We here at The House Painter in Albany have been removing wallpaper and practicing wall paper installation for quite some time. We know how to paper over a variety of different types of service and pay special attention to the preparation of the surface to be papered.
Preparing the walls for wall paper installation
There are many different ways to prepare for wallpaper installation. You can easily wallpaper over old wallpaper provided that it still adheres tightly, this can reduce wallpaper installation costs. If it is loose in spots, removal of the loose parts and sandpapering of the loose edges usually does the trick. If there is a large area loose or there are more then two layers of wallpaper to be removed it should all be removed. We also never hang vinyl wallpaper or coverings over old wallpaper it will pull the paper off when it dries.
Old wallpaper is usually removed most easily with steaming equipment. Sometimes, soaking the wallpaper with a sponged on solution of water ant wallpaper removal concentrate also works, however this usually takes more time and effort then using the steaming equipment. Once the wallpaper is loose it is removed with a scraper.
If the walls to be wallpapered are plaster they are first cured then coated with a commercial wall sizing. All nails and picture hangers are removed form the walls to be wallpapered. Then all hairline cracks are filled in. Larger cracks are filled in with a special patching material.
The House Painter in Albany knows that the usual place to put the first strip of Wallpaper is to the left or right of a doorway, next to a window, or at the end of a wall, working toward the longest unbroken wall area. With a large or very definite wallpaper design, however, it is usually desirable to create a center of interest over a fireplace or directly above a sofa. In such cases, we make the center of this area the start of the wallpaper work.
When cutting the wallpaper we make the strips of wallpaper four to six inches longer then the height of the room. We hold every piece of cut wallpaper to the wall to assure that it is the proper length and will give you a pleasing wallpaper pattern placement. Then we lay the cut piece pattern face up on the pasting table. Then, we cut a second piece of wallpaper to match the pattern of the first and again hold it up to the wall to check the length and pattern. We continue this process until we have enough wallpaper pieces to cover the entire wall.
There are two ways of joining the seams of hanging wallpaper, butt and overlap. The butt method of of wallpaper joining, in which the edges fit tightly up against each other with no overlap, is the one preferred by The House Painter In Albany, NY.
Walls and ceilings are often not exactly square and when applying wallpaper you need to make sure that the paper hangs straight. The way we like to accomplish this is to draw a plumb line. Simply, we hang a string with a weight on the end of it and tack the string to the top of the top of the wall to be covered in wallpaper so it is closer to the starting door or window than the width of of the wallpaper roll. Then we snap the string and are provided a vertical line on which to use as a guide to start our wallpaper project. This process is repeated on each wall as it is begun thus ensuring that each application of wallpaper is straight and true.
Each strip of wall paper is then wet one by one as needed. After the wallpaper is wet we place each strip high on the wall with about a two and a half inch overlap at the ceiling and line it up with the plumb line or previous piece. Then we stroke the wallpaper strip several times with a smoothing brush to hold the piece in place from top to bottom. When the entire piece is in place and aligned we smooth again from the top to the bottom brushing from the center to the edges to remove any air pockets. On corners, where the wallpaper has been hung for a while the seems are pressed tightly with a seam roller. The process continues in much the same manner until the whole room is covered in a new wallpaper.