Wallpaper Bubbles

Bubbles in your wallpaper make the wall look awful. Luckily there easy to fix!

1. For small bubbles (smaller than a quarter), grab a utility knife and cut a small slit right in the center. Use a syringe filled with liquid wallpaper adhesive to carefully inject a little adhesive behind the slit. Use a damp sponge to carefully smooth out the bubble and then let the area dry.

2. For a larger bubble (bigger than a quarter), use the utility knife to cut an “X” into the area. Carefully peel back the four corners, and apply wallpaper paste to the back of the paper. Grab a clean damp sponge and gently push each of the four corners back into place, smoothing as you go.

Discontinued Wallpaper Books

Discontinued wallpaper books have page after page of untapped potential for your home. I’ll tell you a few of my ideas.

1. To use a page from one of these books, remove it with a straightedge and a utility knife, you may also want to cut off any damaged edges from people looking through the books.

2. Wallpaper’s beautiful prints lend themselves easily to gift-wrap. Cut out a page and use it to wrap your gift. If you aren’t comfortable using the actual page, make a color photocopy of it at your local copy center.

3. While you’re at the copy center try laminating a few coordinating sheets to use as kitchen placemats. You could also do this if you had leftover paper from a decorating project for an instant compliment to your room.

4. Cut the pages to size and use them in your kitchen or bedroom as drawer liners.

5. Use your straightedge and utility knife to cut wallpaper page down to serve as a mat for your favorite pictures.

6. Cut sections from the wallpaper and frame them for inexpensive artwork in your home.

Handy Person Tips

1. Rub petroleum jelly on the hinges and door knobs before you start to paint a door. If you get paint on them, they will wipe off easy.
2.To keep white paint from yellowing, add 10 drops of black paint to each quart of white.
3. When painting ceilings, cut a child’s rubber ball in half and put your paint brush in one of the halves to catch the drips.
4. An old pair of swimming goggles will protect your eyes from paint splatters and drips when painting ceilings.
5. When painting, protect your hands and face with moisturizer. Cleanup will be easier and the moisturizer will prevent paint from seeping into the pores.
6. Before starting to paint with enamel paint, lightly coat your hands and underneath your fingernails with any name brand hand cleaner. After the painting is finished, your hands will be easy to clean.
7. Line your paint tray with aluminum foil. When its time to clean up, just roll up the foil and throw away.
8. To stop paint from dripping, punch a few holes in the rim of the paint can. When the brush is wiped against the edge, the paint flows back into the can. The lid covers the holes so the paint won’t dry out.
9. To remove lumps from paint: Cut a piece of screen to fit the inside of the paint can. Set it on top of the paint and let it float down to the bottom of the can. It will take all the lumps with it, trapping them at the bottom of the can.
10. When painting trim around windows, doorways etc. try using stiff paper to cover the area you don’t want painted. (An old phone book cover works well.) Slide paper along as you paint. It’s much faster and more economical than using masking tape. Works well with either a roller or brush.
11. When painting a room, dip a small card into the paint so that you have the exact color with you and can match accessories in stores.
12. When painting inside corners, trim the paint brush bristles to a V to save strokes and spread paint more evenly.
13. Before pouring paint from a can, cover the rim with masking tape. After pouring, remove the tape — the rim will be clean and the cover will fit tightly.
14. When you poke a paint brush into corners or allow it to rest on the bottom of the paint can, the bristles curl and stray. To straighten natural bristles (not synthetics), try wrapping the brush in a couple of thicknesses of damp cloth and press gently with an iron. The steam and cloth binding do the job. Only light pressure is needed. Let the bristles cool before you unwrap the brush.
15. When painting old woodwork, fill in the holes or cracks with a mixture of flour and some of the paint you are using. It hardens like cement and matches perfectly.
16. When painting stairs, paint every other step first. When these are dry, paint the rest.
17. To avoid cleaning paint brushes and rollers if you intend to use the same color later, or if you do not have time to clean immediately, place the brushes and rollers in a plastic bag, tie shut and place in the freezer. They will keep for several days without drying up.

Learn to paint wallpaper borders

Painted wall borders can add personal decorative touches to almost any room. Playful borders done in cookie cutter shapes give brightness and color to children’s rooms and play areas. Designs and shapes cut from potatoes can give a uniform, comfortable feel to dens and living rooms. Instead of reaching for expensive wallpaper border, try designing your own.

