Step 1 – Checking Run Numbers

Before you start any wallpaper project, it is important to check the Run Numbers (Batch Numbers / Dye Lot).

This means that all the bolts / rolls have been printed at the same time, and are of the same shade.

Bolts printed at different times (different Run Numbers) will be of a very slightly different shade.

They canNOT be placed next to each other on the same wall, because you will notice a subtle-but-disagreeable difference in color between the strips of paper.

So make sure that all your bolts of paper are from the same Run Number.

Note that many on-line vendors are clueless about run numbers, so this is an important thing to check, if you buy low-priced papers on-line.

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2 Responses to “Step 1 – Checking Run Numbers”

  1. Carolyn Says:

    What can you do if the run numbers are different?

    • thewallpaperlady Says:

      Hi Carolyn,
      If you end up with what we call a “broken run,” your best bet is to send it back and request they replace the wallpaper with rolls that are all from the same run. Be prepared for an outfit that doesn’t have a clue what you are talking about. Or for hassles re shipping, crediting you for merchandise, etc.
      This is a good example of why I suggest that people buy from established wallpaper manufacturers or established merchandisers who specialize in WALLPAPER – not middleman companies like Wayfair, eBay, Etsy , Amazon, or the like. These guys are simply warehouses with workmen pulling rolls off a shelf and stuffing them into shipping boxes. They do not have knowledge of things like Run Numbers, careful packaging to prevent the ends of the rolls from being damaged during shipping, humidity, and etc.
      But, let’s say you already purchased the paper, you can’t return it, and you want desperately to get the room papered.
      You can try laying the rolls of paper out on a table or floor, and comparing the color between them. But I can guarantee you, unless it’s really obvious, you will not be able to discern slight color variations this way. It’s not until the paper is up on the wall that these imperfections show themselves.
      If you are forced to work with different Dye Lots, the best thing to do is to keep the different lots on different walls. You won’t notice different shades if the color change, or break, comes in a corner. That’s because light hits hits each wall differently and changes the way your eye perceives the color.
      This is a great method. But it does use a lot of extra paper.
      There are a few other more advanced tricks, too, that may or may not work, depending on the pattern, the room, and lots of other factors. Such as “weaving” the pattern, applying paints, and etc. Way too complicated to get into here – and way too “iffy” to be dependable in every case.
      Your best bet is to return the paper and ask them to replace it with rolls that are all from the same Run/Batch/Dye Lot.

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