How To/Wallcoverings

Understanding Wallcoverings

Below is a listing of the most important or common questions, characteristics and definitions for wallpaper:

Common Wallcovering Questions

How is Wallpaper Packaged and Priced
How much space will it cover
What are Run numbers and Dye Lot Numbers
How durable are my wallcoverings
Is my new wallcovering removable?

While wallcoverings are priced by the single roll they are normally packaged in double roll bolts. Some hand prints come in triple roll bolts. Multiple roll bolts provide more usable square footage than single rolls. Borders are packaged in 15 foot spools, however screen prints often are sold by the yard.

There are two common widths of wallcovering. Both sizes cover about the same amount of wall space. The European/Metric roll is 20 1/2î wide x 33 feet long per double roll. (Total square footage is 56 square feet per double roll.)

The second is 27î wide x 27 feet long per double roll (or 60 square ft).

Every wallpaper roll is assigned a run number or dye lot number when it is printed by the manufacturer. This number can be found along with the wallcovering pattern number on the information label included with each factory wrapped bolt. To ensure consistent color matching check that all dye lot numbers are the same on all rolls before purchasing or hanging.

NOTE: Your wallcovering pattern may be current for 2 years or more, however the dye lot you originally purchased may not. Colors from dye lot to dye lot are always close but not always a perfect match.

Most wallcoverings are either washable or scrubbable. Washable wallcoverings can be cleaned occasionally using a sponge dampened with clean water. Wallpapers that have a protective vinyl coated finish are usually washable. Scrubbable wallcoverings can be washed repeatedly using soap and water. Solid vinyl and fabric backed wallcoverings are durable and scrubbable making them the ideal choice for kitchens, baths and high traffic areas.

Today you will find most wallcoverings are pretty easy to remove provided the surface was prepared correctly and sized. Strippable is a term describing wallcovering that can be removed completely and easily from the wall. With peelable wallcoverings, the front decorative layer will strip away from the paper foundation layer. This paper backing can be easily removed using a liquid type remover.

TIP: Keep a permanent record of pattern & dye lot numbers by saving one or all of the manufacturer’s information labels in case you need to purchase more wallcovering or border to finish your project.

Common Wallcovering Characteristics

Stain Resistance
Abrasion Resistance

Scrubbable means that the wallpaper can withstand scrubbing with a brush and a prescribed detergent solution. (An attribute that would be useful for wallpaper used in a kitchen, bath or laundry room, for example.) Washable means that the wallpaper can withstand occasional sponging with a prescribed detergent solution. (Great for living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.)

Stain Resistance is the ability to show no appreciable change after the removal of different types of stains such as grease, butter, coffee, etc. (Ideal for kitchens and baths.)

Abrasion Resistance is the ability to withstand rubbing, scraping or scrubbing. (A good attribute for wallpaper in a foyer or hallway.)

Colorfastness is the ability to resist change or loss of color caused by exposure to light. (Most of today’s wallpapers easily provide this attribute.)

Peelable means that the decorative surface and ground may be drypeeled from the wall, leaving a continuous layer of the substrate on the wall. This remaining substrate can be used as a liner for hanging new wallpaper. Or it may be removed easily by wetting with a wallpaper removing solution. Peelable paper is great if you love the look of wallpaper and plan on redecorating with it again and again.

Strippable means that the wallpaper can be drystripped from the wall leaving a minimum of paste or adhesive residue and without damage to the wall’s surface. This is the type to use if you are renting or leasing, as the paper can be easily removed when you leave. Prepasted means that the substrate of the wallpaper has already been treated with an adhesive that is activated by water.