Frequently Asked Wallpaper Questions


Remember with any do-it yourself project, the key is having fun, so take your time, read all the how-to information we have provided. If you follow all the steps carefully you will be instantly rewarded with dramatic and stunning results. 


Q

 

How important is it to prepare your walls before you wallpaper?

     

A

 

This is the most important step you will take to ensure that your project goes smoothly. All walls will need a little pre-hanging work done to ensure the proper adhesion of the wallcovering. Generally, walls should be smooth, clean and free of any debris. Wallcoverings will not adhere to dirt, soap or grease. Clean the walls with a mild household cleaner or ammonia and rinse with clean water. A wall sizing should be applied to the walls to allow slip of the wallcoverings to aid in the positioning to avoid stretching and to promote removal of the wallcovering at a later date. Remove switch plates, wall brackets and any other hardware before you start.

 

Q

 

Can I wallpaper over existing wallpaper?

     

A

 
  • This is not recommended. There are a number of issues that can occur if you wallpapered over existing wallpaper. 
  •             The new wallpaper may not stick
  •             You may have double seams showing
  •             The water from the new wallpaper will activate the paste of the old wallpaper and cause it to bubble or lift altogether 
  •             Pattern from the old wallpaper will show through the new wallpaper
  •             Not following proper wall preparation i.e. clean and primed.

  • Over stretching the paper in application. Using the right smoother and not applying too much pressure to the strip when applying will help to avoid this common mistake.


Always start with a clean wallpaper free wall. To remove wallpaper follow our simple easy to remove steps

 

Q

 

What is the difference between single rolls, double rolls and bolts? How does it affect how I order my wallpaper in terms of coverage and pricing?

     

A

 

A single roll with a width of 20.5" has 28 square feet of coverage, a double roll, which is also referred to as a bolt has 56 square feet of coverage. Wallpaper is not traditionally sold as a single roll, but can be priced that way. For example if the price reads "$19.99 a single roll" the total cost would be $39.98 for the bolt.

 

Q

 

What if I order too much, or what if I don't order enough?

     

A

 

It is a good idea to retain a left over roll for those future small repair jobs. As for returning unused portions, it depends on the retailer. Most will take back unopened rolls of in stock paper within 30 days of purchase, with the original receipt. In some instances Special Order wallpapers may not be returnable at all. If the retailer does take the rolls back, you will be subject to a restocking fee, again within 30 days and with the original receipt. To ensure that you buy exactly what you need, take accurate measurements of the wall or walls that you wish to paper. If you don't order enough, each bolt will come with a set of numbers and/or letters given to a particular batch of wallpaper rolls printed at the same time. Each time a new ink or different batch is printed, the dye lot number changes. It is important that all rolls have the same dye lot. If you did not order enough than you need to order the same dye lot number from the manufacturer.

 

Q

 

What is a plumb line, and how important is it?

     

A

 

For a professional looking hanging job you have to start with a straight line. Unfortunately, most walls are not perfectly straight, even in newer homes. Your plumb line helps you determine where "straight" is. A plumb line is a length of string is coated with chalk with a weight attached to the end. When the string is pulled taught and snapped, the chalk leaves a straight line on the wall indicating "straight".

 

Q

 

What is a pattern match and how does it affect how I hang my roll of wallpaper?

     

A

 

Most papers with the exception of some textures have a pattern repeat. The repeat is the vertical distance between one point on the pattern to the identical point vertically. This pattern repeat is an integral part of the design. The repeat can range anywhere from an inch - or even occasionally less - up to as much as the width of the wallpaper or more. If the wallpaper to be hung has a pattern, find out what type of pattern match it has. There are three major types of pattern matches: 

   1. Random Match - In this type of pattern, the pattern matches no matter how 
       adjoining strips are positioned. Stripes are the best examples of this type match. 
       It is generally recommended to reverse every other strip to minimize visual effects 
       such as shading or color variations from edge-to-edge. Note that any random match
       will produce less waste since there is no repeat distance to take into account.

   2. Straight Across Match - This match has design elements, which match on adjoining 
       strips. Every strip will be the same at the ceiling line.

   3. Drop Match This match has several different types:

       Half-Drop Match - Every other strip is the same at the ceiling line and the design
       elements run diagonally. It takes three strips to repeat the vertical design. If you
       numbered the strips consecutively, the odd numbered strips (1, 3, 5 and so on) 
       would be identical and the even numbered strips (2, 4, 6, and so on) would match 
       one another. (Note that a drop match is simply a straight match split in half.) Be 
       sure to lightly number (in pencil) on the back of each strip the order in which they
       are to be hung to avoid confusion.

       Multiple drop Match - a match that takes four or more strips before the vertical 
       design is repeated. Similar to drop match except it takes more strips to repeat 
       the first strip.

*content from Wallpaper Association (WA)

 

Q

 

What is "Booking"?

     

A

 

Booking is the process in which the wallpaper paste is activated. It refers to the process of folding (without creasing) wallpaper that has been run through a water tray filled with warm water. Once the paper is wet, you then gently fold the ends towards the middle of the pasted side and set aside to "relax". During the relaxing period the paste activates, and allows the paper to expand then contract back into shape for a seamless application. This step is an important part of the hanging process. You want the wallcovering to relax before you apply it to the wall to prevent shrinkage and split seams. 
*Always pay close attention to the directions on the manufacturer label.

 

Q

 

When my wallpaper is considered dry?

     

A

 

If your wallpaper is in a cool dry climate, it should dry overnight. This question however varies, based on multiple factors including the type of wallcovering and the humidity conditions (weather). For example, solid vinyl wallcoverings can take up to a week to dry. Humid conditions could prolong the drying time. If you are wallpapering your bathroom leave the fan on and the door open overnight. Also if you can avoid showering for a day it is recommended; as steamy situations are not ideal for dry time. The key thing to remember when waiting for your wallpaper to dry is that wet wallpaper rips easier, so avoid any contact till you are 100 percent sure it is dry.

 

Q

 

How do you avoid shrinking wallpaper seams?

     

A

 

There are unfortunately many reasons for this issue; thankfully, most are easily avoidable. Here are some common mistakes to avoid. 
Not allowing the paper to relax after "booking" according to the manufacturer's designated time. If you rush this phase you may see the seams split.