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Choosing wallpaper

Types of wallpaper

Anaglypta is a white, thicker relief paper with an embossed pattern. It is then painted over with either emulsion or resin based paint. It is an ideal covering for a poor surface as it disguises many lumps and bumps. The decoration can be changed with extra coats of paint.

Flock wallpaper has a fine pile synthetic or natural embossed surface, glued to backing paper. It often gives a velvet texture and is rich in colour. It is one of the more expensive wallpapers. It is a difficult paper to hang as any paste touching the surface will ruin the pile. If it becomes stained, it can be carefully sponged, otherwise it can be gently brushed to remove surface dust.

Foil wallpaper has a metallized plastic film on a paper backing. They are suitable for darker areas because the shiny surface helps to reflect light. It is a hardwearing wallpaper available in fine textures and many colours and can be wiped clean. However it is a fine paper which is unsuitable for poor wall surfaces as the uneven areas will show through. As the paper has a metallized coat it can conduct electricity so should not be tucked behind switch / plug covers when hanging. When using foil wallpaper, paste the wall instead of the back of the paper and take care not to splash paste on the front of the paper.

Lincrustas were very popular in the past. It was particularly popular on staircases due to its durable, easy to clean surface. The raised pattern is a solid film of linseed oil and filers fused onto a backing paper.

Lining paper is a plain paper which can be used before wallpaper on poor or painted surfaces. Papering a ceiling is much hard than papering walls, but it is often the best way to cover cracks. It is available in different thicknesses.

Novamura is made from foamed polyethylene. It is available in a wide range of patterns and colours. It is an easy surface to hang and is very light to manoeuvre as there is no paper content. The surface is warm to the touch and often resembles fabric. Due to the foam polyethylene surface it can be knocked and damaged in a busy area. It is particularly suitable for bathrooms and kitchens, where it can ease condensation.

Polystyrene sheeting is used to line walls before papering. It makes the wall warm to touch, reduces condensation but dents easily if marked by furniture. It is therefore unsuitable for busy areas where damage is a possibility through everyday heavy use and possible knocking.

Printed wallpaper is often machine printed in numerous designs and colours and is reasonably priced. Hand printed wallpaper is available but is obviously more costly. These papers are not as hard wearing as the machine printed variety. Their colours are not as fast and can tear when wet. They can be lightly wiped if dirty but cannot be washed, so are unsuitable for busy areas. Delicate patterns are also more difficult to match. If they are hand made designs the accuracy of the pattern is not as reliable as the machine printed papers. Printed papers are not particularly suitable for areas where there is a build up of steam or condensation.

Supaglypta is a stronger version of Anaglypta. Cotton fibres are used in place of wood pulp, which allows a deeper embossed pattern. It is then painted over.

Vinyl wallpaper has the design printed on a layer of vinyl. It has a fine paper backing and gives an easy to wipe surface. Expanded vinyl has a texture similar to a heavy embossed paper, but require less paste for hanging. It is a very durable surface, which can even be lightly scrubbed, making it particularly suitable for kitchens and bathrooms.

Washable wallpaper is ordinary wallpaper which is either coated with a thin glaze of polyvinyl acetate -PVA or is printed with water resistant inks. It gives an easy to wipe surface and is particularly suitable for kitchens and bathrooms.

Woodchip paper is an inexpensive way of covering walls. It is a plain paper with a textured oatmeal surface, made by impregnating the pulp with sawdust and woodchip during its manufacture. It then needs to be painted and can be covered in a variety of coloured emulsions.

Cellulose paste is the best choice for light wallpapers as it does not stain.

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