Bradbury & Bradbury Job – Yellow Water

Wallpaper manufacturers always include in their instructions admonitions to be sure not to let any paste remain on the surface of the paper, because it can cause the ink to flake off, or otherwise damage the surface of the paper.

Now, you’d think that the scientists in wallpaper factories would figure out a way to keep inks on their paper, especially considering that paste is REQUIRED in order for the paper to stick to the wall. But that’s fodder for another thread….

So we installers are always wiping the surface of wallpaper as it’s hung, to remove any paste that may have gotten onto the surface.

How does paste get on the surface in the first place? From lying face down on the work table while being pasted, and paste that’s brushed to the edges of the paper can get underneath and onto the surface. From being pressed against the wall during installation, and sometimes excess paste is squished out at the seams. From the installer’s hands, if he has not kept them clean. From unfolding a booked sheet (folded pasted side to pasted side) and having a strip flap and knock into the pasted side. From smearing against wooden molding as the sheet is being brought to the wall.

So we wipe those bits of paste off. And most papers hold up to a reasonable amount of this wiping.

I was surprised, then, to find my terry cloth rags taking on the yellow ochre color of the Bradbury wallpaper. Some of the ink was coming off the paper and onto my rags.  Rinsing my rags sent a lot of yellow water down the sink.

Not a big deal, it happens. But if too much of it comes off, you can end up with blotchiness in some areas of the paper.

That’s why it’s important to know how much to wipe the paper, how much pressure to use, in which direction to move, and to try not to allow paste to get on the surface in the first place, especially with porous papers.

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