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Adhesives for Wall paper

I always ensure I use the correct adhesive for the wall covering I’m hanging. But equally important is the primer or sealer appropriate to the substrate I hanging the paper on.

Always ask yourself this: Do I use a primer or a sealer?
Is there a difference between the two? YES there is!

Depends if the substrate needs to be primed or sealed this can be often overlooked and can create problems with the breakdown of fillers causing lining papers to blow or seams to open when hanging paper over the top.

Heavyweight adhesives will often soak through a lining paper and if the substrate hasn’t been prepared correctly, can cause the wall covering to fail.

Your thoughts on this please Traditional Painter people.



As you say, when paste softens up filler you have a major problem, because sods law, the failure is not at all easy to sort out (even with a magic wand!) I guess good old molten hoofs and bones aka size is a step in the right direction, makes more sense than diluted paste or PVA.

I was guided a slightly different direction after college and for the longest time I have defaulted to Beeline Primer Sealer for ensuring minimal fun and games with dodgy surfaces.

So this one product binds down any dusting surfaces, evens out the porosity of a variable surface (filler, plaster and whatever else might be there), stops the paste penetrating, and provides an even paste-friendly surface too. (Should be sealer-primer by rights, no?)

Sounds too clever for its own good, but it works, dilutes 3 to 1 for most situations, and is one of those bomb-proof products that gets a knowing nod from the few who use it.

And I am confident it isn’t a snake oil product, because when I came back from US a few years ago, I couldn’t find it initially, (didnt look too hard, I know) and took my chances on a job and sized the surface with diluted paste. Wrong, how many lifting edges in the lining paper? I soon went looking very hard, and quickly too, and started again, Beelined the surfaces and never looked back.

Gardz is the American version with a couple more qualities, but for problem solving surface prep for wallpaper only, I favour Beeline as we referred to it - before Beeline did everything known to man.

Beeline primer is a great product as is Beeline traditional glue size if you can actually get hold of any nowadays.

I tend to use cannon size, not tried Beeline but would guess its very much the same. Not sure if you can still get the hot glue size, but that was very good and recommended for sandersons and cole’s hand prints, but on the down side the smell was bad.

Not seen cannon size for years Neil. Beeline size used to be boiling water mix then add cold water. Hot water lap was a great product also. As Martin Dunn says on his blog the Lap paste is one of the best flake pastes you can get IMO also.
Only time I use flake nowadays is for hanging blown vinyls and anaglypta as the soak time with anaglypta is very important, especially for pattern matching due to the stretch in the product. Everything else I tend to use Tub paste (Beeline ready mix).

In regard to sealing walls to paper, the only time i have experienced problems with joints lifting on filler is over Easy fill. Its so loosley bound that it doesent grip the surface…easy to apply and rub down but pants on adhesion and binding, i wont use it at all.
I generally stick to polyfilla interior which is reliable…it seems that adhesion problems rise when one fills over walls that have not been cleaned of existing paste suficiantly; when sizing it activates the paste underneath.

A product that i have been very fond of over the years is Artex Stabilex,for sealing friable surfaces even distemper!
After a good scrape back and rub down apply one coat,it really penetrates the wall, drys quick then you can begin to fill, after rub down apply another coat.
I prefer this to the oil based primer sealer for two reasons;
A) odour, which hangs about.
b) Filler has trouble bonding to it particularly when rubbed to a feather edge.( i also experienced similar problems with BIN)

Generaly though i will use thinned paste over prepared walls and have had no problems with adhesion. But take care to use clean water to thin the paste as dirty water contaminates and cause instability, i have seen paste turn to water before!

Brewers smooth yellow top ready mixed is excellent, and last week i used their red top, which is for heavier wallcoverings, I hung a Designers guild Grass clothe. That to was perfect for the job.

i use Gardz for sealing bad walls or where we’ve used lot of fillers. And then Albany range from Brewers - primer in blue tub for less problematic surfaces, Yellow tub ‘smooth’ ready mix is superb - not gritty like Solvite or Polycell. I hang a lot of mid and top end papers - Zoffany, Cole, Swarowski etc and always had excellent consistent results with Albany pastes