X Marks The Spot

By Chelle Cordero

April 8, 2016 5 min read

Your new wallpaper looks terrific. It looks great in the room and blends well with the color scheme. You're proud of your do-it-yourself project, and then, oops! What's that bubble?

Wallpaper bubbles can occur when air is trapped behind the wallpaper or when the glue wasn't smoothed out sufficiently. But not to worry -- it's an easy fix. You'll need a sharp razor blade, a glue applicator or syringe, a clean damp rag and a seam roller or squeegee. And the sooner you deal with a bubble, the easier it will be to get rid of.

Begin by making an X-shaped incision at the center of the bubble. Be sure to keep the incision as small as possible so it will not show when the job is complete. Press down on the raised bubble to squeeze the air or excess glue out. If the glue behind the wallpaper is still moist, you shouldn't need to add to close the incision. But if the glue is already dry and you need to add more, use a glue applicator (available at most hardware or paint stores) or syringe to inject a small amount behind the previously bubbled area. Use a roller or squeegee to smooth the paper over the surface. Wipe off any excess glue with a damp rag or sponge; otherwise, it will dry on the wallpaper. If you use a squeegee instead of a roller, make sure you work toward the center of the incision in smooth even strokes.

Next time, careful planning before hanging any wallpaper can help you avoid other common errors and difficulties. First, measure the surface area you want to cover and buy two to four extra rolls to have on hand in case you make mistakes. You should note that it's more difficult to match panels of wallpaper that have multiple colors or distinctive patterns; you may have to cut panels to create a seamless design across the room. If you choose a more complex wallpaper, it could be helpful to make a layout of where each panel will go, or even make pencil marks on the walls, before you start gluing.

When it comes time to put up the wallpaper, there are a few tricks of the trade. First things first, you must prep the walls for the wallpaper. Make sure that the walls are clean; otherwise, the paper won't stick. Wash the walls and use caulk to fill any holes or cracks -- but don't forget to sand these spots smooth once the caulk is dry. If you have to remove old wallpaper first, take the time to wash and sand the walls after. Finally, use wall primer to seal the wall. You might need two coats if the surface is very dry.

Not all floors and ceilings are perfectly level, so it's better to look at vertical lines to make sure the panels are straight. Use a plumb line to do this. To make each panel seamless with the next, make a butt seam between each panel to smooth out the edges. To do so, use the seam roller to press two panel edges together and squeeze out excess glue. Overlap a panel approximately a half-inch over another, and set the next panel aligned along the corner angle. Always wipe the excess glue away with a damp cloth before it dries. Once each panel is up, trim any excess paper.

If you will be wallpapering a full room, start mounting the panels at a less noticeable area in the room. Because the pattern most likely won't match up perfectly at the meeting point, it's better to not start a design at the focal point of the room.

Wallpapers come in a variety of materials, colors and patterns, such as vinyl and bamboo. Some have a flocked pattern or are embossed for a glossy finish. The panels can be even be backed with different materials, such as paper or fabric. Besides these options creating a multitude of cosmetic looks, keep these differences in mind when you're organizing your project. You'll find that some styles are more suitable for particular rooms in the house: You'll want a smooth washable wallpaper for kitchens and baby nurseries, and perhaps a mildew-proof wallpaper applied with adhesive for bathrooms and other humid areas. You may even want to apply a thin layer of caulk where the walls meet the ceiling in a bathroom to prevent the paper from curling from moisture. Take a look at different adhesives, glues and pastes that are available to make the job easier. Whatever you choose, follow any special instructions on the back to get foolproof results from this DIY project.

Stay cool, calm and collected and you'll be able to plan and execute this project to get the perfect look for your home.

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