PAPERHANGING Decorated paper as a covering for walls is said to have been invented and used by the Chinese, and from them traveled westward. These first pieces of wallpaper were only 20 inches square, and were pasted to the wall much in the modern manner. The cheapness of the material, the facility with which it was decor ated, and its cleanliness, as well as other ad vantages, were immediately recognized, and wallpaper gradually displaced tapestry and sim ilar wall coverings.
But the paperhanger of to-day is no longer restricted to the comparatively simple task of covering so many yards of wall surface with strips of flat paper. The many varieties of wall covering material, some being in relief and all requiring different modes of treatment, offer plenty of room for the display on the part of the workman of taste, skill, and artistic ability.
In dealing with wall coverings other than ordinary paper, there are three things that must be specially borne in mind: 1. The work should be set out on the walls as accu rately as possible, and frequent use be made of the spirit level and plumb-bob ; 2. The edges of the material should be slightly under cut to insure a perfect joint ; 3. After being soaked and re-pasted, the material should be fastened to the wall with small tacks until thoroughly dry.
Wall coverings in various form of relief are largely used for dadoes, ceilings, etc. The width of these coverings varies from about 16 in. to 3 ft., and some of them are even wider. Em bossed wallpapers should not be rolled too much, especially at the joints, as the roller flattens the embossed portions of the paper.
Kinds of Wallpaper. Wallpapers may be classified as follows: (A) tapers printed with distemper colors; (B) Papers printed with oil colors; (C) Hand-block printed papers ; (D) Machine-printed papers.
Hand-printed papers are in many ways su perior to the machine-printed article, but usual ly cost about twice as much.
Wallpapers printed in distemper colors gen erally fade.
Papers printed in oil colors always darken and acquire a yellow tone; and allowance should be made for this when the woodwork of the room is painted.
A flock wallpaper has a raised pattern of flock.
A satin paper is one whose ground or pat tern is polished.
A frieze is a narrow paper of special design for the top portions of a room.
A dado is a paper specially designed for the lower part of the walls of a room, and for the sides of staircases. A dado should be 3 ft. 6 in. from the floor to the top of the border; if the dado is kept too high, it gives the room a walled in appearance. Staircase and hall dadoes gen erally run a little higher than those in rooms. Friezes and dadoes, as a rule, are only used in first-class work.
Borders can generally be had of any width.
Marble block papers, to look well, should be hung very carefully. They are now generally sent out lined, and very often varnished ready for use.
Common or pulp paper is a wallpaper whose body is of the general surface or ground color.