Wallpaper can add a touch of sophistication and style to your decor, but this is immediately compromised when there are loose seams, punctures, or trapped air bubbles. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to repair your wallpaper and restore its impressive aesthetics.
The vertical seams between your strips of wallpaper can become loose for a number of reasons. Whether it is because the factory-applied adhesive on your prepasted vinyl didn’t stick, the glue was squeezed from the seam when the paper was rolled flat, or the paper has suffered some bumps, the repair process is the same.
You’ll need a small artist’s brush to spread an even coat of wallpaper seam adhesive on the underside of the exposed seam. Use a wooden seam roller to flatten off the seam before you use a damp sponge to clean off any excess adhesive.
If your loose seam has a horizontal tear, you’ll need to roll the tear flaps back into their original position. You should line up the top piece with the decorative pattern over the bottom flap to hide the backing paper.
Punctures or Rips
A severe puncture or rip will mean that you’ll need to cut out the damaged area and install a wallpaper patch. You will need a section of matching wallpaper, so if you don’t have any from the original install, you’ll need to buy a small sample from a wallcovering store. If you cannot find the pattern, you’ll need to take a piece from a hidden area such as inside a closet.
The best way to make an almost invisible repair is a double cut patch. You should tape the patch over the damaged area to align the pattern perfectly with the wall. Just be aware that wallpaper will stretch a little after it has been wet, so if the pattern doesn’t precisely line up, don’t panic.
When the patch is taped in place, use a box cutter or razor edge to cut through both paper layers. Use a straightedge to get clean lines and cut through completely at each corner. Untape the patch and put it to one side.
Carefully peel the section of damaged paper off your wall. It may leave some backing that should be removed using a slightly damp sponge. Repair any divots in the drywall using a spackling compound. Once this is dried, you can apply the patch to the wall; just be sure to align the pattern carefully before you smooth the area.
Trapped air causes bubbles and blisters that are often a result of installation problems. You’ll need to release the air and reglue the paper. You can use a razor knife to cut an X through the paper and remove any particles that may be causing the blister. Another option is to use a glue injecting syringe that can be pushed directly into the bubble. Once the adhesive is injected in, you can use a steam roller to flatten the repair.
Repairing wallpaper can save you the costly process of redecorating, but it does require a little care and attention. So, be prepared to take your time, and you should enjoy the best results.