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Wallpaper Repair

The real key to repairing wallpaper is to have saved some scraps from your initial wallpaper project. If this has not been done, sometimes you can scavenge a piece of wallpaper from an area that is inconspicuous.

To replace a damaged piece of wallpaper, the easiest and most effective method is the double-cut method. Very simply, match a scrap piece of wallpaper to the pattern over the area to be repaired. Tape it to the wall with masking tape and then with a straight-edge of some kind as a guide, using a utility knife cut out a square area around the damaged part of the paper (make sure also to cut the paper underneath). Remove the masked portion and your new cut patch. With a putty knife remove the square area of the damaged paper where your cut was made. Place the patch in the bared area. The patch should exactly fit - size and pattern. Put adhesive on the patch, press it down lightly with a damp sponge. Press more firmly a few minutes later. You may also roll the patch at the edges.

Large bubbles in the paper can be repaired by a judicious use of a utility knife and a bit of adhesive. Cut the paper at the bubble using a straight-edge and a utility knife. First cut vertically, then horizontally. Moisten the paper at the bubble with a damp sponge. Put adhesive on the back of the paper. Press down lightly with your sponge. When the flaps are pressed down, there will be some overlap. This should disappear as the paper dries.

Vinyl wallpaper can be washed with a sponge and a light soap. (Do not use heavy detergents or soaps made for wood floors - some solvents will corrode the paper.) Unlike many cleaning and painting jobs, you will want to start at the bottom of the paper. This will prevent streaks from damaging the paper. Some cleaners are made specifically for wallpaper, but some will actually change the appearance of the paper; so if you decide to employ them, test them on an inconspicuous spot before you begin (to be sure that you will be happy with the results).

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