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Wallpaper Tips

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When you're wallpapering, you'll end up trimming paper away -- at the tops and bottoms of walls, at corners, and to account for any unusual angles. When estimating how much wallpaper you'll need, calculate the square footage of the room or hallway you'd like to cover, then add an additional 15 percent for waste.

Wallpaper today is designed especially to make it easy to hang. Pre-pasted wallpapers are already coated with an adhesive -- all you have to do is soak the wallpaper strips in water and presto! you're on your way. Most vinyl or vinyl-coated wallpapers are strippable. That is, they'll come right off when you're ready to redecorate -- a great feature if you are prone to changing schemes.

Wallpaper borders are specialty papers typically about 4-to-6 inches wide. These cleverly-designed accents give you a whole lot of style without a whole lot of work. You can hang them in combination with other papers, or by themselves on plain painted walls. Use a wallpaper border as crown molding, as a frame around a window, or as a chair rail. You can create your own border by cutting narrow strips from full-size wallpaper pieces.

Wallpaper borders are often hung as long, horizontal strips. Although the papers are narrow, they can be awkward to hang and you can get frustrated fast. Keep your cool by enlisting a helper. Together, you'll have it done in no time.

If you're going to remove wallpaper, you'll encounter one of two kinds. Newer vinyl wallpaper is called "strippable," and it's designed so you can peel it off a wall easily. Find a loose corner and pull it. If it comes off easily, you're in luck. Older wallpaper clings like crazy -- to remove it you'll need a solution that penetrates the paper and softens the adhesive underneath. You probably won't get all the glue the first time, either. You'll need to go back and remove a few patches here and there, soaking each spot with some remover solution to soften it up.

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