Here are some of the most frequent questions Arthouse are asked. If your question is not listed below, please contact us and we'll be happy to help.
No! We do not recommend that you size your walls, however we do recommend that you use a good quality primer/sealer, as this is more compatible with the ready mixed 'tub' adhesive and acts as a suitable sandwich or 'key' coat on both porous and non-porous wall surfaces.
Ready mixed 'tub' adhesives contain additives, which improves the initial grab of the wallcovering on to the wall surface and also improves the long term bonding qualities of the adhesive.
Lining paper without question is the best surface you can hang a wallcovering onto, as the face of it has the same fibrous texture as the back of the wallcovering, therefore they are absolutely compatible. Other major benefits of lining are that it improves the finished results, covering any minor imperfections in the wall and eliminates any possibility of 'show through' from light or dark patches underneath. Lining also reduces shrink back (joins opening up).
Cross lining is recommended because if the lining paper is hung vertically there is the temptation to use the join on the lining as a 'plumb line' starting point for hanging wallpaper onto. Secondly, even if you start hanging the final wallpaper in the middle of the lining paper you may find that because the lining paper is often a wider width to the wallpaper, that as you work round the room the joins catch up with each other. In either case, you will find that if you hang one join on top of another you will have great difficulty disguising the top one.
No. Whilst manufacturers will generally look to ensure that the wallcovering does come off the correct way it can not be guaranteed and should never be assumed to always be the case. It has been wrongly believed for many years that a wallcovering comes off the roll with the top of the design going to the top of the room. This has absolutely no official foundation and is not a recognised procedure under European legislation on manufacture.
Yes, the two must not be confused.
Pattern Repeat, is the distance measured before the same part of the design is reproduced (repeats itself) in the wallcovering.
Pattern Match, refers to the matching half of the design (given most wallcoverings are trimmed through a motif for ease of hanging) falling in relation to the opposite side of the wallcovering.
The wallcovering 'soak time' is the period of time it takes the wallpaper to expand out to its maximum width (across the width not down the length) once the adhesive has been applied to the reverse. The soak time is normally indicated on the label as a specific time, such as 4-5 minutes. When allowing the wallcovering to soak out, it is better to leave it slightly too long, than it is to apply the wallpaper to the wall too soon.
Shrinkage occurs when the wallcovering does not adhere to the wall properly before drying. Most wallcoverings expand when wet and will try to shrink back on drying if the wall adhesion is poor or the paper is over-stretched.
If the wall surface has been correctly prepared, the paper will soon adhere to the wall and should not shrink back whilst drying.
Poor wall adhesion can be caused by poor wall preparation or by too little/too weak adhesive and the wallcovering starting to dry out before the hanging commences.
There are generally two types of bubbles associated with hanging wallcoverings which are either due to trapped air or more seriously, continued expansion.
Air bubbles can generally be identified by their shape and will show themselves as a relatively 'round' type bubble (diameter approx 4-8 inches). These are caused when the paper is smoothed unevenly. The best way to avoid air bubbles is to gently brush the paper down the centre and then out to the edges as you work down the sheet. If bubbles are immediately identified as the wallcovering is being hung then simply lift the wallcovering from the bottom and re-brush/smooth it back down. Air bubbles will reduce slightly upon drying, but will not disappear completely. Pricking them with a needle and then attempting to brush them out after they have dried will almost certainly result in creasing.
Expansion bubbles or creases are caused by continual expansion of the wallcovering and would normally demonstrate themselves as short elongated bubbles (approx 10/15cm long), running parallel to the length of the wallcovering and tend to look staggered across the sheet. It is highly unlikely that these type of bubbles will reduce upon drying or be removable once dry.
This type of problem is normally an adhesion issue and the most common cause is 'drying-in' of the adhesive at the edge of the paper. When wallpaper is folded adhesive side in, the only area that is exposed to the atmosphere during the soaking period is the very edge of the sheet and it is this area that starts to dry out first. It is therefore important that an adequate amount of adhesive is applied particularly to the edges.
Heat can play a significant part in the finished results when decorating - particular in shrink back. All wallcoverings need to be allowed to dry naturally in a well ventilated room. Accelerating the drying process with excessive heat will cause the paper to dry out too quickly putting the paper under severe tension, causing shrink back of the joins to occur.
For wallcoverings to fully dry out it could take from 2 to 7 days, dependent upon the type of wallcovering and other factors, such as wall surface, adhesive and atmospheric condition etc.
We recommend that you use a good quality border adhesive, specifically intended for this purpose and where required one that guarantees to stick 'vinyl-to-vinyl'. The issue is never usually with the border itself, but the surface that it is being hung onto.