Reblog–Before you purchase your wallpaper and/or border

What should you be thinking about before you buy wallpaper?

I can’t tell you how many times people have purchased wallpaper and/or border and became upset because their order did not make to them fast enough because instead of ordering all of their supplies first then set a date they set the date then ordered supplies. Because of different things that can happen such as; your desired pattern being on back order, you getting a product then realizing you do not like it once it arrives, your product becomes lost in the mail, etc. you should always order supplies and products first and when you get your product and know that you love the product and it will be the perfect fit for your remodel and have all of your supplies only then should you should pick the remodel date.
Other very important things to consider are:

How good are the walls? If the walls are perfect, a flat finish wallpaper will work or a silk/shimmer effect. If the walls are less than perfect, look for a paper with an embossed or expanded surface texture. For areas that have a lot of use (e.g. hallways), a very plain finish will show marks. A textured or patterned surface is a little more forgiving.
Do you want the same wallcovering throughout the whole house or personalize the rooms? Borders are one way to add personality while maintaining continuity.

How much light do you get in the room? Remember, light colors reflect light and dark colors absorb light. Don’t be frightened of stronger colors as they can be very expressive and add “depth” to a room. Colors affect your mood so think about the mood you want to create. For example, “Greens” are restful, “Reds” are stimulating, “Yellows” are happy and “Blues” are cooling. Think about your own color preferences or pallet – the colors you select for your clothes. Do you want your home to be tranquil and peaceful, or exciting and vibrant? Whatever the mood, it should be a reflection of your personality. Have fun with wallpaper!

Hottest trends

One of the hottest trends (in my opinion) right now with wallpaper is black (or gray) on white wallcoverings. Just check out our picture below. This is the living room of Once Upon A Time’s mayor. They chose to feature birch tree forest (white and gray) with lots of black furniture and mixed black and white on the floor. We carry the birch tree wallcovering through two manufacturers. Let me know what you think. Post your own favorite room sets! Hope everyone is having a great week!

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Fall has arrived!

What are some of your favorite fall things to do?

I know for me I love baking, I bake so much this time of year, pumpkin rolls, red velvet rolls, cookies, candy, everything! It’s a great time of year to wrap up with your kids on the couch (when you’re not running crazy to sports), drink some hot cider and just relax with a good scary movie or two.

It’s also a time of year I start looking at the inside of my house and what needs to be done. Right now I’m really wanting to pick up some of this football field wallpaper and die cut football border and put it in my 10 year old son’s room. Then get some super cute sunflower border and put it in my kitchen. I think I could redo my home every year with new border and wallpaper. Be sure to check out the rest of our blog posts and our web site to see what I’m talking about! Hope everyone is enjoying this cooler weather! 🙂 Happy fall y’all!

How to Hire a Wallcovering Installer

Find a Local Installer

First, you’ll want to hire an installer with a reputation for excellent work. There are a number of ways to check for this information:

Use recommendations from friends or neighbors – get references and check them. If possible, go look at finished work.
Check the Better Business Bureau ratings for wallcovering installers in your area.
Look for a member of the Wallcovering Installers Association. Members of this association must be craftsmen and women who professionally install wallcoverings.

Second, solicit two or three bids for the work you need done. Do not blindly accept the lowest bid. Ask why a bid is as low or high as it is. A higher fee may be worth the extra services or better quality product provided. Make sure you understand precisely what the installer will do and what materials are necessary to complete your project successfully. In comparing prices, be sure you are comparing the same services to be provided.

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!