Depending on the state of your walls, lining paper is an important or even essential step in the renovation process. But like any home improvement product, it comes with a range of questions. How does it work? What benefits does it have? What are the different types?
Whatever your query, we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about lining paper.
WHAT IS LINING PAPER AND WHAT IS IT USED FOR?
If you’re still wondering what lining paper is and what it is used for, let’s start at the beginning. Lining paper (sometimes called wallpaper liner) is a wall covering that’s designed to prepare your wall for decoration, prior to applying your chosen wallpaper or paint.
There are many benefits of lining paper. Its main use is to mask any imperfections on your wall beneath, in order to create a smooth canvas that looks perfect when fully decorated. A great side-effect is that it also increases your energy-efficiency. By creating an extra layer beneath your wallpaper, it helps trap heat, effectively boosting the thermal and sound insulation of your home.
Lining paper can also be used to hide damage on your ceiling. From hairline cracks to crumbling plaster, it will hide any wear and tear and make it much easier to paint or paper. However, make sure the damage is just surface level – you don’t want to ignore structural damage that could get worse over time!
SHOULD I USE LINING PAPER BEFORE WALLPAPERING?
Whether or not you should use lining paper before wallpapering depends on the condition of your walls and the quality of finish you’re after. If your walls have small cracks, bumps and other imperfections, wallpaper will not cover them properly, meaning they could show through and ruin the end results. Lining paper can provide a smooth surface on top of them before wallpapering, for a perfect finish.
Even if walls aren’t in bad nick, using lining paper before wallpapering will improve the quality of the job. The absorbent qualities of the lining paper make it easier for wallpaper to lock in place, so there’s less chance of shrinkage and seam splitting. That also improves the durability of wallpaper over time.
IS IT WORTH USING LINING PAPER?
Admittedly, lining paper adds an extra step and a little extra cost to the redecoration of walls. That leads many people to ask whether it’s worth it. Put simply, yes, it is. This small, simple step before papering or painting your walls will provide a smooth surface that enhances adhesion for wallpaper, makes painting a breeze and improves the end results for any kind of decoration. By using lining paper, you’ll get a great finish that doesn’t need redecorating again in a few months’ time when you’d otherwise start to notice all the little imperfections. We think that’s definitely worth it.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LINING PAPER?
CONVENTIONAL LINING PAPER
Put simply, conventional lining paper is made of pure paper. When it comes into contact with the adhesive, it will expand because it gets wet and then shrink when it dries. Because of this, it has to be soaked with the adhesive for a recommended amount of time before being hung on the walls.
Failure to carry out this step, or do it for the right amount of time, will result in bubbles, lifting of the paper at the seams and a bad finish.
PASTE-THE-WALL LINING PAPER
In contrast, paste-the-wall lining paper has added textile fibres. This makes it a much tougher and more resistant product. The main benefit of paste-the-wall versus conventional lining paper is how quick and easy it is to apply.
Simply paste the adhesive directly onto the walls then put the paper straight onto them. It’s dimensionally stable, so it won’t expand or shrink. That means a better result, which is free of bubbles and lifting.
It’s worth noting that pasting the wall is only an option with paste-the-wall lining paper and not conventional lining paper. Many have tried applying adhesive to the wall before applying conventional lining paper, and it’s fair to say the results are disastrous.
WHICH IS BEST FOR ME?
Conventional lining paper has been used by decorators for years, in many cases with great results. That said, the clear advantages of paste-the-wall lining paper can’t be denied.
The best option for you depends on your decorating experience and ability, as well as how much time you want to spend on the project. Because it can be applied directly to the wall without a delay, paste-the-wall lining paper is much quicker than conventional alternatives. It’s also much easier to use if you haven’t mastered the skill of wallpaper lining, which can take years to get right with conventional lining paper.
WHAT ARE LINING PAPER GRADES?
As well as the distinction between conventional and paste-the-wall, lining paper also varies by its thickness or ‘grade’. The different grades are:
At the lowest end of the scale, 800 grade lining paper is the thinnest one you can buy. 1700 and 2000 are more heavy-duty, and often just stocked by specialist shops. At Cover Your Wall, we stock a range of 1700 and 2000 grades, which are perfect for covering severe signs of damage in old or badly-renovated properties.
There is also a number of more specialist types of lining paper. Whether you want to fireproof an apartment, protect your walls against damp, or cover woodchip wallpaper or another textured surface, you’ll find what you need on our site.
DOES LINING PAPER MAKE A ROOM WARMER?
Lining paper can improve your walls’ insulation properties, making it harder for heat to pass through. That’s especially true for thermal lining paper, which can reduce heat loss by 15%. The result is a more thermally efficient space, which is easier to keep warm – reducing your heating bills over time.
WHAT GRADE OF LINING PAPER IS BEST FOR ME?
