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Here at I Want Wallpaper we understand that our customers range from experienced property developers to new homeowners who are decorating their home for the first time – you are a beautifully diverse bunch! However, like any industry wallpapering can sometimes bring up some words and phrases which might leave you scratching your head.

Fear not though, we’ve all been there and so, in order to help make life a little easier for you, we have put together our very own wallpaper glossary:


Appliqué – a cut out material design which is applied to a wall on top of wallpaper or paint to give a decorative aesthetic.


Blind corner –a part of a room where mismatched wallpaper strips can easily be hidden, usually by large furniture objects.


Blister – an air bubble which forms between the wallpaper and the wall during during or after installation.


Bolt – a continuous roll of wallpaper which is the equivalent of two or more single rolls. Wallpaper is usually sold in bolts rather than single rolls.


Colour way – if a wallpaper comes in a number of different colour schemes, each variation is a colour way.


Dado – the area of a wall which makes up the lower third of a wall. Usually accompanied by a dado rail or chair rail. Also known as a chair rail (see below). Similar to a wainscot.


Dado Rail - a decorative waist-high moulding around the wall of a room. Forms the top of the dado area and protects the wall from damage.  Traditionally around 36” high.


Embossed – a pattern or design which is raised up from the paper. Alternatively, if the pattern sinks into the level of the paper, this is called debossed.


Liner Paper – a thick paper installed underneath decorative wallpapers to help cover or smooth out rough, uneven and damaged surfaces.


Match – the point where the design matches on each sheet.


Non-woven – a type of wallpaper which is made from a special blend of natural and synthetic fibres which allows the paper to be washable and breathable. Because the paper is breathable it helps to stop the build up of mould and mildew and therefore non-woven wallpapers are great for bathrooms and kitchens. They are also tear resistant.


Paste-the-paper – a type of wallpaper which requires the paste to be applied to the back rather than the wall.


Paste-the-wall – a type of wallpaper in which you apply the paste to the wall rather than the back of the wallpaper.


Scoring – the process of perforating before removal so that removal solution can penetrate the surface. Specialist tools can be bought to carry out scoring.


Skirting Board – a wooden board which runs around the base of an interior wall. Also known as a baseboard, skirting or mopboard.


Spongeable – adhesive or excess paste can be wiped from the surface of the wallpaper using a damp cloth or sponge at the time of hanging without causing any visible damage.


Pattern Repeat – the distance between identical points in a design.


Random Match – a type of wallpaper with no matching seams. This means that it can be cut and installed in any order. Also known as free match.


Vinyl-coated – a wallpaper with a pattern printed onto a thin layer of vinyl on a paper background which makes them relatively tough and washable.


Vinyl wallpaper – Similar to vinyl-coated (above) but with a much thicker vinyl top sheet which increases their durability.


Wainscot – an area of wooden panelling on the lower part of the walls of a room.


Washable wallpaper – papers with a thin transparent plastic coating over the top of the design which allows them to be more resistant to stains and to be cleaned with a damp cloth.


Let us know if there are any other words or phrases which have had you stuck and we will add them to the list!