Category Archives: Random Musings

Paste The Wall Wallpaper

Paste The Wall Wallpaper

The theory behind ‘Paste The Wall’ wallpaper is that there will be less mess and the job will be quicker because there is no need to soak the paper. Some manufacturers even suggest, amusingly, that you won’t need a pasting table and can simply apply the paper straight from the roll to the wall….

In reality, Paste The Wall wallpaper is more difficult to apply than traditional paste the paper wallpaper.

Here is why:

There isn’t any give in the paper.

Pasted paper will be floppy when you apply it to the wall. Paste The Wall wallpaper will be dry as a bone and this makes negotiating any obstacles more difficult because the paper won’t crease into a frame in order to be cut as neatly as possible. It won’t crease at the ceiling to make cutting a clean wall to ceiling edge nice and easy.

Cutting a stiff piece of paper around obstacles takes more time, not less.

Plus, you do still need a pasting table because if there is a pattern, you still have to cut to match it and sometimes you have to measure and cut long strips to fit certain obstacles. It helps to have a table to use for this cutting work.

The only advantage in using Paste The Wall wallpaper is that it is more stable – it doesn’t expand & contract as it dries…… actually sometimes it does, because not all Paste The Wall wallpapers are reliably stable. Some do expand just like paste the paper wallpaper, resulting in pattern mismatches…

Can’t find an advantage to using Paste The Wall wallpaper. Not a single one.

So when buying your wallpaper, check which type it is first and only buy Paste The Wall if you are prepared for the added level of difficulty.

  • Don’t use on a wall with numerous obstacles – it’ll drive you mad.
  • If possible remove *socket covers – this will stop you going mad.
  • Always use Paste The Wall paste.

Some wallpaper manufacturers insist that you use their wallpaper paste. This is so that in the event of a problem, you can show that it really is the wallpaper that is at fault and not the wallpaper adhesive.

Paste The Wall paste is not the same as Paste The Wallpaper paste. Paste The Wall wallpaper adhesive is much stronger and usually has PVA as part of its composition.

If you are not using the paste recommended by the wallpaper manufacturer, ensure that your alternative is made by a reputable brand, i.e. Solvite, Polycell, Beeline, and ensure it is appropriate for the type of wall covering, i.e. Vinyl, embossed paper etc.

So, always use Paste The Wall paste.

And of course, always **size the wall first.

Happy papering!

*Before doing any electrical work, switch off the electricity supply at the mains.

**Size is a solution of wallpaper adhesive which should be painted onto the wall area to be wallpapered and allowed to dry, prior to wallpapering.



Hairline Fine Cracks in Plaster

Hairline Fine Cracks in Plaster

There are three main causes of cracking plaster.

1.The first, is the environment in which the plaster dried:

For example, if the heating is whacked on in order to speed up the drying process, this has the effect of sucking the moisture out of the plaster too quickly and this causes uneven drying and shrinkage resulting in cracks.

A similar effect can occur at the top of unventilated stairwells because the heat in the upper section will be considerably higher than that of the lower section.

Ventilation throughout the drying process resolves this issue but is not always possible – perhaps a window or skylight does not open or can’t be left open for security reasons.

If this was the reason for your cracks, then your attempts to fix the cracks – such as filling and sanding – should work if the environmental conditions were different when the remedies were applied.

If the cracks return…

2.The second reason for cracking – wall movement:

Stable, plastered walls do not repeatedly crack dependent on the weather.

If you have walls with recurring cracks, that none of the usual remedies have fixed – this points to there being movement in the walls.

A typical cause of this can be inadequately secured door frames and windows. So, every time a culprit door is closed it moves the wall slightly causing cracks in the surrounding plaster. Poorly installed replacement UPVC windows and doors are known for causing cracks to the surrounding plaster.

If this is the cause of your movement, the cracks will keep coming back while it exists.

You have two solution options: Either, persist with bare plaster and locate the cause of any wall movement, have the wall re-skimmed and control the environment while it dries. With this solution there is always a risk that the problem will return because you may not have found the exact cause of the wall movement.

Second option – have the walls lining papered. Yes, this is covering up the issue but if there is no evidence of an underlying damp problem and if the root cause of the wall movement can’t be located, this is often the most cost effective solution that brings the problem to an end.

3.The third cause of cracking plaster that repeatedly cracks after repair is:

a.Poorly mixed plaster – in other words, the plaster mix was too thin and poorly applied to the wall surface.

b.Structural issues with the property – if you have ruled out all other causes of the cracking and yet the cracks return and grow, then you may have a structural defect that requires attention.

Before you panic and think foundation problems and £££, please double check that you do not have any plumbing work that is leaking unseen, within walls.

If you have any queries about your particular plaster issues, please be in touch.


Painting on New Plaster – Painting on Wet Plaster?

Painting on New Plaster – Painting on Wet Plaster?


Do NOTHING until you have read this post!

Plasterers, I love them. They transform ‘orrible pock marked surfaces into lovely, smooth, blank canvases for me to paint or paper and the finish will be gorgeous because of their excellent work.


Why therefore, would anyone, take the plasterer’s dreamily smooth surface and ruin it by painting on it before it is dry? Or just as bad, papering over it before applying a basecoat?

Why would anyone do that, expecially after paying the plasterer to provide a lovely new surface to decorate?

Why, indeed.

Patience Pays

If you are wondering whether or not you can paint on wet plaster or whether you really do HAVE to wait weeks for it to throroughly dry out, then ofcourse the answer is no, you don’t HAVE to. There isn’t a law or anything. But there ought to be.

Painting or wallpapering over plaster that has not had several weeks to dry properly is a big mistake. HUGE.

By doing so you are storing up problems for the future which will result in your lovely smooth surface looking hideous.

I have written numerous posts describing what happens if you work on plaster too soon and problems caused by decorating on wet/damp plaster account for 99% of my mailbox.

It really isn’t worth the time saved.

Painting on New Plaster – Painting on Wet Plaster?

Here is the Law according to PainterJack:

  • Painting or any type of decorating on wet plaster – under 2 weeks old – don’t. Just don’t do it.
  • Decorating on damp plaster – 2-7 weeks old. Don’t do it. If you absolutely must because you have a time issue then you HAVE to prepare the plaster correctly prior to decorating. See this post.
  • Decorating plaster that is over 7 weeks old – in winter allow 10 weeks drying – yes, decorate. Prepare the bare plaster with a sloppy mix of water and matt white paint. Must be MATT. Apply two coats and allow to dry thorougly.
  • Only after you have base coated your plaster should you consider applying decoration to the surface.

Thank you.

Happy Decorating!





Here is the scenario……you are badgered into responding really quickly to something so you jump through hoops to do exactly that.

So you respond super fast. The person you have responded to then takes an inordinate amount of time to reply! Days roll by.

What’s that all about?




Some jobs are quite a distance to travel to (which isn’t a problem), but it reduces the amount of hours that can be worked in one day if you have to consider travelling time.

Therefore, I’m giving Travelodge a whirl on the long distance jobs.

Having decided to do this it is then amazing to discover how many Travelodges don’t have parking! So the closest Travelodge to the job isn’t always an option.

UPDATE!!! – The Travelodge idea works a treat! Had a great stay at Wellingborough although it did have the shallowest bath known to man.

Be doing that again though!