Wallpaper Lingo

Wallpaper Lingo

To search wallpaperonwalls.com type your keywords below:

(examples: grasscloth wallpaper, tools, paint brush, DIY videos, design ideas, etc.)

The list below are common and technical terms used by professional wallpaper hangers in the industry.

We will be using many of these terms in our articles, and throughout our website to describe the process and the materials used in decorating with wallpaper.

  • ADHESIVES: Different types of glue or paste for installing wallpaper and borders. It is important to choose the correct wallpaper paste for which you will be installing. Wheat paste, cellulose paste, clear paste, clay paste, pre-pasted wallpaper adhesive / activator, specialty adhesives for borders.
  • BITE: Application of oil base primer or sizing to encourage good adhesion between the wallpaper and the wall surface.

  • BLIND CORNER: A corner in a room where you can mismatch the wallpaper and can easily be hidden, usually behind a door.

  • BOLT: This term is used on how wallpaper is sold. A bolt or a roll of wall-covering is sold usually in double or triple rolls. Commercial wall-covering is always sold in bolts.

  • BOOKING: The technique of folding wallpaper strips back to back. After they have been pasted, allowing the wallpaper adhesive to soak into the wallpaper.

  • BORDER: A narrow, decorative strip of wall-covering. Generally wallpaper border is used at the ceiling line. Border can also be installed on top of wallpaper. Use around a windows or door frames to enhance architectural detail, or install on plain painted walls to add a touch of color to your room.

  • BORDER ADHESIVE: A speciality adhesive, is used for installing wallpaper border. (VOV) Vinyl-Over-Vinyl is used to paste un-pasted wallpaper border. VOV is also used to apply wallpaper border over existing wall-covering or new vinyl wallpapers. Border activator is used to paste pre-pasted wallpaper.

  • BUTTED SEAMS: A seam in which wallpaper strips meet exactly, edge to edge, without overlapping.

  • CELLULOSE PASTE: A clear drying, odorless paste that will not discolor fragile wallpaper. Cellulose comes in a powder and mixed with water. Recommended for all delicate wallpapers such as, grass-cloths, burlap, silk and paper-backed fabrics.

  • CHAIR RAIL: Created with wallpaper border to visually separate one section of wall from another. Install wallpaper on the bottom of a wall three feet from the floor or as high as the middle of the room, Paint the top of the room, now install border to separate the sections. You now have created a chair rail out of border instead of using wood.

  • CLAY PASTE: Clay wallpaper paste is a commercial grade adhesive used on fabric-backed wallpaper, and all vinyl wallpapers. This wallpaper paste will stain and dry’s brown. Paste is very hard to clean from walls when removing wallpaper.

  • CLEAR PASTE: Clear wallpaper paste comes in several different strengths. Choose the correct strength for the wall-covering you have chosen. Clear wallpaper paste recommended for many types of wall-covering. For medium to heavy weight wall-coverings. It is also used for commercial weight wallpaper.

  • COLOR RUN: A batch of wallpaper rolls printed at the same time using the same inks. Since colors may vary from color run to color run, each printing is assigned a run number. Color run is also referred to as dye lot number or run number. When reordering extra wallpaper be sure to refer to the number on the package to guarantee perfect color match. Before installing wallpaper make sure you check to see if all run or dye lot numbers are the same, because colors may vary.

  • COMPANION WALLPAPERS: Wallpapers designed as a collection and meant to be used in combination with one another. The combination may include several different prints, a complementary stripe, borders, and fabric.

  • DIRECTIONAL WALLPAPER PRINT: A wallpaper pattern with a obvious top and bottom that cannot be successfully installed upside down.

  • DOUBLE-CUT: Term used to describe the technique of overlapping two strips of wallpaper at the seam and then cutting through both layers at the same time. After cutting the waste is removed and the edges are firmly rolled into place.

  • DROP-MATCH: The pattern at one side of the wallpaper strip is one-half repeat lower than the other edge, requiring that the second strip of wallpaper to be dropped until the pattern repeats are aligned across the two strips. pattern repeat article

    The tops of the wallpaper will be the same on every other strip. The repeat of the wallpaper design in this fashion is referred to as a drop-match or a half drop-match.

  • DYE-LOT: The dye-lot number is found on the outside of the wallpaper package. This will tell you if the wallpaper was printed at the same time using the same inks. Because colors may vary in printing it is important to use all the same dye-lot numbers when installing wallpaper. This will avoid color shading from one roll to another.

