Wall­pa­per bor­der is sim­ple, but do read instructions

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - Tim Carter writes for the Tri­bune Con­tent Agency. You can visit his web­site (www.ask­the­builder.com) to see an ex­am­ple of the topic men­tioned.

Tim Carter

Q: Trends and de­signs change and I’m con­vinced wall­pa­per will rise from the ashes. I’d like to start the resur­gence and in­stall some wall­pa­per bor­ders in a few rooms in my home. What can you share to make this job go smoothly? Have you ever put in a bor­der half­way up a wall? What are the big­gest mis­takes you can make work­ing with wall­pa­per bor­ders?

A: Trends do come back, al­though I’m not hold­ing my breath for the av­o­cado kitchen ap­pli­ances and the pink-and-gray bath­room tile!

I don’t know whether wall­pa­per bor­ders ever re­ally fell out of fa­vor. They’re an in­ex­pen­sive way to add themed char­ac­ter to oth­er­wise bland painted walls.

I’ve in­stalled count­less rolls of wall­pa­per bor­der in my life­time. My fa­vorite bor­der was one that had palm trees on it in a trop­i­cal set­ting. I in­stalled it about 48 inches from the floor in a themed half bath­room.

If you haven’t worked with wall­pa­per be­fore, you should know that hang­ing gi­ant strips of it is chal­leng­ing. Those old com­edy movies show­ing ac­tors get­ting wrapped up in the sticky pa­per are not too far­fetched. Wall­pa­per bor­ders, on the other hand, are sim­ple to work with. It’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to goof up.

The big­gest mis­take you can make, in my opin­ion, is to ig­nore any writ­ten instructions that come with the bor­der. It’s im­por­tant to use the cor­rect ad­he­sive. Some bor­ders come prepasted. In­stead of us­ing water to ac­ti­vate the ad­he­sive, I’d sug­gest a clear paste ac­ti­va­tor. These in­ex­pen­sive prod­ucts brush on or roll on with ease.

Be sure to al­low the bor­der to ex­pand once the ad­he­sive has been ac­ti­vated. Pros call this book­ing. This sim­ply means you fold the back of the bor­der onto it­self so the A wall­pa­per bor­der with palm trees added the right touch to a pow­der room.

ad­he­sive is not ex­posed to the air. Al­low the bor­der to rest or ex­pand for about 10 min­utes be­fore put­ting it on the wall.

I highly rec­om­mend

paint­ing the wall with a spe­cial wall­pa­per primer a week be­fore you in­stall the bor­der. These glossy paints al­low you to re­move the bor­der in the fu­ture with lit­tle ef­fort. If you ap­ply the bor­der to nor­mal painted dry­wall, there’s a good chance you’ll rip off the fac­ing pa­per of the dry­wall when you try to re­move the bor­der.

One of the big­gest rookie mis­takes I see is when a per­son wraps the bor­der around an in­side cor­ner where two walls meet. When the bor­der dries, it pulls away from the in­side of the cor­ner leav­ing an un­sightly quar­ter-inch gap.

This prob­lem can be solved by press­ing the bor­der into the cor­ner very tightly. Use a sharp ra­zor knife to make a straight cut through the bor­der about

inch away from the in­side cor­ner. Over­lap the bor­der that was about to run across the wall just ¼-inch over this small strip of pa­per that wrapped around the cor­ner. Trust me, you’ll never see this over­lap af­ter the job is com­plete.


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