How To/Wallcoverings

How to Avoid Shrinking Seams

1. Size walls.
The most common frustration of hanging wallpaper is the problem of shrinking seams. In almost all cases this is not the result of defective paper. Shrinking seams generally can be prevented through adequate surface preparation (by sizing walls with Uniprep 100% Acrylic Wallcovering Prepcoat) and by following the wallpaper technique referred to as booking. Walls that have not been sealed should be primed with Wallprep Universal Primer.

2. Book paper 10 minutes
Booking each strip for 10 minutes after the paste has been applied (or activated if it is prepasted) is a very important step. Doing so allows the adhesive time to activate. It also allows the strip to relax and keeps it from drying out until it is ready to hang. Booking also makes the strip easier to handle and hang.

Step One:
After applying paste to about two thirds of the strip, fold the top of the strip about two thirds of the way down, allowing paste to rest against paste.

Step Two:

Pull the remaining unpasted strip onto the table; paste that portion and fold paste to paste. Do not crease the folds.

Step Three:

Roll the folded, booked strip loosely, (This helps keep the edges together so they will not dry out. In addition, placing the booked strip in a plastic bag will also help keep the edges from drying out.)

Allow the booked and rolled strip to relax for ten full minutes even if the manufacturer’s instructions call for less. In the Midwest we recommend 10 minutes as a must!

This booking process is important with all types of wallcoverings. Some strippable wallcoverings can expand as much as 1/2 in width. It is imperative that this expansion be allowed to take place before the strip is taken to the wall. This will minimize blistering, curling and seam problems.

TIP: Don’t use a seam roller or overwork the seams on prepasted papers. Doing so may force out the adhesive causing seams to open up