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Users Guide to Vintage Wallpaper

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  • Unless otherwise stated, all the vintage wallpaper rolls listed on our website are considered double rolls. The majority of rolls measure 18 inches wide and 13 yards in length.
     
  • After matching the pattern, one roll should cover at least 50 square feet of wall space. 
     
  • Most of our wallpapers are paper and wheat paste is recommended for hanging, just like they used back in the day. The vinyl wallpapers listed for sale are pre-pasted, however, due to their age additional paste is recommended. 
  • How to Hang Vintage Wallpaper--In my opinion, it is not difficult to hang vintage wallpaper; the procedure takes a little time and patience, but you will be rewarded with a look that no one else has! 

First, I highly recommend that you use wheat paste, just like they used back in the day. If you cannot find it locally, I order mine online. After mixing, I apply the wheat paste directly to the wall and allow it to dry for a couple of hours. Similar to sizing, this gives the paper a little something extra to grip when applied to the wall. I also recommend that you use a straight edge and a roller cutter to trim the wallpaper. If you try to use a box cutter type of knife on wet paper it will rag up and you will have a real mess. 

Next, there are two schools of thought regarding the selvedge edge. Most of the older patterns have a trim edge (otherwise known as a selvedge edge) on one or both sides. Some hangers like to trim the edge, but I prefer to leave it on and overlap the pieces. I think it gives the papered wall an authentic look. After you’ve cut your first piece, apply the paste to the back of the paper-- I use a large paint brush to apply-- and then hang immediately. Try not to stretch the wallpaper when doing so.

Finally, I use a wallpaper brush to smooth the paper out, using a light hand. Small bubbles will dry out smooth. Carefully wipe away any excess paste and then proceed with the next strip, matching the pattern and smoothing lightly.

Most of the wallpapers that I sell are colorfast, but you should test your paper prior to hanging. If it is not colorfast, I recommend that you spray the paper before hanging with Krylon matte sealer. It doesn’t change the look of the paper, it dries quickly, and it will prevent the print from bleeding. Overall, the procedure is fairly simple and the result is well worth the effort!