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Hanging Farrow and Ball wallpaper

Listed under Blog, Martin Dunn, Olfa, wallcoverings Posted Dec 12 2013

You know how it is, you wait for the bus then 3 come along at once!
Well after my little set back, thanks to Mr Farrow and Bobby Ball, the F&B paper I was due to hang turned up. Not only that one, but some more for another room at the old vicarage

F&B wallpaper F&B wallpaper

and then we turn up at another job and there waiting for us is more of Bobby’s finest!

What to look out for before hanging

F&B wallpapers are block printed pulp paper and, whilst the paper itself is good quality, the block printing on some of the papers leaves a lot to be desired.

You really shouldn’t be having two and a half meter lengths that match top and bottom and not in the middle. And that’s on the boards before we paste them?!

As with all papers check batch and shade plus hanging instructions.

Now of course F&B are going to recommend using their paste, but after a quick phone call to them we got the go-ahead to use our tried and tested Lap cold water starch adhesive.

First steps

Paste nicely whisked up and ready to go.

LAP starch adhesive

You may have also noticed on the vicarage we have base coated the walls out with a colour to match the wallpaper background.

basecoat and number

F&B send out their paper in numbered rolls and this must be hung in sequence. You will notice we have chalk numbered the wall for each drop.

Hanging

As with all pulps, once pasted and booked, keep a very careful eye on soaking times. They dont half like to stretch!

Banding

I like to band my seam lines on the wall as well. What I mean by this is, work out where my paper will drop and apply a band of paste to the wall where the seams will be.

banding paste

This works just as well on lining paper as well as sized/painted plaster, and gives a good lock down on the joint.

With these papers we tend to use a smoothing brush and a felt roller.

felt seam roller

I find it trims fine with a nice fresh black olfa blade and our trusted shears.

Stand back

Paper’s up, and apart from the picture rail running out of true (we didn’t put it up) and the trouble we had with the red background paper, all was well.

paper applied

How we roll

Just recently I have been reading with interest the fors and againsts for using seam rollers.

I must admit, I think they are a good tool in the right hands, but I’ve seen a few too many polished joints (use a scrap of paper under the seam roller) and a few too many flattened patterns to know they can be lethal in the wrong hands.

Personally I like what god gave me the best, and that is the back of my thumb nail.

smooth paper with thumb nail

But I find a felt seam roller works well with these papers.

Cum on feel the noize!

finish wallpaper F&B

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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8 comments to “Hanging Farrow and Ball wallpaper”

  1. Charles Budd

    Nice job Martin. How did you get past the mis-matched middle bit of the pattern?

  2. martin dunn

    charlie me old fruit.
    That paper was a real head scratcher and it really shouldnt have been because they are usually not to bad to hang.
    We had been delayed once with that paper when f&b failed to send it out. Once it did come, ourselves and the customer where keen to get it up. The fault didnt become apparent when cutting and hanging the paper for the fireplace, which we did first as this was the focal point. Once we did find it, we pointed it out to the customer and also made them aware of our past experiences of f&b customer services eg they are not bothered.

    We then ajusted the paper so where the pattern ran out it wasnt in eye line. Then it was out with the artist paints to mix a colour to match the back ground and we touched up where required. Because the f&b paper is on a painted backing, it does touch up if your careful.

    Its allways interesting explaining to clients that there £100+ handpainted or blockprinted wallpaper will not match up as well as a £10 roll of paper from b&q!

    But it is what it is and the end results can look stunning. Shame the manufactures dont send out colour matched crayons with there wallpaper like they used to.

  3. martin dunn

    cont…
    the paper for the fireplace, which we did first as this was the focal point. Once we did find it, we pointed it out to the customer and also made them aware of our past experiences of f&b customer services eg they are not bothered.
    We then ajusted the paper so where the pattern ran out it wasnt in eye line. Then it was out with the artist paints to mix a colour to match the back ground and we touched up where required. Because the f&b paper is on a painted backing, it does touch up if your careful.
    Its allways interesting explaining to clients that there £100+ handpainted or blockprinted wallpaper will not match up as well as a £10 roll of paper from b&q!
    But it is what it is and the end results can look stunning. Shame the manufactures dont send out colour matched crayons with there wallpaper like they used to.

  4. Charles Budd

    That does sound like a real headache Martin, and a testament to your skills that you were able to negotiate the problem and leave the customer happy. Why did you mix a colour yourself instead of buying a tester pot of the F&B colour itself? I’ve never mixed artists colours (well, not since school) – is it a skill you use often?

    I hope someone at F&B reads your blog, but from their reputation, it won’t change anything!

  5. martin dunn

    we allways carry a selection of gouache artists paints. These can be then mixed to suit. Just get a scrap of the paper and mix your paints, then its just trial and error. A hairdrier or hot air gun helps to dry the paint so you can see the colour when its dry.

    Charlie, your name sounds familiar. Have we met?

  6. Charles Budd

    Thanks for that tip with the gouache paints Martin. I was at the P&D Show, and have popped up on this website a few times.

  7. Johnomalley

    Hi hung f&b wallpaper in a toilet didn’t resize there was a radiator behind one of the walls , so the paper split on 2 of the lengths, could I damp the paper and try to stretch it back or is that a bad idea.

  8. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

    Sounds about right, but try to dampen the paper from behind with a brush, so as not to upset the pattern on the face. The pattern is a screen-printed emulsion paint, so it shouldn’t be affected by a little bit of water, but best not to push it!

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