Guidelines for applying glass fabric wallpaper or non-woven wallpaper yourself! Glass fabric wallpaper and – to a lesser extent – non-woven wallpaper are types of wallpaper that are easy to process. In the past, these types of wallpaper were mainly used in offices, hospitals, and commercial buildings.
Thanks to the expansion of the designs and types of these popular types of wallpaper, they can also be used to enhance the atmosphere in every home and in every room. It is understandable that these types of wallpaper are popular nowadays because they are: easy to glue yourself, the wallpaper is durable, strong, crack-bridging, and flame-retardant.
In principle, the same method of pre-processing, gluing and processing applies to glass fabric wallpaper and glass non-woven wallpaper. What are the advantages of these popular wallpapers?
Product properties, processing, and finishing of glass fabric wallpaper
Choice of the type of wall finish or wallpaper – Glass Fabric wallpaper
You may want stucco on the wall, but removing it – if you want something else later – is a huge job. The latex then: the simplest wall finish, but flat, the wall is not ‘alive’. The glass fabric wallpaper is the ideal solution; because of the structure in the woven product and the almost unlimited choice of colors when finishing the wallpaper, you have both a living wall and the paint color that appeals to you most and that fits or combines best in your interior.
Working step by step with glass fabric wallpaper and non-woven wallpaper
Points of attention when applying glass fabric wallpaper
Glass fabric wallpaper is wallpaper woven from small glass threads. This also makes the wallpaper very strong and fire retardant. Although this type of wallpaper has many advantages, glass fabric wallpaper can lead to irritation of the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. If you are sensitive to this, it is advisable to wear latex gloves and possibly a face mask and safety goggles during processing.
Is wallpapering with glass fabric wallpaper easy to do yourself
‘A child can do the laundry’.
Well, applying glass fabric wallpaper is not that easy, but it is easier to apply than the classic types of wallpaper that we know. You process the glass fiber wallpaper or glass non-woven wallpaper dry and apply the glue directly to the wall with a brush and/or fleece roller.
Because glass fiber wallpaper -in dry condition- is ‘rubbed’ on the wall in the glue, you do not run the risk of holding two dots of wallpaper in your fingers, while the rest of the wallpaper is on the floor. You can also slide the strips a little more easily so that you can butt the wallpaper seams nicely against each other so that the wallpaper seams are virtually invisible and the strips run smoothly into each other.
Working from the roll
Processing of glass fiber wallpaper or non-woven wallpaper can be done directly from the roll on the wall so that there is hardly any loss of material. Since glass fiber wallpaper is usually supplied at a width of one meter, it works smoothly.
Virtually seamless wallpapering is therefore doable for everyone. Keep in mind that the glass fiber wallpaper shines through on the wall (has an open woven structure) and must then be painted twice with latex or wall paint.
Good properties of glass fabric wallpaper
- Strong and durable
- Flame retardant
- Works fast
- Simple, dry processing
- Can be finished in (almost) any desired paint color
The disadvantage is that glass fiber wallpaper is difficult to steam/cut off if it needs to be removed. Pre-treating the wall with wall paint or insulation can simplify this somewhat.
Preparation of the walls for glass fabric wallpapering
The wall may show light cracks, but it must be flat overall, otherwise, irregularities will show up after finishing. This is especially apparent when light falls along the wall (grazing light) or when you look along the wall. Filling or leveling the surface with a suitable wall filler is therefore still advisable for a tight-end result. This does not apply to small air bubbles in, for example, a concrete wall, which you will not see after wallpapering and painting.
Remove dirt on the wall
After filling or leveling, it is best to ‘scrape’ the wall with a wide putty knife (20 – 30 cm) to remove any dirt and grit that accumulate on it. Lightly, slant the putty knife over the surface so as not to damage the wall. You can also sand the repaired areas on the wall, but this will create much more dust.
Is there a suspicion that the subsoil is very absorbent; then treat the wall with insulation or with a strongly diluted adhesive, so that you also fix (secure) the surface? You can do this quickly and easily with a (fur) paint roller with a width of 18 cm or a block whiter.
After the insulation or adhesive has dried, lightly run a wide putty knife along the wall again to remove loosened or remaining grit and the like. Dismantle sockets and things that impede smooth operation during wallpapering. Determine whether the wall is straight and place a plumb line where you end with the first course. This is then your target for the following wallpaper strips.
Glue for glass fabric wallpaper – gluing in the wall
Use good glue, intended for glass fabric wallpaper, which has been specially developed for this. This glue is usually available ready-made, but also in powder form that can be diluted with water. Glass tissue glue in powder form is considerably cheaper, but you have to stir it well – for example with a whisk – to get a smooth homogeneous mass. Mixing the glue a day in advance never hurts; the glue can then “rot”.
It is best to use a fur roller with a width of 18 centimeters to apply the glue. Place the roller on a paint stick of 1 to 2 meters in length and put the glue in a paint bucket (7.5 ltr.), in which you place a paint grid.
