How to wallpaper on a brick or cinder block wall

The problems of hiding grout and rough surfaces are easily overcome. The liner paper, if applied correctly, will stretch and hide rough patches and the effect can be completed with thick or embossed wallpaper.

This technique also applies to walls built with cinder blocks. If you are building with brick or cinder block and you know you want to wallpaper certain walls, ask your builders to apply the mortar so you have a nice flat surface, rather than raking the joints. With existing walls, the secret is to prepare the rough surface.

These are the tools you will need: –

A long table or bench, a trough, a sponge or foam paste applicator, scissors, a soft brush to smooth the wallpaper on the wall, a ruler, a plumb line, a knife to cut.

A paint sealer is applied to dry the moisture from the wall, then a liquid size of latex-based wallpaper. A well-soaked and glued wallpaper covering will be enough to smooth out the size and bond the covering firmly to the wall so that when the wallpaper is glued, it does not weaken in any way.

The same principle can be applied even if you are wallpapering rough caste walls (walls that have been plastered and raked or rolled when wet). If your brick wall has an extremely rough and raised surface, you will need to plaster it before wallpapering.

This is how you do it: –

1. Before beginning work on an absorbent blank, the first step is to seal and size the wall. Cover it with a paint sealer and let it dry overnight. Next, apply a liquid latex-based wallpaper size; this is especially good on absorbent surfaces. This takes about an hour to dry. If time is short, you can apply two coats with an hour between coats, instead of overnight sealer.

2. Apply pre-glued liner paper. Soak it in a container to soften it and spread it out within easy reach. Fold back and forth halfway, forming folds to the end of the roll.

3. Holding the top sheet of paper in one hand and the folds with the other, stretch the first fold along the wall and flatten it with a sponge. Stretch the next fold and flatten and so on until the end of the roll.

4. To wallpaper around a corner, leave a 25mm (one inch) overlap and “paper” the adjacent strip of paper over it.

5. Repeat the soaking and folding procedure and place the next roll of liner paper overlapping approximately 1/4 inch (6 mm) on top of the first. By having paper on paper, you will prevent the seams from going into the grooves between the bricks.

6. Allow the liner paper to dry overnight. Doing so will tighten and stretch over rough grooves and patches on the wall surface.

7. Before applying wallpaper, re-coat with latex-based wallpaper liquid size as additional assurance that the liner paper has been properly sealed and fitted to the wall.

8. The type of wallpaper used is important. It should be embossed or with a heavy natural fabric to ensure that the design impression is not lost when it is pasted.

9. Hang the selected wallpaper vertically in the usual way.

Sit back and admire your masterpiece.

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