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Do I have to use Laura Ashley wallpaper paste with Laura Ashley wallpaper?

Listed under Blog, Martin Dunn, products, wallcoverings Posted Jul 18 2012

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.

Beeline Ready mixed tub adhesive Yellow lid good for Laura Ashley wallpaper“They say it must be hung using their paste” says customer.

“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 starch based wallpaper paste suitable for most lightweight wallpaper, fine wallcoveringsMy personal favourite is LAP adhesive (not to be confused with overlap adhesive for borders or repairs).

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!

TP Associate supplierIf you like the Traditional Painter approach to general decorating, please contact a TP Associate Painter and Decorator. Please bear in mind, they are all about the quality, and will not take shortcuts to meet a low ball budget.

However their prices will be competitive with the normal decorator rates charged by established companies in your area.

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…

Martin Dunn Painting and decorating specialist Birmingham Staffordshire South CheshireSpecialist painter and decorator, Martin Dunn, is a member of the Traditional Painter UK network. He is the first port of call for painting and decorating projects from Birmingham to Stafford and S Cheshire.

Martin has been a specialist decorator for many years, and is expert in most traditional decorative finishes, and wallcoverings. He also spent 7 years lecturing, and is one of only a few in the country who were qualified to assess the workmanship of professional decorators.


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9 comments to “Do I have to use Laura Ashley wallpaper paste with Laura Ashley wallpaper?”

  1. Ian

    Done our whole house in LA wallpaper. Some of it went on no problem, other paper was dreadful quality.. We went through 40 rolls just for 10 good ones for a hallway.
    Trying to get LA to accept responsibility was impossible. Chasing complaints was a nightmare.. Regrettably their store staff were excellent but there central customer serices a joke. I wouldn’t buy anything further from there in future, and given we’re a professional couple in our early 30’s thats a potential sack load of money we’ll now spend elsewhere. Given a google search of this issue finds we’re not alone either ” poor quality paper at a designer price” appears to be the summary.

  2. M Dunn Decorating Martin Dunn

    Trust me laura ashley paper is a lot better now than it used to be! remember to check and shade your rolls before you cut. the manufacture will take no responsability once you have cut more than one length. if there were defects in the rolls you should have had no problems returning them for a swap or refund.
    yes la have some fussy or busy patterns, but prep your surface properly including glue size, cross line and use the correct adhesive. then bob is your mothers friend who only comes round on a friday night when youve gone to bed!

  3. Don Gramling

    We have some raised Lincrusta wall paper that is over 100 years old and it’s damaged in a small area. How do we go about getting it reproduced or repaired? Is there a kit that we can make a mold of it and reproduce it that way?
    Please advise, and Thanks.

  4. M Dunn Decorating Martin Dunn

    Hello don.
    My first point of call would be to check out if the pattern is still being produced. Check out lincrusta online and if your close to a proper decorators merchants, ask to look through a lincrusta pattern book.
    If its discontinued contact lincrusta and ask for advice. They do a kit to take a mould of your original paper and make a copy. If you can asked to be put through to andy sarsons he will be able to advise.
    A keen diy-er should be able to follow instructions given and make the copy. Alternatively you could contact my self or other members of traditional painter to carry out the work for you, depending which part of the country you are in.
    Good luck, regards martin dunn

  5. Charles Budd

    Interesting blog Martin. A few questions:
    1. Would you always line a wall before using any Laura Ashley paper? What if it was a flat, smooth, sanded wall?
    2. Why dilute the paste for the lining paper? And why dilute with mixed flake paste and not just, say 10%-20% water?
    3. Would you always use a primer, such as Beeline, then size with diluted paste, prior to any papering?
    4. What do you think of using primer sealers, such as Beeline, or Gardz, prior to papering?
    Thanks, Charlie

  6. M Dunn Decorating martin dunn

    Hello Charlie, hows it hanging? Im usually to the left.

    ok lining paper.
    Rule of thumb yes I would always hang lining even if the walls are flat and smooth ( probably use a lighter weight but still line). Remember lining paper isn’t just there to try and smooth out walls or make them less un even. It has a lot of uses and one of them is satisfying the surface porosity and give an even hanging surface. it will also have wicking properties with the paste.
    So you could chance it without ( may be even give the wall a coat of vinyl matt emulsion – not contract -, similar colour to the paper, to act as your base.
    I would always line though.

    diluting tub paste in my opinion is a must,its just to un workable in its natural state for me.
    Its ok on heavy vinyls when you can get the paper on straight away, but remember you are going to have to soak your lining (un less using wallrock)and your top laura Ashley paper. That’s when you return to it after 5 mins soaking (or what ever they are recommending) and find your paper is stuck together!
    I never just use water as I like a nice cream cheese consistency and I was taught many years ago to thin it with diluted flake paste of the same brand. They aint gona show you this at college, it was just what the other lads did where I worked and its always done the trick for me.
    Get a paddle/whisker drill attachment – it makes life a whole lot easier!
    if you aint to sure just go with lap adhesive ( again whisk it – much easier) and you wont go far wrong.

    I always use beeline or Albany (brewers) wallpaper sealer before papering, still got a box of bone glue size tucked away for special occasions!
    I then tend to “band” the wall with the paste I am using once I have girthed the room and worked out where my drops are going to be.

    beeline and Albany are the dogs nuts as far as im concerned and have never let me down. Can be messy to apply so protect everything in site!
    Used Gardz once and didn’t like it – to shiny for me. But im sure it has its uses.

    right that’s me done. im supposed to be typing quotes up and sorting out the lads wages – looks like they aint going to get paid now! hope your proud of yourself!!??

    chocks away, Martin

  7. Charles Budd

    Sorry, I didn’t reply to this! Thanks so much for going into so much detail Martin. Really useful stuff.

  8. aykut hilmi


    I have a digital wallpaper to hang, which is heavy and thick. The client has said in the past they have to pin it to the wall while it dries to stop it dropping in the process. Can you recommend the right paste as I norming use a straight forward paste with water. So I would like to get this right as it will probably need to dry fast and have a good grab? thank you

  9. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Can the manufacturer not shed some light on the product best suited to hanging their product? Or do you have a reference we can see, else it is going in a bit blind on paste selection here too.

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