You work the roller fully into the glue by working the fur roller a number of times from the top of the grid to the glue level. (so don’t lift the fur roller from the glue on the grid)By placing the roller on a paint stick, you work more smoothly and you are further away from your work, so you have a better view of what you are doing and where you are applying/distributing the glue.
Applying the glue with a paint stick also takes less force. To trim the edges along window frames and the ceiling edges, use a small fur roller of 10 cm (the so-called mouse) in combination with a (disposable) brush.
Applying the wallpaper paste
Apply the wallpaper paste to the wall in a full and lobed manner, so that the wallpaper can be properly rubbed into the paste. First of all, put the edges and sides – with the small roller and the brush – in the glue over a strip of approximately 10 to 20 cm.
Fill in the large surfaces with the large fur roller. Apply about one square meter of glue criss-cross on the wall and roll it evenly. Repeat. Start at the ceiling and work your way down to the plinth. Finally, roll the entire adhesive strip lightly from the ceiling to the skirting board, so that the adhesive is evenly distributed.
When rolling the adhesive, work from the top left to the bottom right -slightly diagonally- without removing the roller from the wall. The part of the wall where you apply the glue depends on the width of the wallpaper and the speed of work.
Applying or pasting the glass fiber wallpaper
As mentioned, you can process the wallpaper directly from the roll. Do put the roll on or in something for protection, so that you don’t pick up any dirt from the floor during unrolling and sliding. You aim the first track neatly against the plumb line and let it ‘fall’ loosely from top to bottom along the wall.
You also press the track from top to bottom, from the middle, while you iron the track loosely with a textile trowel (is plastic trowel with a width of 20-30 cm.) into the glue. In doing so, you iron out the air behind the wallpaper, from the center, up, down, left, and right.
Do this, so to speak, as if you were wiping windows over the entire surface of the track. As you do this, feel as if you have ironed out all the air bubbles, or look along the wall and you can see this.
Applying the wallpaper strips
Carefully, but loosely, direct the second course from the ceiling side against the first and continue as described for the first course. Push the strips neatly against each other, do this gently with the flat of your hand. Remove excess wallpaper in the corners, near the ceiling, and on the skirting board along a wallpaper ruler and with a sharp utility knife.
Remove excess glue residue immediately with a damp tea towel with clean tap water. With a simple glass tissue wallpaper with an open structure, it may be advisable to roll the wallpaper one more time after application with the glass tissue adhesive to fix the wallpaper properly and to fill the holes (open structure).
You do this after-rolling ‘wet in wet’, ie within the drying time. The time of drying or the ‘open time’ is the time that you can still work on the product before it has dried too much. Count on about 20 minutes; take this into account in your planning.
Problems with glass fiber wallpaper or non-woven wallpaper
In response to questions or difficulties that have arisen in recent years when processing glass fiber wallpaper or non-woven wallpaper, I have processed a number of questions and answers in an article. If you are interested, look at:
Finishing the glass fiber wallpaper in color with latex or wall paint
Sealing of seams and cracks
Before you start with the final finishing with the wall paint, it will look professional and sleek if you seal any cracks and seams at ceiling edges, window frames, skirting boards, and corners first. You do this with an acrylic sealant. Work as dosed as possible and spread or smooth off the excess sealant with a clammy finger with tap water.
You can also (lightly) apply the acrylic sealant to the wallpaper in the corners of the room so that you conceal the transition seams from view. Let the acrylic sealant dry for about a day. If you do not do this, the acrylic sealant can crack (show small cracks) after it is finished and sealed with latex or wall paint.
Choice of wall paint
The most commonly used finishing product is wall paint, known as latex. Latex wall paint can be mixed in almost every conceivable color on the paint mixing machine. When choosing a color, base it on the light output in the room where you want to use it,
whether or not in combination with the contrasting effect of the furniture you place in the room. Before you paint the walls, realize that the walls form a large surface and that you quickly choose a color that is too dark or bright.
This does not have to be an immediate objection, because you have to finish the wallpaper twice for an optimal result. You should also bear in mind that the coverage of the latex in one go may be sufficient, but to give the whole thing ‘body’ is considerably nicer twice.
Processing the wall paint
When unrolling the wallpaper with the wall paint for the second time, don’t be tempted to use too little material. Because the wallpaper will often seem covered the first time, there is a chance that you will work too skimpy with the second coat of paint.
To prevent jobs, apply the second layer of wall paint full and evenly as if it were the first layer. When in doubt, first take enough wall paint to paint the first time. If the color of the paint is too light or too dark in your opinion, you can always choose a different shade.
If the ‘heaviness’ of the color does not deviate too much, this should not be a problem when painting over. When applying and distributing the latex/wall paint follow the same procedure and sequence of work as described for applying the adhesive.