Trimming Scalamandre

Most wallpapers come pre-trimmed by the factory.  But many of the high-end wallpapers come untrimmed,  meaning that the selvedge edge is in place,  much as with fabric.  This has to be trimmed off by the installer.

When I handle a hand-trimmed paper, usually I use the “double-cut” method – applying both strips to the wall side-by-side and overlapping the selvedge edges, then cutting through both layers with a very sharp razor blade, then removing the unneeded edges, creating a spliced seam.

This creates an absolutely perfectly butted seam, but there are potential problems, too.  One is the possiblity of scoring the wall, which can cause problems down the road if the paper shrinks or curls and manages to pull the wall surface with it – this will result in a lifting seam.  Another problem is that it almost always resutls in one of the “trim” lines printed by the manufacturer showing.

So this time, because the strips to be hung were short, I used the dry-trimming technique.  For this, I cut the 5′ strips before pasting, laying them on my 7′ table and using a 6′ straight edge and a very sharp razor blade.

Once the paper was hung, the resulting seam was OK.  But not as good as the seams that were double-cut on the wall.  There was some very minor gapping.  I noticed that the seams looked better and tighter as the paper dried.

The main problem with dry-trimming is that you can only get a perfectly straight cut for the length of your straight edge.  Once you move the straight edge to cut the next section of paper, you don’t have a perfectly straight edge.

I guess that’s not so awful, though.  The wallpaper manufacturers themselves can’t cut their own paper straight, even with fancy factory equipment.

So I guess you can say that a little imperfection is to be expected.




wallpaper installer houston

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