Torn wall coverings

Filed Under: Crafts, Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating    by: ITC

Torn wallpaper in the home can usually be patched fairly simply. With other wall coverings like hessian, vinyl or grass cloths you should match the pattern with care. Placing a spare piece over the tear and checking the design.

Cut a piece slightly largely than the damaged area, and then place it over the hole, again making sure that the pattern matches. Cut through both layers with a sharp knife to a square or oblong shape (unless there is a definite motif in the pattern, in which case you should follow the shape of this). Peel away the old wall covering, and using a suitable adhesive stick the new piece carefully in place. Roll the patch lightly with a steam roller and leave it to dry.

Many vinyl wall coverings have a paper backing. You should not leave the backing of the old wall covering in place; cut right through it and strip it back to the wall surface before fixing the new piece.

If your walls are coming apart at the seams this sometimes happens because of condensation. Or it may be that the wall coverings have been overlapped instead of butt-joined you can easily stick them back down again. It the wall covering is vinyl you will have to use a latex adhesive to secure it.

Blisters sometimes occur if wallpaper is incorrectly pasted or if heavy paper is hung too soon, before it has absorbed enough paste; they can also be caused by a poor wall surface of condensation. One method of dealing with this is to half-fill a syringe with a suitable paste and injects the paste into the centre of the blister.

Allow the paste to penetrate the back of the paper (it should take about five minutes) and then flatten the blister firmly with your fingers. Wipe away any surplus paste and then go over the area lightly with a roller until the paper lies completely flat. If you cannot get hold of a syringe, make a cross-shaped cut and peel back the tongues before using an artist’s brush to push paste underneath them.

Blisters, or cracks and chips in paintwork can be repaired. Knots in wood can sometimes cause very bad discoloration on woodwork, appearing as a brown stain under the paint film. You can sand or scrape away the paint, seal the knot with proprietary knotting and allow it to dry before you prime, sand, fill as necessary and repaint.

You can remove and replace a damaged wall tile. If you don’t have a spare tile and cannot obtain one, you could either replace a panel of tiles with new ones so as to create a definite design, or replace just a few tiles with random patterned ones. It’s also possible to tile on top of cracked or crazed tiles, using new slim universal.

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