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The Ultimate Wallpaper Guide

Wallpaper Terms and Symbols

Sizing a wall refers to a coat of paste you apply to the wall prior to wallpapering. This process creates a uniform surface for the wallpaper to adhere. Although sizing is not always necessary, it has many benefits including easier wallpaper application, increased grip between the wallpaper and the wall, and easier wallpaper removal. It is especially recommended for wallpapering on plastered, repaired, or porous walls. Once your walls are clean and smooth you are ready to begin sizing.

Booking refers to how the wallpaper should “rest” while the glue activates. Booking allows the paste to penetrate the wallpaper while keeping the paste from drying out before hanging it.

Once the glue has been activated on pre-pasted strips or spread on un-pasted ones, you should lay the strip pattern-side down on a flat surface. Gently fold the ends of the strip back towards the centre so the pasted sides are touching.

Do not allow the folds to crease or you may leave a permanent mark. Follow the manufacturers recommended time for booking before hanging the strip. You do not need to “book” the wallpaper when using the Paste-the-Wall method.

When using an offset design match, also called drop match, the design expands beyond the width of one roll and therefore needs to match the strips around it both horizontally and vertically. Offset designs are the most difficult to align and require you to determine which strips will go where before you begin. The half-drop match repeats at the ceiling line on every other strip creating a diagonal pattern sequence. Offset matches also require more wallpaper and create more waste. You would need three strips of wallpaper to repeat the vertical design.

The symbol for an offset match is .

When using a free design match, also called random match, you don’t have to worry about lining up the design at the seams. This makes free match wallpaper easy to install and great for beginners. Using a free match wallpaper, such as a texture or vertical stripes, will reduce the amount of wasted paper since you won’t have to cut away extra paper to match a design.

The symbol for free match is .

When using a straight design match, the wallpaper design begins and ends within the width of the roll. This makes it easy to see where the seams should line up. The match begins at the ceiling line ensuring that the design will match up on either side of the strip. This creates a horizontal pattern sequence.

The symbol for straight match is .

Design match describes the way to join two sheets of wallpaper so the patterns match up. The design match for your wallpaper is generally indicated on the product page. There are multiple types of design match, the main three being free match, straight match, and drop match.

Pattern repeat measures the design on your wallpaper. It is the vertical distance between one point in the pattern and where that identical point appears again. Pattern repeats can vary in size. The pattern repeat is important to keep in mind when deciding how much wallpaper to order.







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We offer a professional installation service for our clients in most regions across South Africa, however we also understand if you want to get a little creative and transform your home.

Installing wallpaper may seem a daunting task but modern wallpapers are designed to be easily installed and removed, perfect for do it yourself projects.

We have provided you with a couple of handy tips and videos when it comes to installing wallpapers.






Cape Town

Unit 202, Pine Park, Pinelands, 7405

021 465 6547



6 East, Kramerville Corner, 8 Kramer Road, Sandton, 2196

011 262 5213



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