Wall Repair

It is a simple matter to repair minor damage to walls and ceilings and then to cover it up with a fresh coat of paint. With wall coverings, patching damage or curing paperhanging defects requires a different approach.

The most common form of damage to a wall covering is an impact that leaves a jagged tear. If the torn part is still attached, brush some paste on to its rear face and press it back into place. Use a seam roller to apply pressure to the flap and roll it flat.

If the torn part is missing it will be necessary to patch the damage. If there are some off cuts from the original papering job, cut a patch from them. If not, cut and dry strip a patch from an out-of-sight area behind a piece of furniture to use for the repair. Tear around the edges of the patch, holding it face-down, to create a thin ‘feathered’ edge, then paste it, place it over the damaged area and flatten it with a seam roller. If the paper is a thick two-layer duplex type, try to peel away the backing paper to reduce the thickness of the patch and make it less noticeable once it is in position. Feather the edge and paste in position.

Another common problem, blistering, is the result of in adequate pasting during paperhanging. It is a relatively simple task to slit blisters opens and soft dry seams to apply a little fresh paste and stick the covering firmly back to the wall. With fragile printed or flocked wall coverings, take care not to get paste on the surface.

If a carpet becomes damaged in one area and you cannot remove the mark, trim back the pile of the carpet with a razor blade. If this does not work, the answer is to patch the mark with a new piece of carpet. Use a spare off cut if you have one available, or cut the patch from an area in the room that will not be visible such as under a sofa.

If a seam has failed to stick flat, lift it with a filling knife (putty knik) and use a slip of abrasive paper to sand off the dried paste behind it. Use the filling knife to hold the edge of the wall covering away from the wall, and brush it little paste on to the back of the paper and also on to the wall surface. Leave to soak. Press the scam down flat with a seam roller, then use a sponge or damp cloth to remove any paste that has oozed on to the face of the wall covering before it dries.

Patching Damaged Wallpaper

1. Cut a repair patch from an off cut of the original wall covering or strip one from behind a piece of furniture. Check that the patch will cover the damage and match the pattern.

2. Carefully tear along the edges of the patch to reduce its thickness and create a thin feathered edge. Check that not backing paper is visible.

3. Some 2-layer duplex papers are too thick to use as a patch. Try to separate backing paper at a corner of the paper at a corner of the patch and peel it off.

4. Paste it back of the patch and place it over the damaged area, aligning the pattern carefully. ‘Iron’ it into place with the aid of a seam roller.

Curing a Dry Blister

1. If a dry blister appears after wallpapering, use a sharp knife to make 2 cuts through the blister at right-angles.

2. Peel back the triangular tongues formed and apply a little paste to the wall surface and to the back of the tongues. Leave to soak for a few minutes.

3. Press the triangles back into place and run a seam roller along the cuts to bond the paper firmly to the wall and leave an almost invisible repair.


1. First remove as much of the dirt as you can by vacuuming, placing the nozzle down over the dirt rather than sweeping it back and forth to avoid rubbing in the mark.

2. If the mark is only fairly light, try carefully trimming back the carpet pile, using a razor blade.

3. If the mark is ingrained, lift the carpet and place a piece of hardboard on top of the underlay, beneath the damage. Cut a matching piece of carpet, slightly larger than the damaged area, and place over the damaged area with the pile running the same way. Cut right through both carpets, then replace the old patch with the new.