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Article courtesy Wright


A large surface (table or flat door)
Stepladder/step stool
Razor blade holder or snap blade and scissors Plumb bob (or make your own with a string, tack and weight such as a scissors and chalk)
Smoothing brush to smooth paper
Wide metal puffy knife
Wallcovering seam roller
Wallcovering water tray (prepasted only)
Screwdriver for removing switch plates and outlet covers
Sponge, bucket and cleanup cloths
Drop cloth
Sandpaper and wallpaper sizing

Fill any holes or cracks with spackling compound. Let dry, sand, smooth and prime. Remove any previous wallpaper or vinyl wallcovering. Clean walls so they are free of foreign substances. Thoroughly cure new plaster walls and seam-tape and prime new drywall. Sand glossy walls until dull. All walls should be sized.

Establish a true vertical line from ceiling to floor before hanging the first strip. Start the project in an inconspicuous spot such as behind a door, in a corner or next to a window. At this spot, measure out the width of the wallcovering minus 1/2" and tack a plumb bob at the ceiling line (Figure A). When the plumb bob stops swaying, lightly mark the wall with a pencil about 2" above the baseboard. Hold string taut against the baseboard mark and give it a quick snap to mark a true vertical on the wall. Use the chalk line as a guide for positioning the first wallcovering strip, wrapping the strip into the corner and 1/2" onto the adjoining wall. Strike a new plumb line before you start each new wall.

Measure wall height in several spots. Take the highest number and add 4' for trimming at ceiling and baseboard. Cut each wallcovering strip this length after matching the pattern. If the wallcovering has a pronounced pattern, plan to have an entire motif below the final trimmed top edge for the most pleasing effect. Roll out the next strip alongside the first strip. Match patterns before cutting. Repeat with each strip before cutting.

Most wallcovering comes prepasted and is easily installed. Loosely re-roll strips pattern side in, adhesive side out. Start at the bottom of the strip so the top (which goes at the ceiling) is the outer flap (Figure B). Fill a wallcovering water tray with the rolls for timing. Lay a weighted object such as a screw driver inside the roll to keep it immersed. Change water often to prevent adhesive build-up on the wallcovering face.

Remove strip from water tray, unwinding it slowly, loosely fold the strip pasted sides together without creasing (Figure C). Follow the directions included in the rolls for adhesive setup time (Usually 3 minutes).

Roll out wallcovering strip, pattern side down. Apply adhesive to top half of strip with a wide brush or roller, working from end to center. Repeat this procedure with the bottom half. Follow adhesive instructions for setup time.

Unfold top half of strip and apply to the wall leaving a 2" overlap at the ceiling. Stroke the wallcovering with smoothing brush from the center toward the edges until all wrinkles and air bubbles are removed (Figure D). Unfold lower half and repeat smoothing procedure. If wrinkles occur, pull strip away from wall and rehang.

Trim strip at ceiling and baseboard with a razor or snap blade knife and putty knife. Hold the putty knife against the ceiling or trim and cut with the razor knife along the top of the putty knife (Figure E). Change knife blades often for best results. Reposition (do not drag) putty knife and slide blade along without lifting for a clean, even cut.

Fit strip edges together without any overlap or gap. Hang new strip of wallcovering the same way as the previous one, carefully matching patterns at seam. Use edge of previous strip as a vertical guide (Figure F).Allow wallcovering adhesive to set a minute, then if necessary roll the seam edges with a roller to ensure adhesion and a tight seam. Wipe excess glue from the wallcovering surface with a damp cloth or sponge as you go (Figure G).

For inside corners, measure from edge of last strip to corner (at ceiling, middle and baseboard). Add 1/2" to the widest measurement and cut the next strip to this width. Save the remainder. Hang the strip turning the corner 1/2" onto the adjoining wall. Establish a plumb line on the new wall for hanging the remaining part of the strip. Hang the remainder, overlapping the 1/2" from the previous strip into the corner. For outside corners, follow the same technique of measuring, cutting and wrapping inside corners. Slit excess at the ceiling and baseboard to smoothly make the turn around the corner. Strike a new plumb on the adjoining wall to hang remainder of the strip.

Hang a strip over the door or window from ceiling to the floor. Measure and cut excess with scissors. Cut diagonally at corner, fit, and smooth. Smooth the rest of the strip up to the edge of the molding. Finish by carefully cutting along the molding edge with snap blade or razor using a putty knife as the guide.

Make sure all electricity is turned off, then remove outlet cover, hang wallcovering and diagonally cut at the opening, then replace outlet cover.
For prepasted borders going over a painted surface, cut border the wall length plus 1/2". wet border. Accordion-fold loosely, paste to paste, avoiding creasing (Figure H). Apply to wall. Overlap at corners as indicated for full strips. To frame a window or doorway, butt or miter corners. To miter, overlap border at a 90 degree angle and cut from outside edge to inside edge at 45 degrees. Remove excess wallcovering and butt the 45 degree edges together to form a right angle of the border. When applying a border over wallcovering, use a vinyl-to-vinyl adhesive.

