Wallcover care and cleaning

Follow these steps when cleaning washable wall coverings:

Start from the bottom of the wall and work up.
Gently sponge with a mild detergent in warm water.
Rinse thoroughly with clean warm water, using a sponge.
Do not use abrasive cleaners.
Always wipe with the seams (usually up and down)
Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
For wallpaper that is not washable or delicate, you should clean your wallpaper with a dry cleaning sponge or a dry cleaning eraser. Grasscloths and textiles may be vacuumed with a clean vacuum cleaner brush.
Specific cleaning instructions, including durability and stain-resistance are included on every roll of wall covering and should always be read and understood.

Wallcovering Preparation

There are two reasons to prepare your walls before installing wallcovering. It ensures that your wallpaper will adhere correctly to the wall and it aide’s future removal. As wallpaper dries, normally over a 24 to 48 hour period, there is a significant amount of pull as the paper contracts. If the wallpaper has not formed a good bond, it will pull away from the wall. Additionally, when the paper is later removed, it may damage the covering of the underlying surface. Proper preparation will ensure the best results from your wallcovering.

Surface Repair

The first step is to repair any defects in the wall surface. With drywall, any dents, nail holes, or surface imperfections should be filled with spackling or drywall patching compound. After the proper drying time for the particular compound you are using, the repaired areas should be sanded to leave a smooth and level surface. With plaster walls, any defects should be filled with a joint compound. As the filler dries, it draws together slightly and when dry you should go over the area again until smooth. Larger defects have to be reinforced with joint tape. The crack should be scraped clean and moistened with water. Fill the crack with filler and place the joint tape (very thin fiberglass tape) over the crack in a vertical direction. Now, go over the tape with a thin layer of filler and carefully smooth the filler using the spatula. When the area is dry, you can carefully smooth it with sandpaper.

Once your walls have been repaired they should be cleaned of any sanding residue, grease or obvious stains. Stains may be spot treated with stain killing primer as necessary. Any moldy areas must be treated with a mold remediation solution prior to application of any stain killing primer. Especially difficult stains may require the use of oil-based primers. It is normally recommended to cover these treated areas with an acrylic primer. With the exception of primers that specifically call for sanding of any gloss finish, you are ready for priming.

Preparation for Wallpaper

Experienced wallpaper installers have used different products with outstanding results other than those listed. These guidelines were developed as a starting point for do-it-yourself homeowners and are considered the best guess as to what type of product will suit your needs. This information is based on subjective, collective information from several wallcovering professionals and may not suit your particular application. It is imperative that you fully understand all safety precautions when dealing with these products and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions completely. Follow any instructions from the wallpaper and adhesive manufacturer as to what type of surface preparations are needed for effective bonding.

Any surface you wish to install wallpaper over should be primed with a good quality acrylic primer made specifically for wallpaper.

Wallcovering Stripping

The materials and techniques discussed, work on most types of wallpaper. Certain wallpapers require specialized techniques and may require the services of a wallcovering removal specialist.

Start by stripping the outer face off of the wallpaper. This can be a vinyl coating or just a dense layer of paper. This should leave only the backing material and glue. Prepare a wallpaper stripping solution consisting of water and a little dishwashing detergent. Wallpaper stripping solution should be sponged on the backing material and allowed to soak (re-wetting as necessary) for at least 10 minutes. An inexpensive garden-type sprayer will speed up the soaking process. Attempt to remove the backing material with a wallpaper scraping tool or any flat-bladed tool such as a wide putty knife. If this fails, re-wet the backing and allow to soaks longer. The more you soak, the easier the job.

If the above stripping solution is not working well enough, you may also try a solution of 2-parts water to 1-part white vinegar and use the same technique. This stripping solution is only effective against wallpaper installed using wheat or starch based wallpaper adhesives. If the adhesive is unknown, there are many readymade wallpaper removals that will aid in your removal. If you plan on painting the area you just stripped, you must remove all glue behind the backing. To tell if there is still glue remaining, wet the wall and feel it. Any slick areas will show were glue remains on the surface. To remove any remaining paste, mix 2 tablespoons of liquid fabric softener into a gallon of water and scrub. Carefully rinse the entire wall surface to remove all traces of remaining paste or wallpaper stripper before you paint.

If your vinyl/dense paper facing does not want to peel off the backing, you may try to dry peel it off the wall. This may or may not cause wall damage. You can also obtain a wallpaper scoring tool, such as the Paper Tiger, to score the paper and perform the above steps for removal. Paper scoring tools can damage the drywall underneath the wallpaper but are gentler on plaster walls. Read the directions on the package for complete instructions, but a good rule of thumb is to let the tool do the work. Additional lateral pressure will cause undue damage to the wall surface. An alternate method is to use a razor to score a series of Xs into the wallpaper surface. This requires a careful touch as to not damage the underlying wall surface. In some cases, the scoring and soaking steps will promote or enhance the stripping of the facing material. After this step, attempt to remove the facing material again. If you are still having trouble, you will have to perform repetitive score, soak and strip steps to remove your wallpaper. Remember that soaking and patience is your best friend when stripping.

