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ALL ABOUT WALLPAPER: interview with a Graham & Brown wallpaper expert

November 16, 2017

Wallpaper is a great way to add interest, drama, texture, and color to a wall. However, we find that many of our clients think of it as something "traditional", too difficult to apply, expensive, or get lost in the wide selection that is available on the market right now. Today on the blog we have a wallpaper expert, Irina Scalabrino, from Graham&Brown (a well-known wallpaper manufacturer, started by 2 friends, Harold Graham and Henry Brown, in 1946 in UK) to share all there is to know about wallpapers.

 

WHAT TYPES OF WALLPAPERS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE MARKET RIGHT NOW?

Wallpaper designs have changed tremendously over the last 50 years. There is, indeed, a large variety of products to choose from: textured or 3D, metallic, paintable, moisture-resistant, in a wide range of colors and patterns, bold or with subtle texture. There is something for everyone.

 

Majestic black Wallpaper
 
Wallpaper is generally made from two layers or substrates: the top and base. The top is the decorative finish that is usually either paper or vinyl. The base layer, or backing, determines how the paper is hung and these choices include paper or non-woven. Paper substrates are hung using the "paste the paper" hanging method (applying adhesive to the paper). This is the traditional method for hanging and is slightly more time-consuming. This technique also requires soaking the paper for sometime: allowing the wallpaper to expand fully before it goes on the wall. Non-woven bases use the "paste the wall" technique (adhesive is applied to the wall rather than the paper itself). This method makes wallpapering easier than ever: you can simply apply the adhesive to the wall and hang dry from the roll avoiding trimming the messy wet paper. "Paste the wall" kind of paper is also fully strippable - meaning that removal process is simple and quick (you can just peel it off the wall). 

 

As I mentioned before, the top decorative finish can be either paper or vinyl. At Graham&Brown, we offer quite a few types of wallpaper with these finishes. The most popular are: paintable textured, cushioned vinyl, colored textured vinyl, heavy weight vinyl, fibrous, flock wallpaper.

 

Tweed soft grey wallpaper

CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE FINISHES?

Vinyl wallpapers have a PVC surface that is laminated to the base. It is a thicker product and hides well all the wall imperfections. Most of the vinyls can be washed, can stand abuse very well, making them ideal for heavy traffic areas. Vinyl wallpapers are also easy to remove: they simply peel off. There are a number of vinyls including cushioned, textured (sometimes known as blown or expanded), heavy weight. 
 
Textured vinyl wallpapers come in an array of choices including the ones that can be painted over. The surface of these wallpapers have been printed using PVC and heated to achieve the "raised"design. This type of paper is great to help cover any wall imperfections such as lumps or cracks, is very easy to hang and remove, and is a great choice.
 
"Curvy "paintable textured vinyl wallpaper 
 
Cushioned vinyl wallpaper is ideal for a kitchen or bathroom: not only can it closely resemble ceramic tiles, it is moisture-resistant. This type of product is most commonly known as "Tiling on a roll" and is less expensive and easier to apply as compared to regular tile. 
 
Colored textured vinyl wallpaper has been around for more than 30 years. With a variety of light and heavily textured designs in striking colors, the collections include classical damask and floral designs as well as textured plains and stripes. 
 
Heavy weight vinyls have a heat-embossed raised finish to fit the pattern design, providing a multitude of textural effects. As the decorative surface is solid vinyl, this product has a high-quality appearance, as well as increased durability and a resistance to moisture, stains, and grease. 
 
 Slate grey bathroom wallpaper
 
Fibrous wallpapers are the latest innovation in wallpaper - they are produced using thicker fibres that give a luxurious feel. The heavy fibrous weave of the paper base creates a wonderful backdrop for the patterned designs as well as a natural textured effect on plains, that cannot be achieved with a flat painted wall. Contemporary metallic inks, combined with chalky matte base colors, add further depth to the designs and enhance the texture.

 

Flock wallpaper uses fibres such as velvet, bonded in patterns to the surface of the paper, creating a product that evokes a feeling of grandeur and class. It holds an opulence with its roots in the 18th century and still retains a strong sense of classical beauty to this day. These wallpapers can be cleaned, but with care, because extensive scrubbing can damage the flock.

 

Flat luxury wallpaper offers a highly embellished flat decorative finish that is printed using "paste-the wall" technology. This extra-heavy flat wallpaper features metallics and glitters that can add drama to your space.

 

"Paste the paper"Pippa wallpaper 

HOW HAS THE WALLPAPER APPLICATION PROCESS EVOLVED? CAN YOU SHARE A FEW TIPS FOR DECORATING WITH WALLPAPER?

Wallpapering process is not as difficult as some might think, especially with "paste the wall" papers which are easier to hang and remove (as compared to traditional papers) and quite often the application process is even quicker than painting.

 

Make sure to choose the right wallpaper for your project, measure correctly and know how much paper you need. If you are new to handling wallpaper, I would recommend using the "paste the wall" wallpapers. You can hang the paper directly from the roll, there is no messy "wet trimming". When using this method, however, do not apply the adhesive to the entire wall at once. Rather, as you go.

 

If your walls have a lot of imperfections, consider using the lining paper. It provides an even surface and a smoother finish for wallpaper hanging or painting. Lining paper is wider than standard wallpaper and is usually hung horizontally to make sure the joins are not at the same intervals as the main wallpaper. It is suitable for all rooms and will help hide wall imperfections perfectly.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN WALLPAPER TRENDS FOR 2018?

One of the hottest wallpaper design trends for 2018 is floral wallpaper. Oversized floral prints with colors that are rich, botanical prints and metallic finishes. Geometric patterns will also continue to be in the spotlight. 

 

 "Paste the wall "Muse French Navy wallpaper

 

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