THE Cleveland Source for Wallpaper Wall Preparation Materials.
U.S.Wallcovering’s 108 year history has prepared us to act as your wallpaper installation experts. Our presence in the Cleveland area has also provided us with information about the building materials and weather conditions common to the region both of which can impact your wallpaper installation project.
In other sections of the website we address different aspects of wallpaper installation but it all starts with proper conditioning of the wall surface. How to properly condition a wall depends on the answer to two questions: Is there paper on the wall currently and if so how was the wall prepared previously and if there is not paper on the wall, what is the status of the current wall.
Wall Currently Has No Wallpaper
If there is not wallpaper currently on the wall you will want to prepare the wall with a good Primer. If the wall has previously been primed but it has been necessary to patch the wall in just a few areas to smooth out imperfections, you will want to prime over the patched areas. Note: If the wall is white and the patch is white it is just necessary to prime the patch, but if the wall is a different color from the patch, it is suggested that you prime the entire wall with a block-out primer in order to prevent color bleed through when you apply the wallpaper.
If the wall has a textured or stucco-type finish as is the case in many newer homes or the wall is not in good condition and would require more than just minimal patching, you will want to create a smooth surface to ensure the best wallpaper installation technique. The easiest way to achieve a perfectly smooth wall finish if one does not already exist, is to Prime the wall, install Wall Liner and then Prime the wall liner, creating a brand new wall.
Wall Currently Has Wallpaper
If there is already wallpaper on the wall it is necessary to test the condition of the underlying wall surface. It is very easy to do this.
Wall Test: Make 2 score-lines (don’t actually cut all the way to the wall) 12-inches apart, wet the wallpaper surface, let it sit for a few minutes and then try to peel the wallpaper layer away from the wall. One of four results will occur.
1. The wallpaper will be strippable and whole sheets will come off.
2. The wallpaper will be peel-able and the top layer will come off in big pieces.
3. The wallpaper will come off in little pieces at a time.
4. The wallpaper does not come off easily and the dry wall turns into mush when water is applied. If this occurs stop the test, patch test area over with spackle compound and Prime the wall with an oil-based or acrylic Primer.
The process for dealing with conditions 1. 2. and 3. is the same with the only difference being that 3. calls for use of a special tool called a Paper Tiger or Piranha which opens up the pores of the paper and facilitates action by the follow-up liquid.
Wallpaper Removal Technique. As easy as 1-2-3
1- Cover floors with drop cloths or plastic. Put liquid on the walls with a sponge or garden-sprayer. The sprayer is recommended because it covers the largest area. The liquid can be plain water or water mixed with wetting agents such as fabric softener, dishwasher liquid or white vinegar. It is recommended that a wetting agent be used to keep water moist longer and to inhibit evaporation. Apply the liquid. Five minutes later apply it again. Five minutes later apply it a third time. Let the liquid do the work for you. We are forcing you to be patient.
2- Apply the liquid to three strips at a time and then re-wet them several times as you develop a system for removal. Use a wide blade putty knife to remove the wallpaper.
3- Wash the wall th0roughly with warm water and then apply one final coat of water mixed with a little bit of clorox to inhibit spore development.
After all the wallpaper is removed and the wall is washed you are ready to prepare it for the new wallpaper. It is not necessary to Prime the wall again if it was properly primed before the first layer of wallpaper was applied. But, if you have any doubt as to the condition of the wall it is best to apply a Primer coat to make future wallpaper removal go smoothly.
There are three types of Primer: Oil-based, Acrylic and Alcohol-based. Refer to the section on Primers for more detailed information. If applying Acrylic Primer it is possible to Prime the wall after two hours. If using an Alcohol-based or Oil-based Primer it is best to allow the wall to dry 12 hours between final wash down and application of Primer.
Seam and Repair Adhesives
If you have an edge or a seam that needs to be repaired, Seam and Repair Adhesive is suited for small scale fix-ups. The best way to apply this product is to take a warm washcloth and warm up the curled seam to get elasticity and flexibility into the paper and then apply the adhesive to the seam.
Border Application on Bare Walls or Over Wallcovering
Basic Process: Re-roll Border so it is pattern against pattern. If the Border is pre-pasted, place in a bucket of warm water and immediately start taking it out 2 feet at a time and accordion-fold it paste against paste. Let it relax for five minutes. If the Border is not pre-pasted, apply a vinyl adhesive and accordion-fold the Border paste against paste and let it relax for five minutes.
Border On Flat-Painted Walls. After five minutes apply directly to the wall.
Border On Semi-Gloss or Gloss Painted Walls. Instead of dipping in water, apply Border over Paste Adhesive directly to the Border with a roller, apply accordion-fold and let is rest five minutes before applying to the wall.
Border On Wallcovering. Prepare Border described in the basic process above. Use Vinyl Over Vinyl Adhesive on the wall. Apply in a thin bead on the wallcovering and using your hand to rub it over the area. Wash hands and put border over adhesive. Wash off excess paste with water. If Vinyl Over Vinyl dries, use a sponge with warm water to clean it off.
If you have any questions please contact us at 440-777-9797. We will gladly arrange for a phone consultation or a one-on-one tutorial in our showroom.