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How to Clean Up Rips to Wallpaper and Upholstery

No matter how clean your house, it won’t look well maintained if there are rips in the wallcoverings. Taking care of rips and tears in either wallpaper or fabric involves making patches. The method for mounting the patch material varies according to the surface needing attention.

It’s a surprisingly simple job to hide a tear in the wallpaper or cover a stain that you haven’t been able to shift. Just use the following method.

  1. Locate a piece of leftover wallpaper.

    You need a piece big enough to cover the tear or stain completely.

    You have to match up any pattern, so choose your patch piece with care.

  2. Tear, rather than cut out your patch.

    Rough edges look more natural up on the wall.

  3. Coat the back of your torn piece with border adhesive, or any glue suitable for sticking paper to paper.

  4. Position your piece over the tear or stain and carefully smooth it into place by rubbing over it with a dry cloth.

    Carefully mop away any adhesive that spills over the edge. It leaves a permanent mark if allowed to dry and then you have another stain to patch!

To repair upholstery, make a patch from a fabric armrest or, if there’s nothing else, a piece of material cut from the underside of a cushion (and then replaced with plain fabric). Your patch needs to be significantly bigger than the tear.

Hem the patch, then lay it over the tear, so that it exactly matches up with the pattern of the sofa underneath. Use a strong thread and a small, slanting hemstitch to sew.

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