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Dale Baldwin

It's Time to Overcome Your Wallpaper Fears

May 31, 1987|Dale Baldwin

You say you'll never be stuck (literally) with a roll of wallpaper again? That there is more to life than spending it trying to get the lumps out of wallpaper paste.

If you're still thinking along these lines, you've been out of touch with about 10 years of wallcovering developments, according to Joel B. Roses, president of the Western Wallcovering Distributors Assn. and general manager of wallcoverings at Dunn-Edwards Corp., Los Angeles.

Roses said that the organization was formed last January to increase interest in and consumption of flexible wall covering materials in the West.

"Residents of the eastern states--especially New England and the Middle Atlantic states--use a lot more wallpaper and other wall coverings than do Californians," Roses said. "It's largely a matter of tradition and habit. Our job here is to convince people that pre-pasted wall coverings are easy to use."

Believe it or not, 85% of the wall coverings you'll likely to see in the stores are pre-pasted, requiring no paste--only a simple wetting with plain water. Too, dealers have clinics on installing wall coverings and there are videotapes available showing how to do it yourself.

Roses said that younger, upscale people are a natural for wall coverings, since many of them have no memory of how difficult putting up wallpaper used to be (he doesn't deny that it takes a special knack to handle the unpasted kind.)

Too, consumers finally have the discretionary income to consider wall coverings, after an orgy of buying videocassette recorders (the better to play that do-it-yourself tape!), computers, compact disc players and other gadgets, he suggested.

What about preparing rough plastered walls for wall covering material, you ask. Thanks to a special lining material, you can even put wallpaper over concrete block, grooved paneling or badly cracked plaster or drywall, according to Jerry Katz, a technical representative for WWDA.

"Most wall coverings alone do not cover cracks, bumps or other irregularities in walls," Katz said. "A wall-lining material, produced by a number of manufacturers and available wherever wall covering is sold, permits direct application without further preparation."

The wall-lining material is made of a strong polyester fabric similar in color and texture to the interfacing material used to stiffen shirt collars and cuffs.

"How to Hang Wallcoverings," a step-by-step guide, is available for $1 to cover postage and handling from: Western Wallcovering Distributors Assn., 3600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200, Los Angeles 90010.

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