Architecture and Construction > Paperhangers > Overview

Paperhangers - Overview

Wallpaper hangers cover walls and ceilings with decorative wall coverings made of paper, vinyl, or fabric.

Wallpaper hangers must first prepare the surface they are going to cover. Sometimes they need to remove existing wallpaper by soaking, steaming, or applying solvents. If walls are already painted, paperhangers wash them. They may also apply plaster to walls to patch holes and other imperfections. Once the plaster is dry, they sand the surface to remove rough areas. They apply sizing or a primer/sealer to seal the surface and help wall coverings stick better.

Once the surface is ready, paperhangers prepare pastes or adhesives. They measure the areas to be covered and cut the wall covering into strips of the proper size. Before they apply adhesive, paperhangers mark guidelines on the walls to help them align the first strips. They apply paste and attach the strips to the walls or ceilings. Wallpaper hangers must be careful to make sure the patterns match and the seams are even. The last steps are to smooth the strip to remove wrinkles or bubbles, trim extra wallpaper from the top and bottom of the walls, and wipe off extra adhesive.

Some wallpaper hangers work on new buildings. Some work on remodeled buildings, and others work on both. A few wallpaper hangers apply advertisements to billboards and use scaffolding to reach their work.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.