In my time I’ve tried just about every type of paste, and to be honest, a lot of brands are fairly similar, however there is one that stands out. Beeline wallpaper paste is easily the best in my opinion, but they make a whole range of products for different types of paper.
Some wallpaper manufacturers instruct you to use their own brand of paste, and while I disagree these pastes offer any sort of advantage, you should follow their instructions to the letter as this will cover you in case you have any issues down the line.
It’s worth mentioning that there are two main types of paste (packet and ready mixed) and you need to be aware of both. Most papers will recommend one of the other, in which case, the recommendations on this blog will help.
The Best Packet Paste (starch)
Starch paste (similar molecular makeup to a potato) normally comes in a packet which you then mix with water. It’s the same principle as mixing flour and water to use in papier-mâché, but a lot more refined. You’ll often hear decorators refer to packet paste as “flake”, and it’s known to have a high-water content.
As a generally rule, the high-water content makes it unsuitable for non-woven, or “paste the wall” wallpapers, however it is perfect for thinner pulp papers such as Laura Ashley. Packet paste can be easier to work with than a lot of ready mixed versions. Click here to see current prices.
The Best Ready Mixed Paste
Ready mixed paste generally has a lower water content than packet, meaning it is better suited for your non-woven wallpapers. It is usually a lot stronger too, so it is also ideal for heavier, embossed or paintable papers. These types of pastes would normally come condensed. This is so you can add water to achieve the optimum viscosity and strength for a particular task. Click here to see a range of ready mixed pastes and the current prices.
So, What is the Best Wallpaper Paste, and Why?
The brand of wallpaper paste I use above all others is Beeline, which is primarily a trade product.
Starting with Beeline packet paste, which is what you’d use for any pulp paper. You’ll find it easy to mix, smooth and offers great slip. click here for prices.
The next step up is Beeline Yellow Top, which is designed for lighter papers. This one is very easy to use, comes with a guide so you can easily dilute it to the correct viscosity, offers great slip and doesn’t really damage the face of the paper.
A lot of decorators I know use Beeline Yellow Top for both pulp, and non-woven wallpapers. If you’re in any doubt, then this is the wallpaper paste you should go for. Click here for prices.
Then you have the Beeline Red Top, which is supposedly for “medium weight papers”. This paste has a very low water content and is quite grippy. Great for non-woven wallpapers, or applying papers to non-porous surfaces such as silk paint or Zinsser Gardz. Beeline Red Top sticks hard and fast, which prevents shrinkage of your paper. You will need to dilute this paste before use. Click here for prices.
Beeline Blue Top is very heavy grade!! You wouldn’t use this paste very often, but if you do need something substantial, this stuff could stick an elephant to the ceiling if you needed it to.
Choosing the best wallpaper paste for different types of paper is nice and easy when you think about it. I’d recommend using Beeline paste, then just choose the one that matches your particular paper. If you’re using a thin pulp wallpaper, then Beeline packet paste is perfect. For heavier papers, go with Beeline Yellow Top. For non-woven wallpapers, use Red Top. Providing you stick to that rule, you should never have an issue. Click here to see a full range
Tools You Need for Wallpapering
I know we were talking about the best wallpaper paste, but as you’re currently planning for a wallpapering job, I thought I’d talk about the best wallpaper tools on the market. These are my honest thoughts, I hope they help someone.
The best wallpaper scissors on the market are Axus. They’re imported from Japan and razor sharp all the way to the tip. The Axus Scissors come in two different sizes. I like the bigger ones because I have big clunky hands and I find them easier to control, but a lot of decorators opt for the lighter, smaller size. Available online here.
The best wallpapering knife on the market is also imported from Japan. The Olfa Knife comes in a couple of different sizes and is razor sharp, so be careful when you’re using it. They’re snap blades, so when they do become blunt, just snap a section off, and you’re ready to cut wallpaper again. Available online here. (It’s worth buying an extra packet of blades).
Wallpaper Hanging Brush
The Hamilton Perfection Pure Bristle 9 ring wallpaper hanging brush is expensive, but it’s on a different level to anything else I’ve used. It’s the correct weight, nicely balanced, and is easy to control on the paper. I suppose I’m lucky being a decorator because it’s worthwhile for me to buy the best. It might be a bit different if you’re buying tools for a DIY wallpaper job. That said, this wallpaper hanging brush is fantastic, and if you do buy one it will last a lifetime. Available online here.
Vinyl smoothers are a much cheaper option. They act as a guard to cut wallpaper. Plus, you can use them to smooth out any bubbles or lumps of wallpaper paste. Available online here.
The Best wallpaper paste – by Mike Gregory