We’re breaking down the symbols you see on wallpaper rolls, each symbol has a meaning and it’s important you understand these, so to get the best results from your wallpaper for years to come. So next time you’re out shopping you know what they stand for.
Each roll of wallpaper has a washability rating, which is illustrated through a single symbol on the design’s label. To ensure you take the correct care, it is important to understand how washable the wallpaper is which if not followed can cause irreparable damage to the wallpaper itself. Here are the four main symbols:
This symbol means the wallpaper can be lightly cleaned using a sponge. It is not recommended to hang this wallpaper where it is likely to get wet or in areas with high humidity.
This symbol means the wallpaper is slightly more durable than the Spongeable wallpaper and can be gently cleaned with a damp sponge. It is still vulnerable to water though.
Super washable or extra washable
This symbol indicates that the wallpaper is durable enough to withstand rigorous cleaning without sustaining damaged. This wallpaper can be used in kitchens and bathrooms as it is more resilient to damper environments. However, it is not waterproof so must be kept away from direct water sources such as an area that may be affected by splashing water.
This symbol is used on the tougher paper types. This means that you can apply a little more pressure to remove dirt without the paper becoming damaged. Do take care when scrubbing though as ultimately, it is still paper.
Pattern Matches and Hanging
When you’re hanging paper, the pattern match tells you where to align the next length, to ensure the design matches up. Look out for a written description, for example free match, half drop and random, or for arrow symbols. There are four main types of pattern match.
This symbol means the wall covering has no repeating pattern match – e.g. on a vertical stripe or all-over textured design.
Straight Match (Horizontal match)
The pattern match is on the same horizontal line as the next hung length.
This is perhaps the hardest to hang. This symbol means every second strip must be offset or dropped by the distance of its pattern repeat.
Reverse Alternate Layout
This symbol means that the wallpaper should be hung in alternate directions to achieve the desired final look.
Wallpaper Paste Instructions
There are three main symbols for paste instructions. It is important to take note of your wallpaper’s paste symbol as not following the instructed paste instructions can cause bubbles, creases, the your wallpaper to not stick correctly, the design to expand on the wall and cause expansion bubbles and even tearing to your wallpaper.
Paste the Paper
This is the most common paste symbol that you will see. Paste the paper needs the paste to be applied directly to the back of the wallpaper, allowed to soak and the apply the pasted strip onto the wall.
Paste the Wall
Paste the wall is a more recent addition to the wallpaper world. It is the easier version of its counterpart and requires less time with a reduction of errors. As the name suggests Paste the wall, you apply the paste directly to the wall then apply the paper on top.
Though not as common in the UK, this paper has already been pasted and needs dipping into a water tray to activate the paste before it can be hung.
When it comes to removing your lovely wallpaper its good to know in advance what you’re up against, and that relates to the removal technique for that wallpaper. There are three main wallpaper removal techniques.
This symbol means you should be able to remove the wallpaper in one stripe while the paper is dry. When you remove the wallpaper both the back and front layers will come off the wall.
This symbol indicates that the top layer of this wall covering will peel off should you decide to redecorate. Again, you can remove the wallpaper while the paper is dry.
This symbol means you must apply liquid wallpaper stripper or warm soapy water to remove this type of wallpaper. You will then need to manually scrape away the excess paper.
Simplified, Light fastness means how good your wallpaper will keep its colour in sunlight. Naturally any wallpaper and even some material, can lose colour when exposed to sunlight. The light fastness symbols give you an idea of which wallpaper will last longer in areas of higher sun concentration.
Moderate light fastness
This symbol indicates that the paper is only somewhat resistant to bleaching when placed in direct sunlight.
Satisfactory light fastness
Indicates that it has a somewhat better resistance to sunlight than the moderate light fastness wallpaper.
Good light fastness
This symbol means the wallpaper will not bleach easily even with prolonged exposure to sunlight. It is the type of wallpaper recommended for areas of property that routinely get exposed to sunlight.
Very good light fastness
This is the best light fastness wallpaper and can withstand a high level of sunlight.
We hope you found this useful and next time it comes to buying wallpaper you can understand the labels better and it makes hanging your wallpaper a little bit easier. Making sure you follow the instructions on your wallpaper label will get the best from your wallpaper.