but make their paste mix a little weaker to allow for the paste already on the back of the paper.

Fabric wallpaper

When hanging these, it is common to paste the wall rather than the fabric. By suspending the roll of fabric on a strong pole between two ladders, it is possible to work the fabric against the wall starting at the bottom. In this case you will need to smooth out upwards rather than down. Overlap successive drops (unless the edges are pre-trimmed) and cut through with a sharp knife, discarding the offcuts to produce a perfect joint.
To protect surfaces when smoothing, hold lining paper over the section to be smoothed.

Smoothing tips for wallpapering

Depending on the type of paper or material being hung, some professionals use a plastic spatula to smooth with. On strong surfaces, this is very efficient and dispels air from beneath the surface very speedily. It is an excellent tool for use with lining paper.

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