Measure a Border

You can measure a room border using several different methods. The easiest perhaps, is to use a yardstick or tape measure and mark off the desired height of the border. Once this is done, use a yardstick and pencil (or marking chalk and string) to mark the line uniformly on the walls to be painted.
Free–form borders are those which are not entirely uniform. Free form borders are perfect for play areas and children’s rooms. Splash designs in diagonal patterns, zig-zags, or any pattern you choose. You won’t need to measure free-form borders, though it’s a good idea to at least chalk a general pattern on the wall before you begin.

Cookie Cutter Borders

Common household cookie cutters can be used in more rooms than just the kitchen! Use cookie cutters to add color and playfulness to children’s rooms, bathrooms, or play rooms.

What you’ll Need

• Cookie cutters
• Acrylic paints
• Flat craft paintbrushes
• Pencil

1. Measure and mark your border. Cookie cutter borders can be done free-form, as well, adding to their playfulness.
2. Using a pencil or marking tool, trace around cookie cutter so that it leaves a visible mark on the area you’ll be painting. Continue tracing until you’ve covered the entire border area to be painted.
3. Using your paintbrush, paint inside the shapes you’ve just traced on to the wall.
4. If desired, outline each shape with a separate color or paint the color in between cutter shapes.

Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

Glow in the Dark paints can be used to paint stars, moons, suns and other shapes on a child’s bedroom ceiling.
USE different cookie cutter shapes to create a theme in a room. For example, a combination of hearts, hands, and gingerbread men make a nice touch in a nursery area.
Potato Print Borders
Potatoes provide creative minds with an inexpensive way to add design and flair to any room. With a little imagination, a few tools, and a couple vegetables, you can quickly become a seasoned interior designer. Potato printing is best done on flat surfaces, including walls, bookshelves, frames, and similar surfaces.

What you’ll Need

• Potatoes
• Felt-tip or craft marking pen
• Exacta or craft knife
• Flat dish

1. Measure and mark your border.
2. Cut a potato in half and clean thoroughly with warm water. Dry with paper towel.
3. Use a craft pen or felt-tip pen to draw a design, initials, or similar item on to the flat edge of the potato. If you make a mistake, simply trim away 1/2-inch of the potato with a sharp knife and begin again.
4. When you are satisfied with your design, use an exacta or craft knife to cut your design into the potato.
5. Pour your paint into a flat bottomed dish, such as a glass pie pan or paint lid.
6. Place the potato into the paint gently, so that the paint covers your design.
7. Try stamping a few “samples” on to a piece of paper first to make sure you’re satisfied with your design.
When you are, lightly stamp your design on to the wall using firm, even pressure and equal amounts of paint.

Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

You can also use pumpkin carving tools to design and scoop out your pattern from the potato.
USE stencils to trace intricate designs on potatoes.
You can make your own stencil by creating it on paper first and then pinning it to the potato. With a craft marking tool, trace and cut through your outline.
Designer Sponge Paint Borders
Household sponges can be used for more than just mopping up spills. The unique texture of sponges makes them an easy way to add a colorful border to almost any room!

What you’ll Need

• Sponges
• Pen
• Scissors
• Flat dish

1. Mark and measure your border.
2. Add warm water to a clean sponge and wring out so that it is only slightly damp.
3. Use a pen and make a design your sponge stamp. You can make a shape, initials, or multi-level pattern.
4. Cut the design from your sponge using a craft knife or scissors.
5. Pour small amount of paint into a shallow dish, such as a pie plate or paint cover.
6. Gently push your sponge into the paint. (You may want to practice applying your design to a sheet of paper first. When you’re satisfied with the appearance and technique you’ll use, continue.) Using a firm hand, gently push the sponge on to the wall in an even manner. Repeat around the entire border until you are satisfied with the appearance.

Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

USE a cookie cutter to cut fun shapes from sponges for children’s rooms, bathrooms, or play rooms.

1. Measure and mark your wall border.
2. Place small amount of acrylic paint into a shallow dish.
3. Gently push rubber stamp into paint.
4. Apply gentle pressure to the stamp as you place it against the wall. Firm, even pressure and a small amount of paint will ensure a uniform appearance.

Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

THE LARGER the stamp pattern, the easier it is to stamp your border.
Paint the inside of the stamp to add even more color and design to your border. Use acrylic paints and small craft brushes to detail stamp patterns.

How to Remove Wallpaper

Removing wallpaper is one of those pit falls of home remodeling that most people would like to avoid at all costs. Unfortunately, it’s an all too common necessity when you buy a new home and discover that you can’t possibly live with the old owner’s decorating tastes. It’s almost always better to remove wallpaper than to cover it or paint it. How to remove wallpaper depends on the type of wallpaper that was used, and the type of wall it’s covering.

