Do Not … Let the Painter or Contractor Prep for Wallpaper

I’m really picky about smooth walls and proper prep, and I know which primer is suited for which job.

Here’s what I tell people when they consider having a painter or handyman or their contractor prep the walls for wallpaper ….

You can pay your guy to do it – but you are going to have to pay me to do it over again. 

First, painters know about prepping for paint, but wallpaper has different needs.

Second, primers intended for paint are not suitable for use under wallpaper. Primers formulated for paint are not advisable under wallpaper. PVA-based primers are commonly used under paint; they are designed to keep the paint from flashing. But they are soft and don’t provide a stable surface for wallpaper.

Primers formulated for wallpaper are designed to 1.) adhere to the underlying surface, 2.) provide a “crystalized” surface that the wallpaper paste can bite into and grab ahold of, 3.) provide a surface with “slip,” which will ease installation of the new wallpaper, 4.) allow gasses from drying paste to dissipate (this prevents bubbles), 5.) withstand the torque / tension created by the drying wallpaper (to prevent surface delamination and curled seams), and 6.) allow for easier removal of the wallpaper later, with minimal damage to the wall.

Third, most contractors skip the step of removing dust from the walls. If dust is left under the primer and paper, there is the likelihood that these surfaces will delaminate (come apart) when stress is put on the paper (such as drying and pulling taught).

Ask a contractor or painter if he knows any of the information in the paragraphs above. You will receive a blank stare.

Fourth, I assure you that I’m better at smoothing walls than 99% of the guys you can hire.

https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/we-had-the-painters-go-ahead-and-smooth-the-walls-for-you/

https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/painters-didnt-quite-do-the-job-right/

https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/one-more-reason-to-not-let-your-handyman-or-contractor-prep-the-walls/

https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/more-reasons-not-to-let-the-painters-prep-the-walls-for-wallpaper/

And look at what one guy did to the homeowner’s electrical outlet. A water-based smoothing compound forced into the outlet box (see photo) could cause the circuit to blow out, and permanently damage all the light fixtures and appliances tied into that line.

One more post to read https://wallpaperlady.wordpress.com/2018/05/10/another-reason-to-not-let-the-contractor-prep-the-walls-for-paper/

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