Preparation and and application are the same as for walls, with these differences: Cover ceilings first, then walls. Work crosswise rather than lengthwise, since shorter strips are easier to handle. Enlist the aid of a friend to help smooth strips onto the ceiling. Use a broom or mop to get the wallcovering up (Figure I). Once there, you can slide it into proper position and smooth with a wallcovering brush (Figure J).


  • Buy an extra roll of wallcovering to keep in case an area is ever damaged.
  • Unwanted bubbles are easily removed by cutting an "X" into the bubble and carefully lifting the edge. Apply paste and press back into place.
  • Note dye lot number, pattern number and collection name for future reference.
  • Do not use newspaper to cover your work table. Ink from paper may stain wallcovering.
  • Take along scraps of wallcovering to coordinate colors and patterns when shopping for other furnishings.

The Best Way to Remove Wallcoverings Article courtesy Wright


Score with PaperTiger tool by making circular movements progressing across or up and down the wall such that cuts approximately one inch apart are made in the wallcovering.   Removing old wallcoverings was once No. 1 on the do-it-yourselfer's Hate Parade. But DIF, the only wallpaper stripper based on patented enzyme action, the PaperTIger Wallcovering Scoring Tool and the Paper Scraper have simplified the job. How to proceed depends on what's on the wall. Uncoated wallpaper. Needs no scoring before applying DIF. Even multiple layers come off easily. Paper-backed vinyls, foils or mylars. Should delaminate as they are stripped, leaving paper backing on the wall. Use DIF to remove paper. Waterproof wallcoverings - coated (washable or scrubbable) wallpaper, painted wallpaper, flocks, suedes, many vinyls, toils, mylars that can t be pulled off wall. Check by spraying with water; if spray beads up and runs down the wall. wallcovering is waterproof. Score with PaperTiger. Then use DIF and Paper Scraper. Fabric-backed vinyls or other strippable wall-coverings. Usually can be pulled off a properly Sealed wall. DIF Can then be used to wash off residual paste. DIF can be applied by garden sprayer, sponge or thich-nap paint roller. For maximum control and minimum runoff application on with a standard garden sprayer is recommended   PaperTiger is easy to use. Just make circular movements across or up and down the wall to score the wallcovering. The PaperTiger allows penetration through the wall covering without damaging the wall itself. Other perforating devices use spikes which easily gouge drywall or plaster and cause unnecessary repairs to be made before proceeding with the wallcovering job. The PaperTiger follows the contour of the wall including hollow areas or textured wallcovering surfaces. The multi-directional PaperTiger cutter assembly self-aligns to both the wall and the direction of travel, thereby allowing the tool to be moved in any direction the user desires. Use Zinsser 5 Paper Scraper to peel paper off the wall Often the paper will come of in sheets.   Prepare DIF solution by mixing contents of 22 oz. bottle with 2 gallons hot tap water in ordinary garden sprayer. (From gallon size DIF measure 3 cups per 2 gallons.) If sprayer is not available, apply DIF water solution with a sponge from a bucket. Cover floor with newspapers or dropcloths. Protect carpeted areas with waterproof drop cloths. Saturate wall with solution, starting at the top and working down to the floor. Circle room. Allow 15 minutes for enzymes to attack paste. Reapply DIF, give it an additional 15 minutes to react, then start to strip paper Work a section at a time, first wetting it again. Use the Paper Scraper to peel paper off the wall. Lastly, use left-over solution to help wash last traces of paste off the walls. Rinse well with plain water. Allow walls to dry thoroughly before repaperng or painting. Dif wallpaper stripper is a uniquely effective companion to the PaperTiger and Paper Scraper that employs enzymatic breakdown of wallpaper paste to make wallcovering removal easy. This sets it apart from conventional wallcovering strippers based on wetting agents or steamers which merely rewet and soften wallpaper paste. Steamers are heavy, hot, dangerous and hard to use and only marginally effective. DIF is based on a new principle that goes beyond merely wetting paste. Its patented formula contains enzymes in addition to an effective blend of wetting agents. DlF's patented formula combines an effective blend of wetting agents and enzymes which penetrate the paper and quickly beak down the molecular structure of the paste. The paste is converted to a thin watery solution without adhesive properties. As a result, the bond between the wallcovering and the wall is easily broken and the paper comes off with little effort. The Paper Scraper is especially designed to aid in the removal of wallcovering and residual paste after DIF has been applied. Paper Scraper is faster and easier to use than traditional paint scrapers or putty knives. Just hold Paper Scraper against the wall and begin scraping. The scraper blade is fixed at the precise angle needed for the greatest scraping effectiveness and eliminates any chance of accidentally gouging the wall by twisting the blade. The Paper Scraper blade is also easily removable for cleaning or replacement. After your wallpaper has been removed. The first step in re-wallpapering or painting is proper wall preparation. Use Shieldz universal pre-wallcovering primer to prepare the stripped walls for either hanging new wallcovering or painting. Shieldz seals, primes and sizes in one step. No additional sizing is needed. Wallcovering is ready to hang in just 2 hours. Any wallcovering can be applied over Shieldz; Striippables * Peelables * Fabric-backed types * Foils and Mylars * Grasscloths * Silks * Other Textiles * Prepasted and non-prepasted wallpa- pers. Any adhesive will adhere to a Shieldz- coated surface.

Article courtesy Wright

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