Wallpaper and border care and cleaning tips

Follow these steps when cleaning washable wall coverings:

Start from the bottom of the wall and work up.
Gently sponge with a mild detergent in warm water.
Rinse thoroughly with clean warm water, using a sponge.
Do not use abrasive cleaners.
Always wipe with the seams (usually up and down)
Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
For wallpaper that is not washable or delicate, you should clean your wallpaper with a dry cleaning sponge or a dry cleaning eraser. Grasscloths and textiles may be vacuumed with a clean vacuum cleaner brush.
Specific cleaning instructions, including durability and stain-resistance are included on every roll of wall covering and should always be read and understood.

Wallcovering Stripping

Wallcovering Stripping

The materials and techniques discussed, work on most types of wallpaper. Certain wallpapers require specialized techniques and may require the services of a wallcovering removal specialist.

Start by stripping the outer face off of the wallpaper. This can be a vinyl coating or just a dense layer of paper. This should leave only the backing material and glue. Prepare a wallpaper stripping solution consisting of water and a little dishwashing detergent. Wallpaper stripping solution should be sponged on the backing material and allowed to soak (re-wetting as necessary) for at least 10 minutes. An inexpensive garden-type sprayer will speed up the soaking process. Attempt to remove the backing material with a wallpaper scraping tool or any flat-bladed tool such as a wide putty knife. If this fails, re-wet the backing and allow to soaks longer. The more you soak, the easier the job.

If the above stripping solution is not working well enough, you may also try a solution of 2-parts water to 1-part white vinegar and use the same technique. This stripping solution is only effective against wallpaper installed using wheat or starch based wallpaper adhesives. If the adhesive is unknown, there are many readymade wallpaper removals that will aid in your removal. If you plan on painting the area you just stripped, you must remove all glue behind the backing. To tell if there is still glue remaining, wet the wall and feel it. Any slick areas will show were glue remains on the surface. To remove any remaining paste, mix 2 tablespoons of liquid fabric softener into a gallon of water and scrub. Carefully rinse the entire wall surface to remove all traces of remaining paste or wallpaper stripper before you paint.

If your vinyl/dense paper facing does not want to peel off the backing, you may try to dry peel it off the wall. This may or may not cause wall damage. You can also obtain a wallpaper scoring tool, such as the Paper Tiger, to score the paper and perform the above steps for removal. Paper scoring tools can damage the drywall underneath the wallpaper but are gentler on plaster walls. Read the directions on the package for complete instructions, but a good rule of thumb is to let the tool do the work. Additional lateral pressure will cause undue damage to the wall surface. An alternate method is to use a razor to score a series of Xs into the wallpaper surface. This requires a careful touch as to not damage the underlying wall surface. In some cases, the scoring and soaking steps will promote or enhance the stripping of the facing material. After this step, attempt to remove the facing material again. If you are still having trouble, you will have to perform repetitive score, soak and strip steps to remove your wallpaper. Remember that soaking and patience is your best friend when stripping.

It’s that time of year again

Summer is over (even if not officially) and the kids are back in school.  The house is quiet throughout the day and it’s time to start thinking about working on the inside of the house. It’s a great time to start picking out wallpaper schemes for your home.

Here’s just a few tips:
1. Order all supplies before picking your remodel date, this helps to ensure that you will not run into issues if the patterns you have selected are on backorder.  I always suggest to order more just in case (had a woman tear over a foot of border once ahhhh! and she had to pay for a full roll and only need 1 foot of it).

2.  If you’re painting and wallpapering make sure to bring in color swatches of your paint or samples of your wallpaper/border to make sure you color schemes match.

3.  Make sure you have all of your extra tools on hand.

4.  Clean the walls with just warm water (assuming you’re not having to strip old wallpaper or border, that’s another post entirely).

5.  Pick a few days or a weekend where you will not have any other big responsibilities, where there will not be a lot of traffic in and out of the room or rooms you are remodeling that way you can focus on the wallpaper/border.

