Three of the most common wallpaper repairs are peeling or loose seams, trapped air bubbles and punctures or rips.
Painted walls get dirty, tile can crack and wallpaper can have its own issues. Most wallpaper problems are the result of improper or poor installation. And if you don’t fix these problems right away, you’ll end up having to replace the entire piece of wall covering. The good news is, fixing wallpaper isn’t especially difficult, though it does take a few specialized tools and techniques.
To repair peeling wallpaper isn’t that difficult. Vertical seams between strips of wallpaper become loose and peel for a variety of reasons. Factory-applied adhesive didn’t stick to the vinyl, or too much glue may have been squeezed out of the seam when it was rolled flat causing the wallpaper not to adhere to the wall. No matter where the loose seam is or what caused it, the repair procedure is the same. Take a small artist’s brush, dip the tip of the brush into wallpaper adhesive and spread an even coat of adhesive onto the underside of the exposed seam; Use a wooden seam roller to flatten the seam and clean off any excess adhesive with a damp sponge.
If you see blisters in your wallpaper, they are most likely just air bubbles, but it pays to check. Press a finger against the bubble. If you can feel something, cut an X through the paper and remove the object with tweezers or a razor knife. Next squeeze some seam adhesive through the slit you made in the wallpaper and use a seam roller to press the paper flat. Air bubbles often result when a speck of dirt or paint chip keeps the paper from bonding and allows a bubble to form with time and humidity. An air bubble may also result if the installer did not force out all the air as the wallpaper was applied. If the bubble really is just air, you can fix the problem with a glue-injecting syringe; it makes a less-conspicuous repair than cutting a slit. Fill the syringe with seam adhesive, push it directly into the bubble and press the plunger. Finish off by flattening the repair with a seam roller and carefully wiping off any excess adhesive.
Repairing rips or punctures will be a little more difficult and involved. Before you start, you will need a matching piece of wallpaper to use as a patch. If you don’t have leftover pieces from the original wallpaper, buy a small sample from the wall covering store. Cut the wallpaper patch a little larger than the punctured area. Next, tape the patch over the damaged area making sure that the wallpaper pattern on the patch matches up with the pattern in the wallpaper you are repairing. With the patch secured in place, use a straightedge-razor knife to cut through both the patch and the wallpaper below it. Remove the patch and set aside. Carefully remove the damaged wallpaper and clean the area with a warm damp sponge. Apply the new wallpaper patch with the appropriate adhesive. Using your fingertips, adjust the patch and align the patterns. Smooth the area with a damp sponge and wipe off any excess paste.
Wallpaper adhesive, seam roller and glue-injecting syringes can be purchased at any wallpapering stores or retailers such as Lowes or Home Depot. Solvite Wallpaper Repair, House & Home Restore and Sure Grip Repair Adhesive are a few of the most popular brands.