ANYONE who decides to acquire the by no means difficult art of hanging wallpapers, is advised to begin modestly in a small room where a few mistakes may be overlooked, and to use a fairly stout paper with a set design – that is, one completed in every width. In drop designs the pattern occupies two or three widths, and only every other or every third piece, as the case may be, will be cut alike. The Outfit is Simple
The outfit required is simple enough; a table, at least as wide as the paper and rather more than half as long as the lengths to be hung; a good supply of flour paste, free from lumps, and thin enough to spread freely; a paper-hangers brush to apply the pasto with ; a large pair of sharp scissors; a small plumb-bob on a string; a clean, fairly stiff clothes brush for smoothing the paper down on the wall; and a step-ladder or stool of suitable height.
A little alum added to the paste will prevent it turning sour.
English wallpapers are ordinarily 21 inches wide across the pattern, with a A inch margin on each side; and are sold in rolls containing 12 yards each. In measuring up, windows and doors may be disregarded, and 20 per cent, extra allowed for I papering above windows, etc., and wastage.
The calculation required is a matter of simple school arithmetic.
PAPERING THE WALL
TF the walls to be papered are already distempered, the distemper must be moistened with warm water and scraped off with a straight piece of glass, and the wall well swept. Any cracks or holes are filled in with plaster of paris, and the surface is sandpapered smooth.
Then follows brushing the Avails over with a solution of size. The object of doing this is to prevent the paper gripping the wall so quicldy after it is applied that adjustment becomes difficult. When the size has dried, the wall is ready for papering.
Should there already be paper on the wall, the safest course, even if the old paper has a fairly perfect surface, is to strip and start afresh from the bare wall. The paper is repeatedly moistened with warm water till it peels off easily, and the walls are then treated in the manner already described.
BUTTING AND LAPPING TheRE are two possible way3 of making the vertical joints between pieces. Both margins may be cut off, and the edges of pieces made to touch without overlapping, like the boards of WALLPAPER
WALLPAPER a floor. The pieces are then said to be butt-jointed. To make neat joins in this way it is essential that the trimming be done very accurately – not at all a difficult matter if proper care be taken. In well-hung butt-jointed paper the seams are practically invisible.
In the alternative method, fop-jointing, only one margin is removed, and the other is covered by the trimmed edge of the piece next to it. There, again, care is needed when hanging, to avoid leaving any of the margins visible. When lap-jointing is used, and especially if the paper is at all thick, laps must be made towards the window. Otherwise the laps will cast noticeable shadows.
Supposing the window to be on the south side, papering might begin on each side of it, and be worked in both directions. The pieces for the east wall will have their right-hand margins removed; and those for the west wall their left-hand margins. As regards the south wall, the lap may be in either direction.
STARTING AND FINISHING VVHEREVER it is decided to start, &™ the first length hung must be quite vertical, and a guiding line is therefore made in pencil with the help of the pjumb-bob. If the walls are all quite perpendicular the other pieces will be vertical, also; but if there is any doubt on the point the plumb-bob should be used as a check now and then, and any lack of perpendicularity corrected as more pieces are fixed.
Before a start is made with the hanging, a roll of paper should have the edges trimmed, and some lengths be cut off. The distance between skirting and cornice or picture rail is measured, a couple of inches extra are allowed at each end for trimming, and the lengths are cut-accordingly.
Half of a length of paper is drawn on to the table, which has been covered with newspapers stuck together, with the edge away from the operator near the farther edge of the table, and the farther part of it is pasted by strokes outwards from the centre towards that edge. The piece is then drawn towards the worker, till its near edge is just overlapping the table, and the rest of the half is pasted similarly. The brush must never be drawn on to the paper from beyond an edge.
The pasted part is then folded over and stuck lightly to itself, and the piece moved endways to bring the other half on to the table, but a trifle nearer the worker, so that it may not pick up paste from the newspaper. After pasting, the second end also is folded over, to make handling easier.
Instead of newspaper, a cut piece turned, of course, faco downwards, may be used to protect the table, while its predecessor is being pasted.
The extreme ends of a piece are better left unpasted, as they will not be used.
PLACING THE PAPER TJAVING mounted the step-ladder or stool, the worker releases the top loop of the piece and adjusts one edge to the starting line, the top of the piece overlapping the cornice. The point of the scissors is run in the angle between wall and cornice, to mark the paper, which is pullod away sufficiently to allow the waste to be cut off along the mark. The brush is now used to smooth the paper down with strokes from the centre towards each edge. A slight bulge here and there can be disregarded, as it will disappear as the paper dries and contracts.
