In achieving a near perfect wall surface, preparation is everything. Lining walls with quality lining paper will achieve this; as long as the surface preparation on wall surface is also carried out correctly. The secret in delivering a good decorating finish is in the preparation. Get this right, the rest flows much easier.
When to use lining paper
I always line walls if the following criteria is correct.
- If there is more than 40-50% of making good in a room on the wall surfaces. This would indicate a poor wall surface and therefore the painting would not look good without lining
- If the wall has been previously wall papered and stripped.
- Always line walls in preparation of standard hanging finished wall paper over the top. The only exception to this would be commercial type wall coverings similar to heavy wide vinyls or heavy fabrics.
Make sure all cracks are cut open and filled and large surface indentations are feathered off. Feathering is the wide application of filler intended to lessen an area’s surface irregularity.
Once all the filling is completed sand down to a smooth finish making sure any nibs are also removed. A good sander comes in handy here and possible investment in dust free sanding will also help.
Once the walls are ready you need to seal the walls. I use a standard PVA mixed at a ratio of 5-1; 5 parts water to 1 part PVA. Apply this with a roller and use a scuttle to hold the mixed PVA and a brush for cutting in.
Which wallcoverings to use?
Lining paper comes in various grades, depending on how bad the wall surface is.
They start at 800 for the lesser of poor walls moving up 200 grades at a time to the top which is 2000. If you ever have to use 2000 grade then you do have some bad walls! I have a tendency to stick with either 1000 or 1200 grade for standard finishes. I find this is usually enough because of your surface preparation being done right.
I am not here to endorse any particular manufacturer, but I have tended to use MAV Efurt. I find their lining papers to some of the best around and easy to get hold off. In the UK, B&Q sell them and Wickes seem to sell en extremely similar type paper although branded as Wickes own brand.
What I like about MAV Efurt papers is that they dry white in colour and not the cream colour type of lining papers, which in my opinion feel like the cheaper paper. MAV are also smooth to the touch.
They also have a cross hatching effect if you look closely at the paper and this helps to deflect any imperfections away from the eye. They also hold well when wet and pulling them around on the surface and are pretty tear resistant.
Also for me the paste is important. I always use ready mixed tub paste rather than dry flake. Ready mixed is much more consistent then dry flake. It is more expensive, but in my opinion worth it.
How to line walls
I have a tendency to line the walls horizontally. You can hang the wallcovering vertically, it’s just my preference and I believe you save more paper this way.
The one time you should hang lining paper horizontally is when you have finished wallcovering to hang over the top. By hanging lining paper horizontally the edges of the lining paper and edges of the finished wallcoverings, do not meet directly on top. This will prevent lifting of the lining paper underneath when the paper dries hard.
Do not overlap the edges of the lining paper with the next sheet. This is a common problem I have seen with DIY’ers.
To prevent this problem paste the length of paper, let the paper soak for a couple of minutes until pliable, the heavier the grade, the longer you need to leave it. This will prevent it expanding on the wall and lapping the next length. It’s very unsightly and more preparation is needed to cut it back.
Using folds and lapping and splicing
Use a concertina fold in the picture opposite, especially if you are hanging horizontally or papering ceilings. this allows for easy application of the length over a longer than normal distance.
Lapping and splicing is a decorating term to overlap two bits of paper and then cut through them both to produce your own seam.
This is commonly used around window and door reveals so the leading edge of the reveal is fully wrapped. This gives an excellent finish to those tricky areas
Lapping and Splicing
The pictures below should show you how to do it.
Step 1 – Paper both sides of the reveal and wrap the paper around the edges of the reveal right into the door or window reveal and trim up to the door frame/window frame. The edges you see hanging loose is the aftermath of trimming the paper to allow the paper to tuck around the sides. See picture below
Step 2 – Paper the top reveal and do the same, the wrap the edges of the reveal fully and trim the paper into the door frame. Leave the edges loose so you cut through both bits of paper. See photo below
Step 3 – Now with the two bits of paper lapped on top of each other, use a spatula or straight edge to cut through. Starting at the ceiling edge trim paper by splicing through both bits down to where the two reveals meet.
Step 4 – Once cut through, remove the top piece and discard
Step 5 – Peel back the top piece and remove the wastage from underneath the splice.
Step 6 – Smooth both the splices down and you should have an almost invisible seam. Do the same technique on the other side. It should now look something like this. Fully wrapped reveal edges and almost invisible seams
Give it a go, take your time and practice makes perfect. It can be tricky to get it right especially around reveals. Failing that you can always employ me to do it for you! 🙂