Do I have to use Laura Ashley wallpaper paste with Laura Ashley wallpaper?
This article is onLaura Ashley wallpaper paste, do you need to use it with Laura Ashley wallpaper, is a guest post by Martin Dunn, Staffordshire based Traditional Painter, former lecturer and specialist in wallpaper hanging.
I was hanging some Laura Ashley paper the other day, and the customer had purchased their own paste from Laura Ashley. I suggested she return it to get here money back, as I wouldn’t be needing it.
“Don’t worry, I have hung loads of their wallpaper and never had a problem using a tub adhesive.”
Funny, but I really don’t mind Laura Ashley wallpaper now that I use an adhesive I am happy with, but I know other decorators that run a mile! So, I got into a conversation with the customer about different types of adhesive — exciting stuff ehh?
How to make your own wallpaper paste!
We are lucky decorators now a days, in that we don’t have to make our own paste any more.
It usually consisted of mixing wheat flour with boiling water. And to avoid lumps, it needed mixing well!
The mix was allowed to cool and cold water poured on top, to stop it “skinning”. Once cold it was ready to use.
Remember, this had to be made freshly every day and didn’t contain any fungicidal properties, so mould growth was a common problem underneath wall coverings.
This strength of paste was sufficient for most weights of papers, but heavyweights and embossed papers needed a stronger paste.
Mix your own heavy duty wallpaper paste
This could be done with a mix of dextrine (maize), and it comes as no surprise that dextrine is still used today in Lincrusta adhesive. (I am an approved Lincrusta installer, hence why I know.)
Different types of modern wallpaper paste
Today we can pick from a vast choice of ready-mixed or packet flake adhesives, which are suitable for most situations.
Most pastes are still starch-based, cellulose-based, or a combination of the two — starch ether.
Lots of the tub adhesives have additional PVA added. These are suitable for heavy-weight vinyls and areas of high moisture, eg bathrooms.
All have their uses, but Please don’t add PVA to your flake paste – I have seen some nasty jobs, where the added PVA has marked all the front of the paper and “polished” on the joints.
LAP wallpaper paste
LAP is a cold water starch paste in flake form, (so I don’t have to mix it in boiling water like old times!) and it has an added fungicide.
It has very good “grab”, and a low water content. Water content is important when it comes to soaking papers, because if it is too high, the papers swell too much, and then shrink back once dried, and the joints can open. (Cellulose pastes are notorious for this.) LAP is suitable with most fine finish papers that can become easily marked on the front. It’s also cheap as chips!!!
Cellulose based wallpaper paste
Cellulose also has a very low marking quality — remember what I said about all pastes having their uses. But just as there are many brands of baked beans (not just the 57 variety) there are also many brands of paste, not just the one that begins with sol and ends with vite.
Own brand tub paste
Most big paint suppliers will have their own brand of paste as well. Crown has Decorators Choice tub adhesive, which is great for vinyls and heavy weights, and Brewers have there own Albany brand, with a tub adhesive for all situations, including a wheat tub paste.
Select the best paste for Laura Ashley wallpaper
So back to Laura Ashley. It was hung using an all-purpose ready-mixed adhesive from Beeline — the yellow lid. No problems whatsoever. Like I said, get your adhesive right and the rest is a breeze.
Just remember to use the same adhesive for both your lining and top paper, as there can be a reaction between different pastes. So with Laura Ashley, I would recommend you thin your tub paste down for the lining paper, but do this with flake adhesive (of the same brand as the paste for the top paper) ie mix the flake paste following manufacturer’s instructions, and then add the flake mix to your ready mix tub paste – 30% flake mix to 70% tub paste.
Most manufactures will recommend their own paste for their papers and will wash their hands, if anything goes wrong, but the choice is out there, if you want it. So ALWAYS read the label on the wallpaper and look to see if they are asking for a starch paste, PVA-based ect and make your choice.
Or hire a professional decorator to do it for you!
Any questions, either email me direct, or check out the Traditional Painter forum on wallpaper adhesive where we discuss the intricacies of paste, size, sealers…
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