The bottom half of the piece is now nnlooped and adjusted, the skirting line is marked with the scissors, the waste at the bottom is removed, and the brushing down of the piece is completed.
When the second piece is attached, care must be taken to overlap or butt it very carefully.
VWHEN there is less than a widths distance between the piece last fixed and a hollow corner, the next piece must be trimmed off so ns only just to extend past the corner on to the next face. If it were carried far beyond it, the paper would be certain to pull away at the angle as it dried and be torn sooner or later.
When it is in position the succeeding piece must be trimmed to match, and be fixed with its matching edge in the corner. Projecting angles, such as those between the front and sides of a chimney breast, do not require the same precaution, as shrinkage will only pull the paper harder against the plaster.
The pattern is carried unbroken over the mantelpiece and doorway, being cut to fit any mouldings.
Any patching or filling up that may be required should be left to the end of the job. Should a part have been badly stained and need covering, tear the patch into an irregular shape, the edges of which the eye will not pick out so easily as those of a rectangular patch.
Walls, Damp. Permanently damp walls are injurious to health, destructive of wall-paper or distemper on them, and damaging to furniture and fittings near them. Temporary dampness usually affects wall decorations only.
The dampness in a newly-built house is probably due to the materials not having dried sufficiently, owing to construction having been accompanied by bad weather. The following has been recommended as a test which is reliable at least in dry weather:
Weigh out very carefully a quantity of fresh lime, and spread it in a large pan placed in the centre of the room to be tested. Keep all windows and doors closed. At the end of 24 hours weigh the lime again. If its weight has increased by more than 1 per cent, owing to absorption of moisture, the room is too damp for safe habitation.
Permanent dampness may be due to any one of several causes. If underburnt, over-porous bricks have been used, they allow rain and moisture to penetrate too far for wind and sun to dry them out again, and some moisture reaches the inside.
Bad mortar, which perishes quickly on the face of the joints, acts in the same way as a conductor of damp. The trouble is aggravated in the case of much-exposed walls facing the wet quarter, or heavily shaded by trees which keep sunlight away from them.
The only remedies are to have the walls sprayed over with a waterproofing liquid in warm weather, or covered with roughcast or a rendering of cement, or to have joints repointed with cement mortar.
Walls of outbuildings may be made practically impervious by a coating of hot tar laid on while the walls are warm in the sun, or at least dry on the surface.
If the walls of ground-floor rooms are damp, though those of upper floors do not give trouble, the cause may be that a damp-course has been omitted between ground level and the wall plate carrying the floor, or that the damp course is not waterproof.
The cutting away of the brickwork a little at a time and inserting an effective damp course is a very expensive operation. An improvement may result if the ground next the wall is covered with asphalt or concrete over a width of 3 or 4 feet, sloping down outwards to a gutter which will carry the water clear of the house into a drain.
Where a house is built on a slope it is important to prevent earth banking against the uphill side above the damp course, as may easily happen if the ground there is cultivated. Surface water coming downhill should be intercepted and carried past the house as far away as possible.
Where rooms extend below ground level, there must be a damp course below the floor, and another vertical one included in the brickwork to above the surface. Or the wall must be coated on the outside with ½ inch of asphalt from the damp course upwards. Where there are cellars, this outside asphalting is essential to keeping them dry.
Temporary dampness is usually caused by leaking gutters or downpipes; or by creepers leading water from the roof down on to the walls. When the cause is removed, the dampness will disappear.
A spell of very heavy and continuous rain, accompanied by a driving wind, will sometimes make the wall most exposed to it damp, because the bricks have no chance of giving up their moisture to the atmosphere. But the wall need not be regarded as defective if it remains dry under normal conditions.
Very little damp is sufficient to stain wallpapers and distemper. Before a wall which shows signs of damp is repapered or otherwise decorated, it should be brushed over with one of the waterproofing compositions sold by colourmen for inside work.
Watches, Care of. At night in winter keep your watch under the pillow, where it will be protected against great changes of temperature. Cold may make the mainspring snap.
A watch should be wound fatty; and at the same hour every day.
The watch pocket should be turned inside out and well brushed at intervals, to rid it of dust which might find it3 way into the watch.
A valuable watch should be sent for repairs, or cleaning, to the firm which made it, not to any chance watch repairer.
If a watch be taken near a large dynamo or electric motor, the steel parts of the escapement may become magnetized, and cause bad time-keeping. A watch affected in this way can be demagnetized; but persons who have to work near electrical apparatus should provide themselves with non-magnetizable watches.