Bradbury & Bradbury Job – Dust

The old home was constructed with the typical horizontal bords, and originally had cheescloth-type fabric tacked to the boards, and then wallpaper pasted to the cheescloth; the standard method of the times (up through about the 1950’s, to be honest).

The new homeowners had thin 1/4″ Sheetrock installed over the horizontal boards, to give a smooth, flat wall surface. The joint compound covering the seams was then sanded, the walls were primed, and then, because primer “raises the grain” (lifted dust and hairs on the wallboard’s surface), were sanded lightly again.

So I walked into a room that was already prepped, with nice smooth, primed walls. But as soon as I looked at the walls, I noticed a very light layer of dust, left from the final sanding. Even though the walls had been wiped clean, a very fine layer remained.

Dust can be death for wallpaper. Well, that’s a little dramatic, but dust can cause a job to fail – because the wallpaper will stick to the dust, but not to the wall, and that means the paper can come away from the wall, especially at points of stress. With a paper like Bradbury & Bradbury, that needs to be hand trimmed, this often will happen at the seams – a tiny “pooch” or lifting of the seam, from floor to ceiling. Ouch!

So the first thing I did was to go around the entire room with a bucket of warm water and a sponge, wiping loose dust from the walls. The water and sponge are more effective at picking up dust, compared to wiping with a dry cloth. You should be able to brush up against a wall and not have any white powder come off on your hand or clothing.

Somewhat of a pain in the butt, but necessary to ensuring the end result will be perfect. (Actually, the whole process didn’t take more than a half an hour – and well worth the time.)

wallpaper installation houston

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