Today, wallpaper is not usually made of paper, but of various other materials such as foil, cloth, vinyl, or natural grasses. Vinyl wallpaper is popular because it is the easiest to repair and clean. Repairing wallpaper varies in difficulty depending upon the problems that are present. Before cleaning or repairing wallpaper, make sure you know exactly what type of wallcovering it is.
Before repairing wallpaper, you will need a variety of tools. A utility knife is very useful, especially if it has a new blade. In addition, glue or adhesive is needed, as well as a syringe-type adhesive applicator. When applying wallpaper, always make sure that you save the remnants, in case you need to make repairs in the wall covering.
Washable wallpaper can be cleaned with a damp sponge and a mild detergent, while scrubbable wallpaper is able to be scrubbed with a soft brush. Stains can often be removed from wallpaper by using either wallpaper dough or a gum eraser. These items can be purchased at paint stores and home decorating centers.
If your wall coverings have loose seams, you should repair them as soon as possible, so that they don't get torn. Gently lift the edge of the seam and insert the tip of a glue or adhesive applicator under the wallpaper. Apply adhesive and press the edge down into place. Wipe away any excess glue and make sure the wallpaper lies flat.
For repairing wallpaper that needs to patched, it is best to use a technique called "double cutting." Tape a remnant of wallpaper to the damaged area, positioning the patch so that it is aligned with the wallpaper pattern. Next, use a utility knife — make sure that it is very sharp — to cut through both layers of wallpaper, and peel the damaged section away. Apply adhesive to the back of the patch and carefully align it again. Wipe the excess adhesive off with a damp sponge.
Another common problem with wallpaper is when it has air bubbles. To begin repairing wallpaper with air bubbles, cut a slit with a utility knife; cutting along a pattern line if possible. Using a syringe-type adhesive applicator, insert it under the cut and apply a thin line of adhesive to the wall. Do the same for the other side of the cut. After the adhesive is applied, press down on the wallpaper in order to make sure that the wallpaper is bonded to the wall.
Written by Bronwyn Harris
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