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Wallpapering Staircase in a Period Property in Northamptonshire

Listed under Blog, Paul Barber, period property, wallcoverings Posted Mar 30 2013

Some more information about wallpapering a staircase in a period property in Northamptonshire, from Traditional Painter’s Paul Barber who is a master wallpaper hanger.

Preparing the walls

toupret fillersThe walls had some quite bad cracks, which where cut out by scraping the cracks through with a shave hook.

I seal the cracks with PVA and once dry, fill with Toupret interior filler. It is a very fine powder filler that rubs down to a very smooth finish.

I always apply two fills, as the first run will sink in slightly. The filling was then rubbed down and I sealed the complete area with PVA.

Lining paper

The lining paper I like to use is Albany, supplied by Brewers. This is a very good quality virgin paper, which I prefer to a recycled paper.

1000 to 1200 grade is suitable for most redecoration work, depending on the condition of the substrate.

When hanging the lining be very careful not to overlap the seams, leave a 1mm gap.

I normally use Solvite Extra strong powder mix for the lining. I have never had a problem with this in over 30 years of using it.

Prior to hanging the finish wall covering

When I am ready to hang the finished wall covering, I assume nothing! The first job is to double check the cross lining that you have carried out, to make sure there are no imperfections showing through your lined walls.

I like to flat down the lining before hanging the finished wall covering.

Draycote House Northampton

Wallpaper Hangers Guild

The products I use in this scenario, and some of the extra steps, like checking and flatting the lining paper, may seem a little out of step with mainstream practice, but all I can say is, it works for me and if it didn’t, I wouldn’t be a longstanding member of the Wallpaper Hangers Guild!

The WHG is the wallpaperers’ equivalent of Traditional Painter, in that not just anyone has the experience and the patience and application to hang the trickiest wallpapers in the trickiest scenarios. It is the little things that set the masters apart. Having just spent 2 days filling and sanding and cutting out a “top decorator’s” lining paper before it was fit for hanging 30 rolls of fine wallcovering, I think my system works 🙂

Paul C Barber hand painted kitchens northamptonshirePaul C Barber, specialist kitchen painter and wallpaper hanger based in Northampton, is the Traditional Painter responsible for hand painted kitchens throughout Northamptonshire.

A member of the prestigious Wallpaper Hangers Guild, kitchen painter for A Bell & Co Ltd of Kingsthorpe and also a Dulux Select Fellow, Paul has been working at the high end of decorating for over 35 years now.


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9 comments to “Wallpapering Staircase in a Period Property in Northamptonshire”

  1. Charles Budd

    Really interesting article. I’ve never heard of sealing a whole wall with PVA – I always use Zinsser Gardz. Does it do the same job? And I know many decorators now prefer ready-mixed paste, but you prefer the Solvite crystals? Is there any advantage to using 1000 or 1200 lining instead of 1400? I usually use the latter. And what’s to ‘Flat Down’ the lining paper? Sorry for all the questions!

  2. George Crichton

    Hi there, good read as a paper hanger myself.

    I’m also in the middle of Wallpapering a staircase and going through a similar process.

    I actually stopped using Solvite flakes a while back and use ready mixed all the time now, both for line/paint and prior tho hanging a finished wallpaper.

    I’m assuming you use Ready Mix or similar where recommended ?

    I prefer use Beeline Primer Sealer to seal my walls as it really helps the seams to tack down and prevents blistering fillers 90% of the time. (Andy has an article on here)
    Charlie mentions Zinsser Guardz I see. Well careful!

    I had a a few problems with seam shrinkage on Lining Paper after using it to seal walls, and during a conversation around a month back with Technical Support at Zinsser the nice chap told me they don’t recommend it as part of a wallpapering project and advised me to use the 123 to obliterate dark colours and seal surfaces. ( I had a Dark blue room to wall paper iI lined a few years back)

    On the flattening down, yes I do this also with a fine sandpaper just to make sure there’s no wee nibs popping up and let’s you feel for the odd seam of lining paper that may have overlapped a little as it can occasionally happen.

    Hope your all well.


    George. (G-Dec)

  3. Charles Budd

    Thanks for that George – especially about Zinsser Gardz! I use it all the time, and I have had some issues with seam shrinkage – but thought that was my fault. So how is the Beeline Primer Sealer different? I thought they were both essentially moisture-resistant sealers to reduce suction/patchy drying and to aid slippage when hanging? So what are your favoured ready mix pastes? And I know know what’s meant by ‘flat down’ – thanks.

  4. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Beeline Primer Sealer https://traditionalpainter.com/sizing-walls-before-papering with links to the article about lifting seams

    Martin Dunn has mentioned Brewers own brand version for less.

  5. Charles Budd

    Thanks for that Andy.

  6. Traditional Painter

    Northampton specialist Paul Barber is also a member of the Wallpaperhangers Guild. He can tell you a few stories of poor workmanship that he is often called on to put right. What is the worst wallpapering you have seen?

  7. Karl

    I really thought that when I got my wallpapering done in my room three days ago, the work is over, but now with guide that deals about the staircase, I’m rolling up my sleeve.

  8. jason

    sealing the cracks with pva,is that neat or mixed with water cheers

  9. Anonymous

    I would normally seal the cracks with the pva slightly thin with water. Works well for me.
    Paul C Barber

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