Cover-ups for problem walls

Over time, it’s natural for wallsespecially older plaster ones-to develop slight cracks, bulges, and holes that defy repeated repair treatments. Strategically hanging photos or artwork isn’t the only way to hide these imperfections. Put away the hammer and nails, and take a look at some other camouflaging options.

Decorative painting, which generally uses a base coat of paint topped with a glaze, can add texture that disguises scars in your wall surface. Rag rolling is one of the best techniques because it leaves rough, crinkled dabs of glaze that blend in with surface cracks. Sponging and color washing work well, too.

Embossed wall coverings were first developed in Victorian times to minimize wall blemishes. Modern versions, made of vinyl-coated paper stamped with dozens of raised designs, hide wall cracks and bulges just as well. Because these embossed papers have a stiff makeup and difficult-to-match seams, they should be professionally installed. Once hung, coverings should also be painted to hide the seams.

Wall liners, the newest cover-up option, make small imperfections in your walls practically disappear. By bridging cracks and other undesirable blemishes in your walls, they provide a smooth, even surface that can be painted or covered with wallpaper. Wall liners come in a variety of thicknesses; check with your wall coverings dealer to see which type is best for your situation. They can also be used to cover all types of problem walls, such as the especially troublesome old paneling, concrete blocks, or heavy wall texture.

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