Protecting the Wall While Double Cutting – What Is This Funny Plastic Strip?

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We call this strip of clear polycarbonate plastic a “Boggess strip,” after the last name of the guy (a member of the Wallcovering Installers Association, as am I ) who invented it. It is flexible and somewhat hard, and we use it to cut on, to protect the surface underneath.

Before I got a basswood board table, which you can directly on, I would put one of these strips on my table to protect it from cuts from the razor blade when hand-trimming wallpaper. But mostly we use the Boggess strips when cutting on the wall (double cutting – a type of splice). When cutting through two layers of paper, it’s tricky to know how much pressure to use, to get through both sheets of paper, but not score the wall. It’s really important to not cut into the wall, because, as wallpaper dries, it shrinks a little, and that shrinkage will put tension on the wall, and that tension can cause the surface of the wall to pull away, causing gaping seams, or even curling edges.

Putting one of the plastic strips underneath the seam before cutting will prevent that.

It’s a bit of a juggling act, all these layers of plastic and paper, and you have to move quickly before one strip or the other starts to dry, and then you’ve got to clean the paste off the plastic strip before you use it again.

It’s an invaluable invention, and I’m glad I have a roll of it in my toolbox.

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