Wallpapering FAQs

I have just hung some wallpaper and on one of the walls it is full of bubbles. I’ve managed to overcome the problem by cutting the bubbles and forcing glue into the hollow. This seems to have worked but it is a little unsightly.

I’m sorry to hear about your problems with wallpapering. There are a few things that cause bubbles. One is that the paper was not thoroughly pasted before it was hung. Another, could be that the paste was not properly diluted .The paste packet has instructions about how to dilute the paste for different types of wallcovering – if you are not sure ask the staff in the store when you buy the paste or wallcovering or call the manufacturer. If the adhesive is not allowed to soak into the paper for sufficient time or indeed for too long, there is a chance that bubbles will form. Read the soak time recommended on the labels and try not to exceed it. The only other reason I can think of is that the wall was very porous, perhaps with new plaster or very old plaster. If this is the case, the wall needed a coat of size (wallpaper adhesive).

I hope one of these tips will prevent the occurrence of bubbling wallpaper.

I’m about to start wallpapering my living room. It’s the first time I’ve hung wallpaper and I’m a little worried about how I will get on. Where do you consider is the best place to start? I’ve read some books but they always say start at the window and this is a very complicated area, with lots of corners and joins.

The professionals say start at the light (that is the window) and work away from it. However, I would start on a very easy wall with as few obstacles as possible. After you’ve hung a few drops you will wonder why you were worried.

Start in the corner and mark the vertical line down which to hang the wallpaper. This needs to be about 20mm less than the width of the wallpaper away from the corner. So that when you hang the drop in the corner it overlaps around it by about 20mm. Now hang your first drop – following all the instructions you’ve read – so that it lines up with the line but is on the side of the vertical line away from the corner. Now hang all the drops that do not need a cut and then go back and do the corner drop – by then you should have a feel for what you are doing.

Despite having read a couple of books, I’m still not sure how to hang wallpaper around a corner. Can I overlap one bit onto the other or do I need to butt the joints?

If you are starting to hang wallcovering at a corner, allow it to go around the corner by about 20mm. This will compensate for any irregularity in the corner, but it does mean that the next drop of wall covering in the corner will have to overlap the first piece by a few millimetres. There are two problems here. One is that you will need to use an ‘overlap adhesive’ to stick one wallcovering on top of the other. The other is that it will be nearly impossible to get a perfect pattern match.

If you are working along the wall and come to a corner you could try to paper around the corner. However, unless the corner is vertical and uniform this will not be possible. The best way then is to cut the paper down its length so that it will overlap around the corner by about 20mm and then run the next drop into the corner so that it overlaps the first.

I find it very difficult to butt one section of wallpaper up to the next. Can I overlap one on top of the other?

I would not recommend it. One reason is that you will see the overlap, especially if the sunlight comes through the window and shines on the join or if the room lighting is slightly to one side of the overlap. Another reason is that the pattern match will not be perfect. If you do need to overlap then use an overlap adhesive to stick the joins.

I’m not sure why you have problems butting one drop to the next. I suspect that you have not got sufficient paste on the paper to allow it to slide up to the previous drop. Next time you hang wallpaper try adding a little size to the wall. This will allow the paper to slide on the wall.

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