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Here's How To Paper Those Awkward Corners
By Ray Lewhite.

Papering's easy enough when you've got a straight forward room with no fiddly bits. But corners, arches and recesses can cause trouble unless you have the know-how, here's the complete answer.

In each of the five previous articles on topic, I have dealt with in some detail, various aspects of paper hanging giving what I thought to be all the necessary instructions to give you a complete 'know how.' I have had some 'feed back' from these telling me there are many points which cause readers some bother and have led to disappointment.
It is true, of course, that most paperhanging leaflets keep to simple procedures and take it for granted that all walls are flat and of the same length top and bottom, all corners are perfectly upright and any recesses are geometrically correct. It is only when you come to do the job yourself that you appreciate that everything isn't quiet so straightforward. In this feature most of the common difficulties will be explained.


Papering Around Awkward Corners
Have you ever seen the corner of a room where the wallpaper has either blistered or split? No doubt many of you have, and the fault has been caused because the paper has been hung into and around the internal angle without cutting into the angle.
Due to changing atmospheres there is a certain amount of expansion and contraction on the plaster surface, so the paper, being attached to the plaster, must do the same. Eventually the continuation of this causes the wallpaper to blister and split. Vibration from traffic, movement of buildings has similar effects. That is why one should never take wallpaper round corners without cutting.
Let us assume your last length hung is within several inches of the corner. Paste a full width of paper and fold it accurately, edge to edge. Now measure the distance from the edge of the last piece hung to the corner.
Take measurements not only at the top but also in the centre and at the bottom in case there is a difference due to the possibility of the angle in the corner not being true and upright. Should this be the case, take the widest measurement (Fig.1A), adding not more than a quarter of a inch to turn the corner. Measure this amount in from the matching edge, that is the edge that will be matching to the piece already hung, and mark it lightly on the paper in two places.
Place a straight-edged piece of wood on the two marks and with the back edge of the scissors draw them along the straight-edge and so mark the paper, or you can lightly mark with a pencil. Cut this piece off and hang it. Follow by hanging the remaining part of the width from the corner to start the next wall, matching into the angle as well as possible.
By the use of a plumb bob and line (a weight suspended on a thin piece of string) make sure the outer edge of the second piece is perfectly upright, even if it means overlapping a little into the angle (detail 1,Fig 1B). This will ensure that the following lengths will be hung likewise.


Papering Around Awkward Corners
For external angles a little different technique is required. Here one measures from the edge of the last piece hung before the angle, and adds one or two inches, according to the thickness of the paper, to allow the paper to turn the corner (Fig.2). The reason for this is that you cannot often turn more than an inch or two without the paper creasing, due to the corner not being perfectly true. Measure and cut the paper in the way you did for internal angles.


Papering Around Awkward Corners
With these corners it is really difficult to make a clean and satisfactory papering job. This is an external angle that has been rounded off, except for a few inches up from the skirting and down from the picture rail where it reverts to a squared angle (Fig. 3A). Concave corners are varied in shape but the general type met with is as illustrated. This is a good way to overcome the difficulty : First cover the angle (Fig. 3B) with a piece of paper. Should it be a pattered paper that is being hung, find out what particular part of the pattern is likely to be at that point and cover the angle with this part of the pattern.
In order to allow the paper to cover the concave part, it must be cut so that when fitted, these ends will overlap. This looks rather untidy, so cut out a 'Vee' shaped piece (Fig.3C). All this should be done before the piece is pasted. Now paste and fit, snipping the paper a little (Fig.3D to make it fit nicely.
Having fitted the top and bottom pieces, the length of paper is hung in the normal way, except where the angles are already covered. Here the paper is slit until the concave part is reached. This will allow the corner to protrude through (Fig.3E) and a reasonably neat finish can be obtained.
Naturally some wallpapers are better suited than others, because a certain amount of mismatching is unavoidable, so do remember to try and fit the corner pieces with a pattern similar to the pattern which is being hung on top of it.


Papering Around Awkward Corners
Usually one encounters arches in a hall and a certain amount of thought is required when covering them, particularly with patterned paper. When arches face towards the front door, as they often do in the older and bigger types of houses, patterns should be centred over the apex of the arch to balance the effect. Start hanging from the top of the arch, allowing a half to one inch surplus to turn under. This must be snipped with the scissors at two inch intervals to enable the turned-under piece to be fixed into position (Fig.4A).
Having papered the whole of the wall surrounding the arch cut the paper the width of the arch and hang in one long strip from the skirting up to the apex of the arch (Fig.4B).
The paper can only be matched when it reaches the apex of the arch. Do the same on the opposite side and the paper will meet head on at the apex. Some times according to the pattern, it will be possible to match it at this point.


Papering Around Awkward Corners
Casement windows are usually set back about 5in. from the inside plaster wall, allowing for a sill to be added. Should one start to hang from the window, measure the width of the wallpaper, which we will assume is 21in. Find the depth of the recess, say 5in. and deduct it from the paper width, leaving 16in. From the edge of the recess measure and mark at 16in. and hang the outer edge of the first length to this mark, making sure it is upright. Cut in from the side of the paper at the top of the recess and from where it meets the sill, thus allowing the paper to pass above and below the window (Fig.5A). The piece between the cuts will turn into the recess and so complete this awkward length without further cuts.
The shorter lengths above the window are next matched and turned under without cutting. This leaves a 5in. section in the top corner of the recess unpapered. A piece will have been matched and cut for this before pasting. When hung, allow a little to turn the angle and pass under the edge of the first length hung (Fig.5B).
One of the most unsightly things to see on the surface of any wall are water, gas, or electricity pipes. These should be covered when the room is papered. Of course if they are away from the wall they are usually painted. I suggest you set about papering in this manner : cover the pipes with paper first and press the wallpaper well into the back, allowing the edges to fix to the wall (Fig.6A). Should you be using a patterned paper, arrange so that the pattern is similar to the paper that will be hung each side of the pipe.
Surface conduits containing electric wires usually finish at the switch, half-way down the wall surface. Measure the distance from the edge of the last piece hung from the pipe and cut at this width (starting from the top) the length you require down to the switch. Pass the cut part of the length each side of the pipe and cut the surplus away around the switch (Fig.6B).

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