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1. When wallcovering is being hung, why do the walls need to be prepped?
2. Why do the walls need to be primed?
3. Do you do your own work?
4. Why does the old wallcovering need to be removed?
5. How difficult is it to remove wallcovering?
6. I have pre-pasted wallcovering. Does it still require additional paste or activator?
7. What is a dye-lot number?
8. What is the difference between washable and scrubbable wallcoverings?
9. What is a random, straight, or drop match?
10. What are single and double rolls?
11.What is Strippable or Peelable wallcovering?

1. When wallcovering is being hung, why do the walls need to be prepped?

Any bumps or imperfections you feel or see should be repaired.  It's assumed that wallcovering will hide imperfections in the walls surface, but nail pops, paint runs, small bumps, dents, grit, etc. can sometimes show through the wallcovering, especially wide open patterns with light backgrounds such as white or beige.  A shiny surface wallcovering is more likely to telegraph flaws.  Roller marks or brush strokes in the paint surface may also show through some wallcoverings.

2. Why do the walls need to be primed?

Primer is used to seal the walls and create a structurally sound surface.  Hanging wallcovering over a flat latex paint can sometimes cause the paint to bubble or lift because of the moisture in the paste.  Also, as wallcovering dries, it exerts tension on the wall surface.  Glossy finish paints do not provide for good adhesion.  A premium primer will both seal and promote adhesion.

3. Do you do your own work?

Yes, I do all my own work.  I feel that this is a very important question.  A lot of my customers are not aware that the person that is giving them an estimate is not always the same person that will be performing the work.  In some instances, it might be an employee or subcontractor.

4. Why does the old wallcovering need to be removed?

It is usually preferred to remove the existing wallcovering. The moisture content in the paste, as the new wallcovering is drying, may bubble or lift the old wallcovering. In some cases where the wallcovering is very tightly secured and removing it could cause considerable damage to the wall surface, an alternative might be to remove any loose areas to spackle and repair any irregularities, and to use a primer sealer over the existing wallcovering.

5. How difficult is it to remove wallcovering?

Sometimes it can be relatively easy and other times very labor intensive.  The type of wallcovering material, the adhesive used to install the wallcovering, and prior wall preparation, are all factors in how easily the wallcovering will come off. For this reason, proper wall preparation is very important.  Using a good primer sealer will make removing the wallcovering easier in the future and will also promote adhesion for your new wallcovering.

6. I have pre-pasted wallcovering.  Does it still require additional paste or activator?

It is common practice with many good paperhangers to use a paste designed for pre-pasted wallcovering.  Using a water trough (sometimes referred to as the lick and stick method) is easier and quicker, and manufacturers, in their instructions, do show this method for installing pre-pasted wallcovering. However, I have found that the dry cellulose paste used with most pre-pasted wallcovering does not adhere well over time.  I have found this to be especially true with pre-pasted border that is being hung over wallcovering or glossy paint.  There is paste specifically designed for pre-pasted border.

7. What is a dye-lot number?

A dye-lot number is a combination of numbers, letters, or both to identify a batch of wallcovering that was printed at the same time.  Different dye-lots can produce a variation in color.  It is very important to purchase your wallcovering in the same dye-lot.

8. What is the difference between washable and scrubbable wallcoverings?

Washable describes a wallcovering that can be cleaned with mild soap and water using a sponge or soft cloth.  Scrubbable describes a wallcovering that is durable and can be cleaned with mild soap and water and withstand scrubbing.  It is still advised to first pick an inconspicuous area to be tested.

9. What is a random, straight, or drop match?

The match is where the design in the pattern at the seam aligns with the design in the adjacent strip of wallcovering.  An easier way to explain this is, if you have half of a bird's body at the seam of one strip of wallcovering, you need to match the other half of the bird's body in the second strip of wallcovering.  With a random match there is no pattern to match. This leads to very little waste.  With a straight across match, the location of the design is identical to the adjacent strip. It repeats horizontally from strip to strip.  With a drop match, the pattern design repeats diagonally.  The match point where the design meets, will be set higher or lower to the adjacent strip.

10. What are single and double rolls?

Residential wallcoverings is usually priced by the single roll, but are generally packaged in double rolls, which consist of two single rolls joined together to form one continuous piece. This way of packaging reduces waste.

11. What is Strippable or Peelable wallcovering?

Strippable or Peelable wallcovering is usually a paper backed vinyl designed for the top layer to be peeled off, exposing the paper backing.  A wallpaper removing solution and broad knife, can than be used to strip the paper backing from the wall.

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