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No Need to Cry Over Torn Wallpaper – Repair It!

We all know the feeling – you have just finished a kitchen remodel, only to notice an unsightly tear in the freshly installed wallpaper. Ugh! It is like discovering a run in your pantyhose. But unlike pantyhose, it is not so easy to simply throw it away and put on a fresh pair. So before you go stripping off hundreds of dollars of good wallpaper, just follow these nine steps to easily repair the tear.

But a word of warning – this technique works best on wallpaper tears that are less than twelve inches in length. For anything more than that, it is better to replace the entire strip of wallpaper

Before you begin surgery on the patient, you will need to gather the following: a piece of extra wallpaper large enough to cover the tear, masking or painters tape (which doesn’t stick as tightly as masking tape), utility knife or razor, spray bottle filled with water, a small putty knife, a damp sponge and a wallpaper seam roller.

First, unroll your piece of extra wallpaper and locate an area that is large enough to cover your tear, while matching any pattern in the paper. Second, use a piece of masking tape or blue painters tape to tape your patch piece over the torn area.

Next, make sure you are satisfied with the pattern match and then use your utility knife to cut through both the patch piece that is taped to the wall and the original wallpaper beneath it. This is the critical step. It is important to cut through both pieces at the same time to establish a perfect fit. If the pattern is a stripe or vertical pattern, cut along a vertical line to hide the seams. But if your paper has an irregular print such as a floral pattern, it is better to cut in an irregular direction to help hide the seam.

Your fourth step is to spray the damaged wallpaper with water in order to loosen the adhesive that is holding it to the wall. Then, use your small putty knife to carefully scrape off the damaged wallpaper, but be sure to that you don’t scrape or gouge the wallpaper around it.

Next, you need to clean any remaining wallpaper paste from the damaged wall area. If the paste is stubborn, you may want to mix up a homemade solvent to help coax it off the wall. You could use a combination of vinegar and water, mixed in a fifty-fifty ratio. Or try a combination of twenty-five percent fabric softener mixed with twenty-five percent water.

Now it is time to brush the back of your wallpaper patch with wallpaper adhesive or seam sealer. Next, position the patch carefully in place until it feels secure. You can use a damp sponge to wipe away any excess adhesive. Finally, you are ready to seal the edges of the patch by using a wallpaper roller to roll the seams.

And there you have it – once the patch dries, the seams will be unnoticeable. Of course, if you are really lucky, the tear is at eye level and you can just hang a picture over it!

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