Wallpaper Pastes: product comparison

 The Challenge

   Real Good Toys #9043 roombox
My Friends at Hobby Builder Supply have a customer who purchased a #9043 roombox and some Minigraphics Mucilage, and asked for an assurance that the mucilage would work on the lacquered surface of the roombox. I replied that I had always used “YES!” paste when wallpapering over lacquer, but that I would test the mucilage, compare it to YES!, test them both against my ‘go to’ standard pre-mixed wallpaper paste that I buy by the quart.
“YES! paste is a great product and I’ve used it for many years, but the smallest container is a HUGE amount. Grandma Stover’s is, aparently, the same product, and it’s packaged in a reasonable size. It’s what I used in this test.    products for comparison
The Roman company makes the pre-mixed paste I’ve been using. I contacted them for a recommendation and they responded with the very paste I have: #525 Universal Border Paste  
Minigraphics Mucilage: the challenger  

 The test

       sanding the panel
I took a laquered panel from a 9043 kit, and sanded the surface until the shine was gone. I used 220 grit sandpaper  
 clean thoroughly with a brush        
  A thorough cleaning
         Grandma Stovers stick flat paste
First the Grandma Stovers: It’s very thick and needs mixing with water to get the right consistency for wallpapering. I normally do this mixing on a piece of waxed paper with my foam brush.  
 start the paper at one end        
  Paste the paper… paste the wall… lay on the paper starting from one end so bubbles aren’t captured under the paper. This process allows the paper to swell from the moisture before it goes onto the wall and gives less wrinkles. It’s what I did here.
         rub down and dry
A final rub-out with a clean brush or rag.  
 minigraphics mucilage        
  The Mucilage is pretty thick too. I actually did two tests with the Mucilage, one mixed with water and one straight out of the jar.
         paste the paper
For the “straight out of the jar” test I only put paste on the paper, thinking that it was already plenty of paste. When I mixed it with water, I did the “Paper, wall, smooth” routine.  
 Universal Border Paste        
  The Universal Border Paste is already mixed to a good consistency
     a fingernail can't lift the paper
The test pieces have dried overnight. They all look good, but the Mucilage paper is smoother than the rest. I could not lift a corner of any of them with my fingernail.  
 a jacknife can't lift the paper        
  Even with a jacknife, I couldn’t peel off the paper… it split and shredded.

 And the winner is:

All the pastes worked well in this application.

    Grandma Stover’s: If I had to decide between successes, I’d say Grandma Stovers was the very tightest bond
    Mucilage: The mixed-with-water test worked, but the un-mixed test piece had the smoothest finish.
    Universal Border Paste: Still adequate bond, and the cheapest.

4 Responses to “Wallpaper Pastes: product comparison”

  1. M Says:

    I use YES! spread very thin both on the paper and the wall. I use a plastic knife to “spoon” it out and then spread it with a used credit card. It is thick, but I’ve had good results.

  2. J Ke4ssler Says:

    When I cannot get the proper angle to paper, I cut a paper pattern of the wall, then use “seam stick repair adhesive” to bond the paper to the pattern. I use a wood block wrapped in a soft cloth to rub the paper smooth. When I have finished all the woodwork and painting, I can then glue the paper to the wall and then put on the molding.

  3. Becky Says:

    I tried using the YES product straight from the jar, but I ended up ripping the paper and made a mess. Did I wait too long to put it on?

  4. gary_r Says:

    Using YES striaght is very thick. Some builders spread it with a credit card and put it directly in the house without putting paste on the wall. I prefer mixing it with water until it has the consistency of gravy, putting it on the paper, putting it on the wall, and smoothing the paper into position. Doing it this way lets me slide the paper a bit for final fitting like crowding the corners or sliding it up to perfectly meet the ceiling (if I am doing the house without crown molding), and gives me time to work the bubbles out. But you do have to move right along… I don’t mean rush, but you don’t want to wait so long that the paper is dry and you have to put on more paste – then the paper is getting soft and more vulnerable.