House Wallpaper Preparation

A tremendous variety of beautiful house  wallpaper  is now available in stores across the country. If you’re in the midst of a remodeling project you’ve probably been accumulating swatches and samples. Here is the procedure for papering once you’ve selected a pattern.

As your first step, size the wall. Buy ready prepared sizings of house  wallpaper  at your local paint store. It usually comes as a powder and 1 lb. of the stuff will do an average room. Following the instructions on the label, mix the sizing with water to form a thin liquid. Apply the material to the wall with a large sponge. It’s not necessary to get fancy with this stage of the operation. Just get the sizing on the wall. Start at the top and work down.

When you buy your house  wallpaper , pick up an inexpensive kit of the special tools needed for the job. Admittedly these will be on the cheap and shoddy side but they will do the work without costing you more than two or three dollars. Included in the flimsy cardboard box will be a paste brush and a long, flat smoothing brush, a plumb bob, a roller knife and probably a few other odds and ends.

Measure the wall area of the room. Also measure and count windows, doors, etc. Dump all this information into the lap of the guy behind the counter. Let him figure out approximately how many rolls of house  wallpaper  you need. If at all possible select a paper that is in open stock.

Should the storekeeper goof in his calculations you’ll still be able to pick up an additional roll of house  wallpaper  or two. If the rolls are not ready trimmed, have the store do this job for you. They have a special machine that cuts off the waste selvage edge in a matter of seconds. Otherwise you’ll have to do this job with a straightedge and a razor blade. It’s a miserable, time consuming process.

Buy ready-mixed house  wallpaper  paste. (It’s ready-mixed except that it has to be mixed with water.) There’s a method to getting it ready to use. The whole trick is to add paste to water, sifting it through your fingers while you mush it around with a wire pastry whisk. The paste should have the consistency of condensed milk. If you run into any trouble with lumps forming in the adhesive, allow it to sit overnight. A little fast work with the wire whisk will then make the mixture creamy smooth.

To start house  wallpaper  papering, measure the distance between the wall and ceiling and tear off some strips of paper about 8 in. longer. No need to cut the paper precisely, just hold a straightedge in place and tear. If you’re using a paper that has no pattern, all the strips can be torn one right after the other from the same roll.

If the house  wallpaper  does have a pattern, tear the first strip from one roll. Unroll a section from the second roll, adjust the pattern to match and tear off a strip. From here on you can just tear strips from alternate rolls and they will match. Stack the strips one on top of the other and, if necessary, scrape them over a table edge to remove the curl.

Spread a batch of newspapers on the large table that will be your pasting surface. Place the first strip face down on the newspapers. Brush paste onto two thirds of the strip. Always apply adhesive working from the center of the strip toward the two edges. This keeps the paste from oozing under the edges of the  wallpaper . Fold this section in two, paste to paste, but don’t press the crease down. Finish applying paste to the rest of the strip and fold this closed, paste to paste. You are now ready to apply the house  wallpaper .