Wallpaper can add variety to any decorating job. With the abundance of wallpapers available, a decorator can bring in a touch of elegance, a wild pattern or calming tones to the decor The kind of wallpaper paste used in every job is just as important as the covering itself. Though many wallpaper brands come pre-pasted, it is highly recommended that additional paste be used to achieve the best results.
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Wallpaper paste made of cellulose is ideal for lightweight wallpapers such as silk and grass cloth. It usually comes as a white granular powder packaged in a box. When mixed with cold water, the solution can be applied to the back of the wallpaper and hung within 10 minutes of mixing. Once the most common type of wallpaper paste, wheat paste also comes in a white or off-white colour and turns pasty when mixed with lukewarm water. Wheat paste is not recommended for use with vinyl wallpaper but works best on porous papers and silk.
Pre-mixed wallpaper paste comes in clear and clay versions. The clay paste is primarily used for commercial wallpaper that requires a strong adhesion. It comes in a range of colours in one to five-gallon tubs. Clay paste works best on foils and heavy hand-painted wallpaper. Clear vinyl wallpaper paste is the most commonly used and works well on plain drywall. It is strippable and easy to remove. It works well for all kinds of vinyl wallpaper.
Wallpaper paste that is used for hanging wallpaper on top of existing vinyl paper is called "over-vinyl." Roman Decorating Products has a trademark on "vinyl over vinyl," the term often used for the heavy commercial wallpaper paste. Paste used to hang wallpaper over vinyl covering is extremely tacky and best reserved for commercial applications and for hard to hold surfaces.
Since wallpaper paste has so many chemicals that are released when it is stirred and mixed, many people look for ways to make their own paste and keep their home free of chemical irritants. Most wallpaper paste recipes are made from flour and water, just like the paper mache paste made in grade school. A teaspoon of alum in a cup of paste will help to make the paste tackier and more likely to remain on the wall. Green living sites such as Care2 offer tips for making eco-friendly wallpaper paste.
Once the right wallpaper paste is chosen it's important to set up the work area before applying the paste. Most do-it-yourself home wallpaper hangers don't need to spend a lot on professional wallpaper hanging supplies. A good wide paintbrush can be used to apply the paste to the paper. The surface on which the paper lies should be flat and long enough to hold the entire sheet while applying the glue. Use a timer or watch the clock closely to let the paste "book" once it's applied to the paper. A wallpaper roller should be utilised to flatten the paper once it's applied to the wall to evenly spread the paste and get a good adhesion. .
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