There is such a thing as strippable wallpaper. Strippable wallpaper is designed to be easily removed without the use of tools or solutions. You can determine if your wallpaper is strippable by trying to pull it down. Start at one of the upper corners and try to pull the wallpaper off the wall slowly. If it pulls easily without breaking, it’s your lucky day. You can remove strippable wallpaper by slowly pulling it off in a uniform way. Be sure to keep the plane of the paper parallel to the wall and not pulled out towards you for best results.

If you weren’t lucky enough to discover strippable wallpaper, you will require a little more effort to get your wallpaper down. The process for how to remove wallpaper is much more time consuming when it is not strippable. The first step is to move the furniture away from the walls and put down drop cloths. The glue on the backing of the wallpaper will need to be moistened to get the wallpaper down. Unfortunately, some wallpaper is designed to be water resistant (washable), and won’t readily absorb liquid. In this case, you will need to puncture or score the wallpaper so that you can soak the glue. This can be done with a utility knife, but the easiest way is with a special scoring tool for wallpaper available at most hardware stores. This tool fits in the palm of your hand and has spiky wheels on the underside that make tiny holes in the wallpaper.

You can either use a soapy solution of water and household soap to moisten the glue, a warm water and vinegar solution or a chemical wallpaper removal solution. Some chemical solutions are noxious, so check to see if you need a mask, gloves and goggles to work with the one you choose. Whichever solution you choose, apply it to the wallpaper with a spray bottle or a bucket and sponge. Allow it to soak into the glue for about 30 minutes.

When the glue is softened, try to peel off the wallpaper. It may come off with just your hand, but more likely than not, you are going to have to use a putty knife or wallpaper scraper to get it all. Be careful scrapping, and don’t apply too much pressure or you could cause a lot of damage to your walls. You may have to spray some more solution onto the wallpaper as you go if you encounter some tricky pieces that are stuck tight. Continue to peel, spray and scrape until you get all of the wallpaper off.

If you start to remove one layer of wallpaper and discover another layer of wallpaper, you’re looking at twice the work. The bad news is that you need to remove one layer at a time or you risk damaging the walls underneath. Hopefully, there won’t be even more layers under those, or you will have to remove those separately as well.

Once you get all the wallpaper off, you need to remove any remaining glue from the walls that was left behind. To do this, use a solution of tri sodium phosphate (TSP) and warm water. That should remove all of the glue. Let the walls dry completely (it may take several days) before moving on to the next step. You will also have to repair any damage to the walls caused by the removal process. The scraper will occasionally pull off some bits of drywall or poke small holes in the wall, but those can be easily fixed with some spackle. All you have to do is apply the spackle over the hole, let it dry, and sand it down. You can also apply a primer coat on top of it if you like. You’re now all set to paint or apply another wallpaper better suited to your decorating tastes.

Defects in Wallpaper

Problem: Wallpaper loosens at edges, becomes ripped, or creates bubbles.

Background: Even newer wall coverings, though much improved, can become damaged. Blisters in wallpaper can be fixed by lancing the wall paper with a razor blade or a craft knife to let the air out, then putting glue behind the loose paper and smoothening it with a wet sponge. Loose edges can simply be reglued with wallpaper adhesive. Rips and tears, however, require more work but can be repaired if the damaged area is not too large and you have extra wallpaper.

What to do: With ripped or torn wallpaper, you can often create an almost invisible patch. Find a section of extra wallpaper larger than the damaged area, and tape it over the damaged area, matching the pat tern. Using a razor blade, craft knife, or utility knife, cut straight lines (in the shape of a square, rectangle, tri angle) through both the new patch paper and the wallpaper on the wall. Next remove the top patch paper, as well as the paper on the wall, within the cut area. Coat the back of the patch with wallpaper adhesive, and fit it into the hole. Smoothen and wipe the patch with a damp sponge.

Special advice: If a bubble is next to an edge, you may be able to get rid of it by lifting the edge with a knife. Another way to flatten bubbles is to inject glue behind the bubbled paper with a needle-type injector which resembles a hypodermic needle. If wallpaper that isn’t washable be comes smudged, check a local wall paper store for special wallpaper dough or gum erasers to clean it with.

Helpful hint: Often extra leftover wallpaper, after a few years, will look newer and brighter than wall paper on the wall. To age patch material (so it will match), keep it exposed to similar conditions in an out-of-the-way place.