Some DIY jobs you just know require professional help, but for other tasks, the dedicated DIYer is honor-bound to complete herself, even if the project fills her with dread. Wallpapering a room is a good example. Papering a room certainly sounds easy, but the experienced home owner knows the project is fraught with soggy, pasty peril.
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Preparing the Wall
Is the wall you want to paper painted? If so, good. Preparation only requires washing the wall to remove dirt, smoothing and sanding imperfections, and applying a coat of wallpaper primer. Wallpaper primer protects drywall and helps wallpaper adhere to the wall.
If the wall's already papered, you've got a bigger job ahead of you. Wallpaper removal can either go really quickly, or turn into the most strenuous part of the project. If you’re lucky, the paper is strippable. You can find out by prying up one of the top corners with a utility knife and pulling straight down with a firm but steady pressure. Don’t pull towards yourself; the paper will be more likely to tear.
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If the paper isn’t strippable, it may need to be soaked with wallpaper removing solutions or steamed off the wall. Removal solutions are more popular than steamers, as steamers can cause scalding injuries. Only spray or soak the amount of wallpaper you can remove in 15 minutes. Leave drywall soaking for longer than that and you'll damage the underlying wall, which could make all the work by that masonry contractor go to waste.
Wallpaper may be self-adhesive or require wallpaper paste. In either event, start in an unobtrusive corner, so that if the final sheet of paper doesn’t match the edge of the first sheet, the mismatched edge won't be as noticeable.
Apply wallpaper by starting at the ceiling and working your way down. Leave a few extra inches of paper at the top and bottom of the wall for trimming later. Work slowly, carefully, and steadily. Once the sheet of paper is on the wall, wipe it with a damp sponge to remove excess paste and smooth out any air bubbles.
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Eventually, you'll hit a corner during a wallpapering project. Rather than trying to cut the paper to match the wall edge, it's better to have an extra inch of paper wrap around the corner. The next sheet of paper covers the excess inch.
Doors and Electric Outlets
Wallpaper needs to be cut to match doors, windows and electric outlets. Begin applying the paper to the wall. When you reach the door or window, use a putty knife to guide the paper into the frame corner, and then cut the excess with a sharp utility knife.
For electric outlets, make sure the power is off, as wallpaper paste is an excellent electric conductor and, frankly, so are you. Remove the outlet cover and paste the paper right over the outlet. Use a sharp knife to cut an X over the outlet paper, peel the paper to the edge of the outlet, and then trim it.
Wallpapering doesn't require expert help the way a stone wall requires a stone mason contractor. With some planning and patience, you can easily paper a room.
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Byline: Michelle is an aspiring writer who currently works for a masonry contractor. When she’s not working she’s blogging on anything and everything! She loves that blogging gives her the opportunity to improve her writing skills, voice her thoughts and opinions, and share advice with an unlimited audience.