  • FABRIC BACKED WALLPAPERS: Backing of wallpaper is made of fabric instead of paper with a plastic vinyl coating on top. Fabric backed wallpaper is very durable and used in high traffic areas. This type of wallpaper is scrub-able..

  • FLOCK WALLPAPER: Flock wallpaper has a fuzzy or a velvet like texture. This wallpaper is not washable.

  • FOIL WALLPAPER: A polished metal ground used to create a shiny metallic wallpaper. A designed is printed on top of the metallic finish.

  • FREE MATCH : Wallpapers pattern with no match. When cutting wallpaper there is no waste, wallpaper is cut as it comes of the roll.

  • FRENCH-CUT: Technique of double-cutting an overlapping seam by hand-cutting a wavy line from the top of the seam to bottom. This technique works well with with large prints. When double -cutting through the middle of a print, the seam will be very visible. Instead

    cut a wavy line following the outside of the pattern, remove wallpaper waste and roll seam into place, seam will not be visible because you didn’t cut through the middle of the wallpaper pattern.

  • HAND-SCREEN: The process of applying pigments to wallpaper by using individualized screens, not printed by machine.

  • LAPPED-SEAMS: A seam in which the edges of the wallpaper strips are overlapped slightly.

  • MATTE WALLPAPER: Wallpaper has a dull flat, finish.

  • MURALS: Wallpaper designed as a scenic, or mural, intended to re-create in several panels a pattern or picture.

  • PATTERN MATCH: The alignment of a design on wallpaper strips at the seams to ensure a pattern that matches horizontally all around the room..

    Wallpaper Lingo
  • PATTERN REPEAT: The number of inches between identical points in a pattern design.

  • PRE-PASTED WALLPAPER: A wallpaper that comes from the manufacturer with wallpaper adhesive already applied to the back of the wall-covering.

  • PRE-PASTED WALLPAPER PASTE: A pre-pasted wallpaper adhesive /activator is used for pre-pasted wall-coverings.

  • PRE-TRIMMED WALLPAPER: Wall-covering whose salvaged edges have been trimmed at the factory.

  • PRIMER: Applied to the walls or ceiling before installing wallpaper. When you use an oil base primer, it works as a barrier for the wallpaper adhesive. The wallpaper adhesive will set on top of the primer instead of absorbing into the wall. This gives you a good bite when installing all types of wall-coverings.

  • RANDOM MATCH: Wallpaper with no match. Can be cut and installed in any order.

  • RAILROADING WALLPAPER: Installing wallpaper horizontally rather than vertically as designed. This technique is used with non-directional wallpapers, above and below windows and doors, also above and below cabinets.

  • REGISTER MARKS: Small shapes of color printed on the selvage edge of untrimmed wall-covering. This indicates how many screens and colors were used to print the pattern.

  • REVERSE HANG: Wallpaper with a nondescript print are sometimes installed upside down. This means every other strip of wallpaper is reversed to prevent shading. Follow the manufactures directions.

  • ROLLAGE: Trade term referring to the measuring of wallpaper in rolls rather than of feet or yards.

  • SCREENS: Wallpaper that is hand printed using screens. Each color in the design is applied separately, one over the other, and each color requires a new screen. Small shapes of color printed on the selvage edge are called register marks

  • SELVAGE: Blank strip along the edge of wallpaper with register marks. This wallpaper must be hand trimmed. Edge of wallpaper can be cut dry on wallpaper table or double-cut on wall after installing

  • SIZING: Applied to the walls or ceiling before installing wallpaper. Sizing also called priming, ensures a good bond between the paper and the wall. Sizing a wall or ceiling adds to the bite or tackiness

  • STRAIGHT MATCH: With a straight match pattern the wall-covering is always cut at the same design. The design along the top edge of a strip of wallpaper starts and ends at the same vertical point in the pattern. When the pattern of the second strip is aligned with the first strip, the design along the top edge of the second strip is the same as the design along the top edge of the first strip

  • VINYL WALLPAPER: Vinyl wallpapers are treated with a vinyl topcoat. Many wallpaper on the market today are vinyl. Vinyl wall-coverings are washable.

  • WHEAT PASTE: Wheat paste is used for untreated porous wallpapers, which tend to stain.

  • Leave a Reply