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Can you hang wallpaper with PVA?

Feature walls are a stylish addition to any home.

But what is the right way to do so? Using PVA glue to hang wallpaper has been done in the past and does indeed work however you probably won’t achieve the best, most professional results.

Why not to use PVA glue

There are many reasons why using PVA glue to hang wallpaper is not the best option for your next decorating project and here’s why.

PVA glue can cause wallpaper to curl or warp, meaning you won’t get the best or most seamless results. When applying wallpaper you want it to be as smooth as possible, so risking any curling or warping isn’t a good idea.

When it comes to applying your strips of wallpaper it’s important to have enough wiggle room and time to properly line up each sheet. Using PVA glue will mean that the paper immediately sticks to the wall and you won’t have time to correct any potential errors.

If there comes a time when you’ve had enough of your wallpaper design, or perhaps you’re renting and need to remove the wallpaper before moving out. If you have used PVA glue as an adhesive then it will be extremely tricky to remove and will more than likely damage the walls and plaster underneath.

PVA glue as a wallpaper primer

Although PVA glue is not considered the best substitute for wallpaper paste, it can act as a great primer.

PVA glue will act as a brilliant barrier between your wall and the wallpaper paste to stop the wall from absorbing the paste and producing any mould.

Water down your PVA glue by creating a 50/50 mixture and apply it to the wall you intend to wallpaper with a large paintbrush.

Leave the primer to dry for at least 1-2 hours before applying your wallpaper paste and hanging your wallpaper.

How to hang wallpaper with wallpaper paste

Tools required for the job:

  • Wallpaper design of your choice
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Bucket
  • Spirit level
  • Paint brush/roller and roller tray
  • Cloth
  • Smoothing brush
  • Craft knife

1. Preparation is key

Making sure you have the best surface possible before hanging your wallpaper is very important.

Fill and sand any cracks that you may have and thoroughly clean the wall before priming it.

2. Prime

Prime your wall using your PVA glue and water mix and leave to dry.

3. Apply your wallpaper paste

Presuming you are using paste-the-wall wallpaper, use a roller to roll on your wallpaper paste on the wall and apply liberally. Do a strip at a time and paste a couple of inches wider than your wallpaper strip to make sure it’s easy to hang the following drop.

4. Hang the first drop

Hanging the first strip of wallpaper is always the most scary as you want it to be perfectly level and bubble free.

Line up your first drop of wallpaper making sure it’s straight with a spirit level. Brush down the paper and use a smoothing brush from the centre to the edges. Cut the excess wallpaper with a craft knife.

Trim the top of the wallpaper in line with where the ceiling and the wall meet.

5. Proceed to hang the rest of your wallpaper

Always work to the right of the first drop of wallpaper and be careful to try and match your wallpaper pattern up perfectly.

Once you’ve hung each drop, check the pattern matches up and if there are any gaps or bubbles, gently wiggle the paper until you’re happy with its position.

6. Clean up

Use a damp cloth to clean up any excess wallpaper paste and there you have your freshly wallpapered wall!

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