Wall Decor | Imported Wallpapers
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Types of Wallpaper Media
Most roll wallcoverings are made to a standard size – 10.05m long and about 530mm wide. A few, such as lining paper and woodchip paper (see below) also come in longer rolls.
The cheapest patterned wallpaper you can buy is simply printed, so it’s very vulnerable to stains and physical damage. Avoid this type except for ceilings and for walls in protected locations – the back wall of an alcove, for example.
Washable or spongeable wallpapers are a little more expensive, but have a plastic coating applied over the design so they’ll withstand staining and can be sponged down without wetting the paper. The waterproof coating makes them difficult to strip, however – you may need a steam stripper. Hang them in rooms subject to moderate daily wear, using a paste containing a fungicide to stop mould growing as the paste dries out. Some washable papers are sold ready-pasted – with a layer of dried paste on the back which you activate by soaking each length in a trough of water before hanging it.
Vinyl wallpaper has the design printed on the plastic surface layer, and this is bonded during manufacture to a paper backing for ease of hanging. This makes vinyls much tougher than washables – you can scrub them if necessary – and makes them easy to strip too. You just peel off the plastic surface layer, then soak and strip the plain paper backing from the wall. Hang them in steamy rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms, and in areas where heavy wear or marking are expected – stairwells, for example. Hang them with paste containing a fungicide. Ready-pasted vinyls are also available.
Blown Vinyl Wallpaper
The vinyl surface layer of this wallpaper contains tiny air bubbles that expand its thickness and allow it to be embossed in register with the surface design – for example, to resemble ceramic tiling. Plain textured vinyls are also available, intended for overpainting once hung. They’re tougher than relief wallpapers.
Relief wallpapers are plain papers embossed with regular or random designs and are intended to be overpainted once hung. They are ideal for covering up defects such as cracks and lumps on wall and ceiling surfaces, but need hanging with care to avoid flattening the emboss. Use any type of paste.
Woodchip paper has small chips of wood sandwiched between two layers of paper, giving a surface texture resembling coarse porridge. It’s a very inexpensive paper that covers wall defects well, and is intended to be overpainted once hung. Use any type of paste.