6.  Have fun!!!  And don’t forget to email us pictures once you’re done!

Why Wallpaper part III

Increased Functionality

Consider the use of the following specialized wallcoverings:

Whiteboard wallcovering: Allows the use of special dry erase markers for presentations or notes. Though predominately used in commercial settings, this type of wallcovering would also be excellently suited for a child’s room.
Magnetic wallcovering: Allows the use of magnetic appliqués for presentations. Though predominately used in commercial settings, this type of wallcovering would also be excellently suited for a child’s room.
Electromagnetic shielding wallcovering: Used in commercial applications to reduce the amount of electromagnetic interference associated with many industrial applications such as computer rooms.
Scented wallpaper: A wallpaper comprised of fibers that naturally give off a soothing fragrance such as lavender or jasmine. Deodorizing wallpaper: Wallpaper infused with charcoal particles which act as a natural deodorizer.
Acoustic wallcovering: Though traditionally associated with commercial applications, these are more commonly utilized in homes with expensive surround sound systems or home theaters. These wallcoverings are specifically engineered to absorb sound energy.
Glow in the dark wallcovering: Create a funky black light environment with fluorescent wallpaper.
Cork wallcovering: Useful as either a bulletin board, a natural sound deadening material, a natural wallcovering, a textured wallcovering, or a combination of its many functions.
Metallic or organic wallcovering: Imagine the impact of real copper or mica flakes as a wallcovering.
Leather wallcovering: Consider the unparalleled warmness that only be obtained with a leather wallcovering.

Why Wallpaper part II

Aesthetic Appeal

Modern wallcoverings contain aesthetic appeal unmatched by painted surfaces. Consider painted surfaces in their various states as compared to wallpaper:

Flat Color: One room, one color.
Accent Wall: One room, one color except for one uniquely colored wall.
Textured Paint: Paint containing a media to give it texture.
Custom Paint: Mural designs using paint.
Faux Finishes: Custom paint designs that add pattern and depth.
While most people are familiar with these major painting techniques, many are uninformed as to their counterparts in wallpaper. As well, few know of the unique features that one can only obtain with wallpaper.

Flat Color: Though not particularly popular, there are single color wallpapers available.
Accent Wall: Can be achieved by utilizing wallpaper on one wall.
Textured Paint: There are many varieties of textured wallpaper from plain to ornate.
Custom Paint: Wallpaper manufacturers have a wide variety of mural wallpaper.
Faux Finishes: Most popular faux finishes have their wallpaper counterparts.
Historic Aspect: Imagine a Victorian style house without wallpaper.
Digital: Computer generated designs custom printed onto wallpaper.
Photographic: Consider creating custom wallpaper using family photos.
Bridging Material: Using this special blank wallpaper, one can eliminate the costly and messy removal and repair of an unattractive textured or damaged wall surface.
Faux Surface: Applying an expanded texture wallpaper followed by paint is a way to replicate the look of an expensive tin ceiling or intricate molding with a greatly reduced cost.
Natural Surface: Discover the luxury of natural fibers on the wall such as jute, grasscloth, or bamboo among others.
Fabric Walls: Cover your walls with your favorite fabric. Fabric may be hung as it comes off the bolt or backed and coated for increased durability as a true wallcovering.
Wood Surfaces: The application of wood veneer wallcovering in a variety of species adds formality at a fraction of the cost of a traditional wood paneling.

Why Wallpaper part I

Paint vs. Wallpaper
Cost Analysis by Canada Wallcoverings Corp.

While few people would debate the aesthetic excellence of wallcoverings over paint, some might be surprised to learn that, over time, vinyl wallcoverings are also a wise economical choice. According to the latest Hite Report, developed for The Bell Systems by Jim Hite, lifecycle analysis shows that wallcoverings now last five times longer than paint, under normal usage conditions. Most vinyl wallcoverings can retain their original beauty and performance characteristics for at least 15 years, whereas a painted surface must be cleaned more frequently to maintain its appearance, and generally requires repainting approximately every three years.

While the initial investment is higher, choosing vinyl wallcovering over paint can result in a savings of 30% or more over time. The following model is based on commercial usage. In home decor, the savings can be even greater. Our model is in United States Dollars and based on information from the Hite Report. The model is a 384 square foot office. Assuming that the initial cost to prime and paint is $173.00 (or $0.45 per sq. ft.), and that the room will be repainted every 3 years, the cost of maintaining this office over a 15 year period, with paint, will be $1,037.00, provided the cost of material and labor does not increase over the next 15 years. Using vinyl wallcoverings estimated at $1.69 per square foot including cost and installation, we assume a worker will wash the walls every 5 years at a cost of $0.33 per sq. ft., bringing the cost to $1.79 per sq. ft. over a 15 year period to $687.00. In dollar values, the cost of maintaining paint versus wallcoverings is $1,037.00 versus $687.00 over the same period of time. A savings of over 35%!

Wallpaper Care and Cleaning

Follow these steps when cleaning washable wall coverings:

1. Specific cleaning instructions, including durability and stain-resistance are included on every roll of wall covering and should always be read and understood.
2. Start from the bottom of the wall and work up.
3. Gently sponge with a mild detergent in warm water.
4. Rinse thoroughly with clean warm water, using a sponge.
5. Do not use abrasive cleaners.
6. Always wipe with the seams (usually up and down)
7. Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
8. For wallpaper that is not washable or delicate, you should clean your wallpaper with a dry cleaning sponge or a dry cleaning eraser. Grasscloths and textiles may be vacuumed with a clean vacuum cleaner brush.