Liven your wall space with fantastic design
Nightmare wallpaper is a thing of the past. Gone are the sticky, messy and fussy decorative items that are such a hassle to install. Wallpaper technology and design have vastly improved over the last 10 years, and are now popular with home owners and interior designers to add style to space.
An important factor to consider is Singapore’s tropical, humid climate and which wallpaper would work best in these conditions. You would also want to select eco-friendly wallpaper.
When you look for wallpaper companies remember the fact that if it is inexpensive it excludes installation, and also comes without warranty. They may supply you with a video of wallpaper installation that looks simple but beware of the fact that it is not as easy as it looks. Installing wallpaper takes a long time to master and it’s best left to professionals who are trained in hanging, cutting, design alignment, colour coordination, pasting and smoothening.
Wallpaper comes in hundreds of designs and textures. You do not have to wallpaper all your walls but perhaps one signature wall space behind the sofa. Think of the size of your room, colour or existing furniture and fittings, and amount of light.
If your space is small use light colours such as creams and pastels. If you have wooden furniture pick a wallpaper scheme and colour that would blend well.
If you have a lot of sunlight bursting through your windows or balcony play with wallpaper textures that would embellish light and shadow.
Walk through hotel lobbies, restaurants, boutiques, and shops and see how wallpaper works in various spaces. Visit websites and speak to friends for tips and ideas.
If you’re an avid photographer, writer, dancer, musician or painter, you can custom make your works into wallpaper and hang it up across the wall as a giant focal piece. Many newly weds love having a wedding picture of themselves across the wall, while family types can have a family portrait. Pictures of precious pets, food, nature and travel memories are also a hit.
If you’re brave enough to install your own wallpaper practise on a small part of your storeroom first.
Hanging the wallpaper is actually the last thing you need to do. Before you begin you will have to smoothen your wall. Cracks and holes need to be caulked. File and sandpaper away bumps and nibs on the wall otherwise they will show through the wallpaper like pimples.
You will have to be aware of corners, how the paste activates, electrical sockets, how to avoid bubbles. Do you have to unscrew light fixtures? Take down photo frames or artwork, remove nails or adhesive tape. It is actually easier if you unscrew light fixtures for wallpaper compared to cutting around it. Be sure to take off all electrical cover plates, wall sconces, photo frames, and anything that you can easily remove from the wall that you have to cut around. This is how professionals get good results.
Be careful when using your knife while trimming around electrical plates and outlets, as the metal may cause a short circuit against live wires. Move your furniture out of the way so that you have a lot of space to work.
Once you have prepared your wall and trimmed the wallpaper to fit the length of the wall, where do you hang the first strip of wallpaper? Start from the centre of the wall. Use a spirit level and pencil and draw a plumb line from top to bottom. You can make your own plumb line with a weight attached to a string. Hang it down freely and where the weight comes to rest is your guide for your vertical line.
Do not assume that the top of the wallpaper strip is where you hang from. Wallpaper with patterns and designs need to be aligned and matched with each other for a whole complete look. Make sure the main motifs align along the centre line of your wall. For example a vertical row of peacocks, flowers or circles should hang along the front of this centre line as a focal point to your wall.
With a bold design, always cut the first length so that when it is hung and finally trimmed top and bottom there will be a complete motif at the top of the wall. Make sure the colours match. Your supplier may have given you a wrong roll or mismatched shades so look carefully before you paste.
If you plan to paint the ceiling, make sure you do so before you put on the wallpaper.
Types of wallpaper
Lining Paper – This is a single layer of plain paper, which is used for good surface preparation. It evens the porosity of a surface and can strengthen a substrate.
Pre-Pasted Paper – Pre or ready-pasted papers have a coat of adhesive applied during the manufacturing process. The adhesive is reactivated for application by being passed through water in a water trough before hanging.
Simplex – A simple type of wall hanging. A single thickness of paper with a design printed on the face.
Vinyl – This is pure vinyl, which is laminated to a paper or linen backing. It can be used anywhere and is well suited to service areas as it is washable and easy to clean.
Vinyl Coated – Paper with a vinyl or acrylic coating to the face. Either type of finish is extremely hard-wearing.
Duplex – Two sheets of paper, which are bonded or laminated together.
Anaglypta – this is a very heavily embossed type of duplex paper. (From the Greek Ana Relief Glypta Cameo).
Metallic – Also called foils, these papers have a large percentage of metal on the surface, predominately Aluminium or powdered metals can be added to the ground paper.
Embossed – The design side of the paper is raised and the reverse side is hollow
Hessian – Closely woven Hessian (Hemp or Jute) is stuck to a heavy paper backing.
Grass Cloth – Made with the fibres of a honeysuckle vine being attached to a paper backing.
Printed Papers – There are two forms, ground and pulp. Ground papers are coated with paint before they are printed. Pulp is where the pattern is printed directly on the natural colour of the paper. Some decorative Ground Papers to follow.
Flock – This has a luxurious velvet feel. It is made by dusting powdered silk, wool or flock onto a tacky patterned surface paper, creating a piled effect and is back in fashion after a long break!
Chintz – patterns are made to imitate cotton chintz forms.
Jaspe – printed linear veins of inter mingling colours.
Satin – A sheen is achieved on the paper from polishing or glazing the ground before putting the design on it.
Satinette – A sheen is achieved by adding mica into the ground.
Moire – these have a satin or satinette ground and have a finely engraved embossing.
Gravure – The pattern of this paper is applied to the surface with rollers; a photographic process has produced the pattern.
Mural – These depict a scene or landscape. They are often made of several lengths.