The grade of lining paper that’s best for you depends on how you’re using it:
- Lower grades like 800-1000 are the best choice if you’re redecorating walls that are in a decent condition and you want a smooth surface to make things easier.
- Going up to 1200-1400 is ideal if walls are a little bit damaged or you want more durability.
- Higher grades between 1700-2000 are a practical choice for pitted plastering, cracks and crumbling.
WHAT IS THE THICKEST GRADE OF LINING PAPER?
If you want to transform walls that have suffered years of wear and tear, you’ll be looking for the thickest grade of lining paper. The answer is 2000 grade lining paper. With a product made from pure paper pulp, you’ll get impressive fibre strength without sacrificing breathability. Watch out for less breathable products containing PVC.
LINING PAPER VS PLASTERING – HOW DO THEY DIFFER?
If you’re redecorating your walls, you may feel confused about which processes you’ll need to do. Lining paper vs plastering, lining paper vs skimming – how can you tell which will give you the perfect finish you’re after?
Plastering is the process of preparing your walls using plaster. This generally means filling in cracks by applying plaster to your wall, and using a hand float (smoothing tool) to spread it evenly across the surface.
As with lining paper, the result is hopefully a perfectly smooth wall that’s ready to be decorated. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that plastering is an alternative to lining paper or vice versa.
Plastering is a vital step if your walls are so damaged that you can easily pick off chunks of old plaster. 2000 grade lining paper may hide visible damage, but leaving severely crumbling walls is never a good idea – they’ll only get worse, so no matter how good your walls look initially, there’s no guarantee they’ll stay that way. At Cover Your Wall, we’d always recommend replastering your wall before using lining paper, if the damage is severe.
LINING PAPER VS SKIMMING – HOW DO THEY DIFFER?
Skimming is the act of using a finishing plaster to ‘touch up’ your walls, creating a smooth surface for paint or paper. It sounds similar to lining paper, but if you’re torn between the two, there are number of key differences you should consider:
PROS OF SKIMMING
- Skimming can last longer than lining paper
- It won’t have to be removed along with the wallpaper if you want to redecorate in the future
CONS OF SKIMMING
- Skimming is often more expensive
- You may need to remove your skirting boards and cornices prior to skimming
CAN YOU PUT LINING PAPER ON BARE PLASTER?
If you’re unhappy with the results of a recent plastering job, lining paper could be the solution. It can be applied to bare plaster to hide small cracks, bumps or imperfections on your walls. That can also come in handy if you’ve removed wallpaper to reveal bare plaster that’s gone through a little wear and tear.
CAN YOU PUT LINING PAPER STRAIGHT ONTO PLASTERBOARD?
Lining paper is a great way to turn plasterboard into a paint- or wallpaper-ready surface. You’ll need to fill the joints and screw holes before doing so. Make sure they’re nicely sanded down and seal the plasterboard with a primer or PVA solution.
WHAT IS THE BEST LINING PAPER FOR PAINTING?
If you’re planning to paint your walls, you don’t need to use a specialist lining paper. Simply choose the most appropriate grade for the level of damage you need to hide. That said, Wallrock Fibreliner Smooth does have a smoother finish which allows paint to go further. Whatever the case, lining paper should be butt joined rather than overlapping, so the paint has an even surface.
IS IT BETTER TO PAINT ON PLASTER OR LINING PAPER?
Both are relatively similar, although lining paper does have the advantage of simplicity. Freshly plastered walls will need to dry out completely before being adequately primed, so the plaster doesn’t absorb the moisture from your paint. You can do so using 1-2 coats of a specialist primer or a watered-down version of paint. Failure to do so properly can result in paint peeling off or wearing off further down the line when cleaning.
Lining paper eliminates any guesswork. While it may absorb more paint without the use of a primer, you won’t suffer in terms of adhesion or durability. In other words, it’s up to you whether you want to prime your lining paper beforehand or paint straight on and use a little more paint in the process.
HOW TO HANG LINING PAPER
If you’ve made the decision to hang lining paper, it’s time to find out how it’s done. Thankfully, the process can be completed in a few simple steps…
- Get everything you need – you can find a full list in our step-by-step guide
- Prepare your walls by filling any major holes
- Apply wall primer to seal the walls
- Mark out your wall and cut paper to size
- Apply paste to the paper or wall
- Hang the lining paper
CAN I PAPER OVER EXISTING LINING PAPER?
When preparing your walls, you may be wondering whether existing lining paper is a suitable surface for application. In short, it comes down to the condition of your existing paper. If joints are loose or corners are peeling, you’ll need to remove your existing lining paper. However, you can paper over existing lining paper if the wear and tear is merely superficial.
ANY MORE QUESTIONS?
If you’ve got a question we haven’t covered above, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0800 009 6474 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team of lining paper experts will be happy to answer questions about any of our products, their benefits or uses.