Curling Seams on an Imperial Paper

photo (18)I hung this paper yesterday.  See my post below.

The beautiful finished wall is deceiving – this paper was a bugger bear to work with. It was a pre-pasted wallpaper, meaning it has paste already on the back and is meant to be run through a water tray, booked, and then hung on the wall. However, when I followed the manufacturer’s instructions, there was intense curling at the seams.

Seams curl because the paper backing absorbs water and expands, while the inked surface cannot expand as much, so the paper curls back on itself. This paper had metallic ink, too (the flower stems), and that, along with the white ink, both curled more than the aqua background color. Meaning that there were parts of each seam that butted perfectly, and parts that curled away from the wall. No matter how much extra paste I added, or how tacky it got, the paper continued to curl.

My experience is that these papers usually get nice and flat when they dry, and look just fine. But the curling was so extreme in this case, and I didn’t want to hang around for three hours after I finished to check on the seams, so I decided to take another tac.

Since excessive moisture seemed to be the cause of the curling, I decided to paste the paper as if it were an unpasted variety. This is somewhat difficult, because the paste is thick (I didn’t want to thin it by adding water, which could encourage curling), and the paste activates the paste already on the back of the paper, so it makes something of a dryish, gummy mess, and it’s something of a wrestling match to get it to the wall and smooth out all the bubbles.

But the seams did stick down quite nicely. The paper had lots of ridges and bubbles from the paste , but those should disappear when the paper dries completely.

Pattern # JW 105765 by Imperial

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2 Responses to “Curling Seams on an Imperial Paper”

  1. Jamie Says:

    Hey Julie. Jamie here. We just can’t trust the manufactures with the pre-pasted papers. We Never use a water tray. Use a pre-pasted activator, or always mix heavy duty clear with water until it looks like tomato soup. My brother and I did a condo together. By the time he got to the end of his wall with the water tray, it was falling off at the top. I warned him never use a water tray. Any type of foil paper you should consider a liner paper first. Heavily inked paper as well. Hope this helps…..Jamie in NY.

  2. thewallpaperlady Says:

    Thanks, Jamie. I rarely have problems with running prepasted papers through a water tray (I also spread a light coat of paste on the wall, particularly under seams). But I think you have hit the nail on the head, that the culprit in this case was the composition of the paper – particuarly the metalic ink.
    Hope you’re staying busy up there, and come see us soon!

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