Do I have enough wallpaper?
It’s always best to ask your installer to calculate your quantities for you, we do this for a living and know what we are doing!
Wallpaper info sheets often give you a square meterage that particular roll will cover, this however does not take into consideration pattern matches, wall heights and wastage (unfortunately there is wastage on every roll).
Often the walls you are planning to wallpaper have windows, doors or both, more often than not these DO NOT save wallpaper! Again its best to let your installer do your calculations.
Double check the size of the wallpaper rolls you are wanting to use! Because most wallpapers that are available in South Africa are imported from all corners of the globe, the sizes do vary. Make sure you are reading the sizes in centimetres and not inches as some wallpapers do have both on their info sheets!
Are my walls ready for wallpaper?
Contrary to popular belief 99% of wallpaper will not hide flaws on the wall surface but rather emphasises them!
Walls need to be as smooth as possible, painted with a single colour primer and PVA paint and free of any mildew or damp. If you are using a dark wallpaper, painting the wall a similar colour can help eliminate thin white lines between the joins (as much as we installers try to keep the joins as close as possible some papers naturally shrink while drying).
Walls that have been skimmed or rhinolited must be treated as above, painted with the appropriate primers and a single coat of PVA paint. Wallpaper glue bonds more to the paint that the cement so the better your wall is prepared the longer your wallpaper will last!
Dry walls can be wallpapered without being painted however experience has shown us that painting the walls with one or two coats of an appropriate primer does improve the longevity of the paper and eliminates the risk of the wallpaper lifting where the boards have poly filled joins. Painting the drywalls also lessens the risk of damaging the walls if ever you decide to remove or replace the wallpaper.
If you are wallpapering a single feature wall, the adjacent walls must have their final coat of paint done prior to the wallpaper. If the adjacent walls are a different colour to the feature wall its best to paint through the corners a few centimetres onto the feature wall as this helps eliminate seeing any colour variations in the corners when we trim the wallpaper.
Glass, tiles, melamine, metal are examples of surfaces we cannot wallpaper. The glues we use needs to absorb into both the wallpaper and the surface being wallpapered, as these are non-porous the wallpaper will not stick. Ask your installer about any special surfaces as there are some ways around these problems.
If you are having any other work done, carpeting, cupboards, TV units etc its always best for the wallpaper to be the last thing done. Too often we have had to try repair and patch damaged areas to our wallpaper caused by these other contractors. We all take as much care as we can while working in your house, but accidents do happen! Wallpaper is a clean job and is far less likely to damage any other work already done.
I want to wallpaper my bathroom / kitchen...
Wallpapering in bathrooms and kitchens is very common these days but there are a few points to remember when making this decision.
If the room doesn’t have good ventilation or extractors, steam and moisture will be a problem over time.
Wallpaper HATES water so if you are wanting to wallpaper around a basin or sink you may want to put a splash back on before hand to help stop water damaging your wallpaper.
Not all wallpapers are suitable for these rooms. Natural wallpapers like grasscloth or fabric wallpapers are fairly delicate and can react badly in these areas so are not a good option.
Chat to your installer or wallpaper supplier about what wallpapers are better suited for these rooms.
Surely wallpaper isn’t that difficult to install...
Correct, wallpaper isn’t that difficult to install, however given the cost of wallpaper these days it’s always a better idea to use a professional! If you do decide to wallpaper your own walls, the correct tools are available on line, there will be an instruction sheet in each roll of wallpaper, follow those instructions thoroughly!
Reputable wallpaper installers are rare these days so ask your supplier if they have any recommended installers.
As much as these installers will give you the best work possible, we are not miracle workers and can only do what is practically and physically possible! We also need certain info before we arrive at your house or office to put your wallpaper up.
How high are your walls? We don’t always have 10m ladders with us. Are we wallpapering your ceiling? Again we don’t always have scaffolding with us! Certain circumstances require certain tools so the more info we have before we arrive the smoother the job will run.
Wallpaper installers charge for their time so when booking your installer make sure the job is ready for them, you don’t want to be charged call out fee’s if they have to come back another day!
As installers we have come across a few things only experience can teach!
If you are using a metallic wallpaper, foil wallpaper or a very reflective wallpaper I highly recommend using a lining paper on your walls before putting the wallpaper on. Metallic papers can react to alkalinity in your walls which is very difficult to detect, the lining paper helps prevent this reaction. Foils and reflective wallpapers can even show up paint flecks on your wall, again lining paper creates a buffer helping to prevent this.
You get what you pay for. I do hate to say this but it is true, cheap wallpapers are exactly that, cheap! Wallpapering your house or office will create a look and feel you cannot get any other way so rather pay the bit extra and get a good quality wallpaper!
Curved archways or windows are tricky, wallpaper can only wrap in a straight line so expect a bit of patch work if you do decide to go ahead.
Again, wallpaper only wraps in a straight line, like a fold in a piece of paper. With this in mind if you are wanting to go around corners in your house or office and the corners are not straight your installer is going to have a hard time getting the wallpaper to wrap neatly or without any air bubbles in the corner. These are obviously issues that can be resolved so chat with your installer first.