Painters Aren’t Wallpaper Preppers – Bless Their Hearts

Someone else did some work in this powder room, and that included skim-floating and “prepping the walls for wallpaper.” The main part of the walls that you see when you walk into the room looked nice and smooth.

But on closer inspection, it’s clear that they did not bother to remove switch plate covers or the A/C vent, and didn’t know how to smooth the area along the top of the pedestal sink. Sorry, no pics.

And along the baseboard and crown molding, as well as behind the toilet, they did not get a smooth transition between the smoothing compound and the wall. Please see the photos. You notice where the smoothing compound is globbed on top of the baseboard in an irregular mess.

This is a problem, because these areas are exactly where the wallpaper will be trimmed, and asked to adhere tightly. The problem is, the paper needs a smooth, intact area to grab ahold of. These areas do not provide that.

I could chip off some of this stuff, but not all of it. So the homeowner will be left with jagged cuts at these areas, plus the possibility that the paper will not cling tightly to the irregular surface.

Again, folks: Wallpaper prep should be done by a paperhanger, not a painter or handyman or other kind of tradesman. They simply don’t understand what is required, and typically don’t have the patience or desire to do the detailed work correctly.

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3 Responses to “Painters Aren’t Wallpaper Preppers – Bless Their Hearts”

  1. femaledec Says:

    Please don’t forget that here in the UK us paperhangers are called decorators and we do every aspect of painting and wallpapering including full preparation. Painters in the US may be sloppy at prep and certainly there are a lot over here, but some of us know that preparation is 80% of the job!

  2. thewallpaperlady Says:

    YES! Proper prep is essential! And slightly different terminology across the pond. And another key word in your comment is “female.” I firmly believe that women are much more conscientious, detail-oriented, and respectful of the client’s home, than the average “guy.” Thank you for reading, and keep on painting and papering over there!

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