Wallpapering 1 - Introduction Wallpapering 1 - Introduction

This section has been designed to assist you in doing your own wallpapering. These are rather simple projects, and by following the advice presented here you will find it to be enjoyable and effective as well. You'll learn how to prepare a wall, estimate materials, and use your tools correctly. Pay particular attention to the section on wall preparation and repair. It will guide you through this most neglected step for a final result that is more attractive and longer lasting.


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Wallpapering does not demand a lot of you physically. The toughest part is papering the ceiling. Mentally, as well, it is rather simple, except for planning your paper application. The key thing is proper prep. You may want to take shortcuts here. Don 't.

Always understand, develop, and adhere to proper safety practices for each project. For both painting and wallpapering, these include:

Make sure you can afford your project. We recommend a Home Improvement Loan.

  1. Always use the appropriate tool for the job.
  2. Keep blades sharp. A dull blade requires excessive force and can slip.
  3. Safety goggles or glasses should be worn when using power tools, especially if you wear contacts.
  4. Always unplug your power tools when making adjustments or changing attachments.
  5. Be sure your tools are properly grounded.
  6. Watch power cord placement so that it does not interfere with the operation of the tool
  7. The proper respirator or face mask should be used when sanding or working with chemicals.
  8. Wear ear protection when operating power tools, because some operate at a noise level that can damage hearing.
  9. Be careful of loose hair and clothing so that they don't get caught in power tools
  10. Wipe up spills immediately.
  11. Don't smoke or allow open flames, such as a pilot light, around solvents or solvent-based paints.
  12. Dispose of rags carefully to avoid spontaneous combustion.
  13. When using a stepladder, have both pairs of legs fully open and the spread bars locked in place. Never climb higher than the second step from the top. When bracing a ladder against the wall, a safe distance between the feet and the wall is one quarter the height of the ladder. Don't use an aluminum ladder when working near electrical wires.

Useful Terms

  • Booking the wallpaper. Loosely folding presoaked wallpaper pasted side to pasted side to allow a few minutes for curing (or expansion and contraction of the material and absorption of the adhesive) before applying to the wall.
  • Cutting in. Using a 3" or 4" brush to paint corners and edges where wall meets wall and wall meets ceiling and next to the trim. These places cannot be covered by a roller.
  • Feathering. A series of light strokes with brush or roller, lifting the applicator lightly at the end of the stroke to blend in the paint.
  • Sash brush. A 1 1/2" angled brush made for detail painting of windows and narrow trim pieces.
  • Sizing. A liquid to be painted on the wall prior to papering. Sizing dries to a tacky feel, assuring proper adhesion of wallpaper and allows for easy removal of wallpaper at some future time.
  • Trim brush. A 2" brush for painting door trim and other wide moldings.
  • TSP. Tri-sodium phosphate, an industrial cleaner.
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