Despite the revival of patterned wallpaper, many homeowners still prefer to paint their walls. It’s often felt that a simple lick of paint, rather than a busy wallpaper, provides a blank canvas which offers more creative design options – allowing them to change the feel of a room by adding curtains and cushions, for example, in complementary or accented colours. Unless you live in a new build or have had your walls plastered by a master plasterer, the best finish for your paint job will always be achieved by using lining paper, because it hides the multitude of small imperfections and cracks that can develop in older properties.
Lining paper can also be used to provide a soft and even base layer for your patterned wallpaper ─ it’s definitely recommended for very expensive papers, as it helps to achieve a much more professional finish.
What is it exactly?
Unlike patterned wallpapers, lining paper is produced from wood pulp, and as with most things, you tend to get what you pay for. Budget papers are usually made with a mixture of recycled paper and virgin wood pulp, and although it’s possible to buy good quality mixed papers, we would definitely recommend professional quality papers made from 100% virgin wood pulp.
Choosing the correct grade for the job
Whilst it’s important to choose a quality paper, it’s much more crucial that you pick the correct grade for the job:
- 800-1000 grade – these are ideal for providing a really nice finish on new plaster that has no imperfections, or for preparing walls for patterned papers.
- 1200-1400 grade – probably the most popular all-rounder, 1200 and 1400 grade paper cover more imperfections, making them popular with professional decorators and DIYers alike.
- 1700-2000 grade – ideal for walls that are in poor condition, and for old houses where the walls have lots of movement.
It’s important to note that as the grade of paper increases in thickness, it becomes much more difficult to handle. 1700-2000 grade papers require long soaking times and careful mixing of adhesives to stick correctly to the wall ─ they’re also much trickier when it comes to papering around corners.
Lining paper is not a magic wand
Lining paper is a great tool for home decorating, but it’s not a miracle worker. It will cover up small imperfections, but if you want the best finish possible, you must prepare your walls correctly. Taking a little extra time to fill any holes and sand down major imperfections will be time well spent.