Thibaut Cork Wallcovering Notes

The two papers I did the last two days were identical except for pattern – silver metallic cork by Thibaut.

Here are some notes about working with this unusual material:

I mentioned that I very much liked the fact that the manufacturer took the trouble to carefully wrap the ends of the bolts, so as to not damage the paper.

It surprised me that Thibaut recommended pre-mixed heavy duty vinyl clear adhesive. Usually with goods of a natural fiber on the type backing as this product, a super clear lighter-weight paste is used. Thibaut specified the heaver paste because it has less water content, reducing the possibility that the paste could oversoak the paper backing and cause the surface to come loose.

Oddly, there were differences in the two papers. Evidentally, the gold ink over the silver cork made a difference.

The information that came with the paper made it clear that there would be flaking of the surface, and some silver would come off, revealing the brown cork below – all this is normal. But I had no problem with the plain silver paper in this regard. However, the paper with the gold design on top did have a tendency to flake – in fact, many areas were loose even before I touched the product. (I simply glued them back down.)

I found that the more the paper was folded or bent during handling, the more likely it was to flake. Luckily, the strips were short, so I was able to avoid “booking” the paper (folding pasted side to pasted side) and could simply carry the entire unfolded sheet to the wall, which put much less stress on the cork covering and reduced flaking.

The goods with the gold design also seemed a little thicker, and therefore more difficult to press tightly into the corners and edges where cuts were to be made. This is important, because if the paper is not pressed tight against the wall when cut, there will be a thin gap between the paper and the ceiling or baseboard.

Finally, the two papers came with entriely different instructions. The plain silver paper had instructions and information specific to that cork paper. But the more exotic and expensive version with the gold medallion design came with the standard (very humorous, by the way) Thibaut installation instructions. I’m very glad I read the detailed instructions first, and also phoned the manufacturer to ask about recommended adhesives, before tackling these papers. They were not particularly difficult to install, but did take a little more concentration and finess and a little more muscle, too.

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2 Responses to “Thibaut Cork Wallcovering Notes”

  1. leigh Says:

    I have three rolls of this exact paper and have never ewallpapered before. your article helped tremendously. but. should I hire as pro? the wall I am doing is a slanted pony wall so not very tall. I am very handy but feel I could mess this up easily, lol. advice?

    • thewallpaperlady Says:

      Leigh – thank you for reading my blog!
      Well, first, I will tell you that you should always hire a professional. 🙂
      But, seriously, if you are doing only one wall, with no fancy cuts like around cabinets or sinks or turning corners, I think that a handy DIY’er like yourself could do it just fine.
      Keep in mind that you are going to need to buy some supplies / equipment, so balance that vs. the price of hiring a pro.
      The post above is almost a decade old. Please go to my blog and do a Search on words like “cork” and “metallic” to read updated formation on this type of product.
      Be sure that the wall is smooth. If not, it will need to be skim-floated.
      Be sure that the wall is dust free. Dust can be wiped off with a damp sponge – rinsed frequently.
      Be sure that the wall is primed with a primer MADE FOR WALLPAPER. I like Roman’s Pro 977 Ultra Prime – but it is hard to find. Many of my colleagues like Gardz by Zinsser (possible found at Home Depot) or Draw Tite (hard to find). Both these products drip and splatter. Others are 123 by Zinsser, or Fresh Start by Benjamin Moore. Do NOT use R-35 or RX-35 by Romans, not matter what the label says or what the guy at Sherwin Williams says.
      For paste, I would use SureStick Dynamite 780 or 785, or even 234. Or Roman’s 838 or 880. I don’t like clay-based pastes, but it will work with the cork product. Just don’t get any on the surface of the wallpaper nor on the walls or woodwork. It’s a bugger to wipe off.
      Most pastes you will get a choice of a 1-gallon bucket or a 5-gallon bucket. The problem is, your job will probably take a hair over one gallon. By the time you pay for two gallons, you may as well have bought a 5-er.
      The cork is thick and hard to press tightly into corners and against woodwork, so it is difficult to get good tight trims in these areas. You may end up with a teeny gap between the cork and the ceiling or door/window molding. Something that I notice more than my clients. 🙂 A pro will have special tools to prevent this from happening.
      The material is also brittle, hard to press into tight spaces, and difficult to trim. So just take your time, use sharp blades, and hang in there!
      There is no pattern match to the material you are using, so that makes it easier for you.
      You will need a protected surface to spread out the paper and apply paste to the back.
      Fold pasted-side-to-pasted-side and let it sit for 3-5 minutes before taking it to the wall
      Avoid getting paste on the surface. Any paste can be wiped off with a clean, damp rag.
      Paste is going to get on the woodwork (easy to wipe off) and on the ceiling, if it abuts your wall, and especially if it is sloped. If so, consider using painter’s plastic to prevent this. See this post
      I think that’s about it. I’m sure you can find more info and videos on-line – although beware, as not all are accurate.
      Let me know how it turns out. Send and email with pics and comments to

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