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Painting & Decorating

Professional decorator and bubbles in lining paper

Hi All, I've employed a professional decorator to line my walls and have some questions which I would be grateful for assistance with:

Is it normal to leave a gap of about 3-4mm between each strip of lining paper and then fill and sand before painint (I think this was done to get a seamless finish)?
There are many bubbles along the edges of the lining paper. To address this, the decorator has cut the bubbles out with a knife and then filled the holes with filler. Again, is this normal as I would have thought the different texture would show on the wall.
Finally, shouldn't a professional decorator be able to line a wall without bubbles as I would have assumed they would be able to?

Many thanks!

8 Answers from MyBuilder Painters & Decorators

Best Answer

Hi ,

Seriously decorator has cut the bubbles out with a knife and then filled the holes with filler?
Definitely not a professional decorator at all.

Bubbles in wallpaper

1. Walls not prepared correctly
2. Paper not pasted correctly
3. Paper not smoothed out correctly

Leaving a gap in lining should be 1mm and should not be filled with filler.


Answered 5th Feb 2020

No defiantly not


Answered 5th Feb 2020

Im afraid it sounds like he is just trying to patch up his work. Even with lining paper it should shrink back and then need to be filled as defeats the object of lining it in the first place. I would always prefer to get it skimmed than lined and a much better job in the end. I would make sure he uses something like easyfill to repair what he has done as will rub down nicely and if done well will cover up the shrinkage. good luck


Answered 5th Feb 2020

Seams should all join up - it may be a little filler could be used to tidy up but generally the edges should butt together. And there shouldn't be any bubbles, especially once the paper has dried. It sounds like he didn't let the paper soak long enough or use enough paste.


Answered 5th Feb 2020

Your decorator is clearly inexperienced and does appear to have some serious skills gaps. What you describe is not normal whatsoever and your decorator appears to have make some basic decorating errors and is in a bit of a pickle.

Lining paper is used to provide a good surface to receive paint or wallpaper on walls that have some integral issues. Lining paper comes in several 'thickness' levels e.g. 800, 1000, 1,200 and basically the worse condition the wall the thicker the lining paper.

Once dry you can paint or paper over the lining paper and you should have a lovely smooth finished wall surface. Make sure all paste is wiped from the lining paper if you are painting as the paint may activate the paste and you could end up with a crackle glazed effect. All good decorators will be aware of this.

Good luck with your decorating project. I believe you have just been very unfortunate and hired a rouge decorator.

Kind regards

Cornerways Painting and Decorating


Answered 5th Feb 2020

Hi , yes it is normal to leave a 2-3 mm gap with the lining paper and after filling and sanding . The next day after you painted the wall and got rid of the bubbles , you need to cut the bubbles and fill again . No one can do the lining paper perfectly without any bubbles !


Answered 5th Feb 2020

Hi There
I agree with the first answer here, different grades of lining paper needs different soakage times. only if you are lining a wall for wallpapering should you leave a 'fingernail' depth gap between drops (horizontally). If apply emulsion, the drops should be butted up. Clearly inexperienced.


Answered 7th Feb 2020

I agree with most answers ,personaly I would use 1700 grade lining paper after preparing walls first , a gap of 1 mm is normal between joins then filled to get a seamless joint , it’s important to leave to soak ,evenly apply paste and smooth out properly to have no bubbles


Answered 19th Feb 2020

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