Wallpaper Paste & Trimming
Tips on using wallpaper paste and trimming, wallpapering with paste.
Flour paste is commonly used for wallpaper, and is the best; it is made by putting three pints of wheat flour in two quarts of cold water, and rubbing it until it is smooth and free from lumps. Then add to it eight quarts of boiling water (not merely hot, but actually boiling), and boil slowly with continual stirring for ten minutes. It is necessary to be particular about stirring it, or it will burn on the bottom. When it is cold, sprinkle in with thorough stirring two tablespoonfuls of powdered alum. This will be about right, but if it should be too thick it may be thinned with a little cold water. Use cold. The best dish for making and using it is a large oval dishpan. Never put paste in a wooden pail, or in anything rusty. Wash out the paste-brush every night; do not leave it in the paste over-night. Only one edge of the wallpaper is to be trimmed. Some of the professionals trim the paper first; the man sits in a chair with his legs stretched out before him, and lets the roll of paper lie on his upturned feet; as he draws it up into his lap he trims it with the shears, and with practice does this very rapidly.
But the more common way is to cut the wallpaper into suitable lengths first, and then spread the paste on one of these pieces, applying it to one end of the paper first, and when about half the piece is pasted, fold the end over toward the center, being particular to have the sides and edges exactly even. Then apply the paste to the other half, and in like manner fold that end toward the center. Then proceed to trim; the advantage of doing it this way is that the paste gets distributed to the edges perfectly even and clean, and you trim two thicknesses of wallpaper at once.
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