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Wallpaper Application

Now that you have gathered your tools, purchased materials, planned, and prepped, you can proceed with actually hanging wallpaper.

Nowadays most wallpaper comes pre-pasted, although some still comes unpasted. This simplifies the hanging process considerably. Layout some newspaper on the floor and place your water box on top of it. Fill it about two-thirds full with water. Cut your strip of wallpaper to the appropriate length (four inches longer than the height of the wall to the base). The best method to do this is with a straight-edge and a utility knife - scissors will likely provide an uneven edge. Roll the cut piece of wallpaper backwards so that the pasted side is on the outside. Place it in the water box so that when you grip the top and lift it from the water box, the pasted side is facing the wall. Now slowly lift the paper from the water box and arrange it against the wall. The wet adhesive should cling to the wall, but it will still be maneuverable. Leave some overlap at both the top and bottom. You will trim this off later with your trimming knife or cutting wheel. To facilitate placement you can fold (do not crease) the bottom part up under and temporally attach it at about the middle of the sheet. This will allow you to get the top in place, then you can swing the bottom part down and attach it to the wall.

On the first strip, it is vital that the wallpaper be hung as vertically as possible, as the rest of the job will depend on it. Now use your smoothing brush to make sure that the entire surface area of the wallpaper is smoothed against the wall. First brush near the ceiling line to prevent the wallpaper from suddenly rolling off. Then brush the top and work your way down, pushing from the middle to the outside edges (to prevent bubbles from forming in the middle). Then run the brush up and down the piece of wallpaper. Be firm and make sure there are no wrinkles and no air bubbles.

Now you may trim the extra paper from the piece with the trimming knife. Push the trimming guide on to the paper along the line where the cut will be made while running the trimming knife alongside it. This should make an even cut.

Now you will need to match your next sheet of wallpaper with the one already hanging. Unroll a length of paper and hold it up to the wall next to your first strip. Figure out where the match occurs and cut the paper, like the first piece, so that there is a two inch overlap the ceiling and to the floor or molding. Repeat the water box treatment and arrange the next piece of wallpaper on the wall.

There are several different seams that can be employed. Most commonly wallpaper will be hung using the "butted seam" for which most papers are designed. To do this, hang the second paper so that the two papers meet and there is a very slight buckle outward. The paper will shrink slightly as it dries and this buckle will make allowances for that. Wallpaper can also be overlapped by a standard distance. However, overlaps are not recommended for vinyl papers because the paper does not stick to itself without a special adhesive.

When the adhesive and paper has begun to dry (15 or 20 minutes) firm up the seam by pressing it down. On delicate papers use a sponge, but for most wallpapers you may run a roller up and down over the seam, pressing firmly.

Next Page: Wallpapering Around Corners

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