Avoiding White Seams – Coloring the Ends of Wallpaper

Most wallpapers absorb moisture from the paste, and then shrink a little when they dry. This means that, especially on dark papers, there’s a pretty darned good chance that you will see white at the seams – from either the white edges of the wallpaper, or the wall behind it.

Some manufacturers circumvent this by printing their dark papers on colored backing / stock. But most of the time, the backing is white, and so we paperhangers have to get resourceful. There are as many different ways to color the ends of paper as there are paperhangers, but here is a technique I like.

I keep the bolts rolled up tightly, as they came from the factory. This allows the paint to be put on the cut ends, where it will be wicked into the paper, but not allow it to get onto the surface of the paper. Water color, or acrylic, is used, because the water-based pigment will soak into the paper, but can be wiped off the surface of (most) wallpapers, if it should get into contact with it. Oil-based inks are not a good idea. Once the pigment soaks in and dries, it’s there for the duration, with little worries of re-wetting and coming out of the paper.

This ads just enough color to disguise seams that might shrink just a hair as the paper dries.

For situations where there is wider gapping, and the white wall beneath shows, I have other tricks up my sleeve. But that’s another blog….

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