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Manufacturers Symbols

Wallpaper symbols can be a little confusing for most people.  We want to help you make sense of them so you can feel confident picking the best wall covering for your design project.

 Cleaning Symbols

Cleaning symbols give you insight into how durable your wallpaper is going to be.  If you are putting it in a high traffic area like a bathroom or kitchen, you really don't want it to fall apart when water is splashed on it!  Use the following symbols to help you make the best choice for your space.

Note: The symbols below tell you the safe way to clean your wallpaper.  If your wallpaper does not have a symbol on it you should not clean it using any method. 



This symbol indicates that the wallpaper can be lightly cleaned using a sponge. With a damp, not soaking wet sponge, very gently wipe the surface of your paper. Never use soaps or cleaners of any type on it.  It is not recommended to use in places where it is likely to get wet or in areas with high humidity, as it is susceptible to damage when exposed to water.



This symbol means that the wallpaper is relatively durable and can be gently cleaned without damaging the wallpaper. You should still only use a damp sponge with no soap or cleaners when cleaning. Using a sponge that is too wet or applying too much pressure may cause the paper to rip and tear. It is still vulnerable to water.  


Super Washable or Extra Washable

This symbol indicates that the wallpaper is durable enough to withstand rigorous cleaning without sustaining damage. It may be placed in areas that are likely to get damp and can withstand exposure to small amounts of water. This wallpaper works well in a kitchen and bathroom but can still be affected by splashing water so don't hang it beside a shower or sink.



This is the symbol found on the most durable wallpapers, allowing them to be scrubbed clean without incurring noticeable damage. It is still paper though, so don't get too rough with it! If you need heavy-duty wall coverings, this is your best choice.  

 Pattern Matches and Hanging

A very important step in hanging wallpaper is understanding your wallpaper’s pattern match.  Pattern match is simply matching one strip of wallpaper to the next strip.  If you don’t follow or understand your wallpaper’s pattern match then you can end up having to redo your walls to get the pattern to match up.  It's a lot of wasted time and money so make sure you have identified your pattern type and know how to match it properly before you begin.


Free Match

 A free match design requires no matching up and so is the easiest of the pattern matches to hang.  It does not matter how you place adjacent strips, the pattern will line up. (Think a solid colour or stripes.)  Free match results in the least amount of wasted paper compared to the other pattern matches available.

Straight Match 

Straight match is simply that the design matches in a horizontal line across adjacent strips.  The design from left to right on one strip will be the same on the next one and so on. This match takes a little work but is still pretty easy to work with.

Offset Match 

This is perhaps the hardest match to hang.  Offset match is simply a design which, in order for adjacent strips to match up, every second strip must be offset or dropped by the distance of its drop match.  Basically, the edge of the wallpaper only matches the edge of the second strip when it is dropped by a specific distance.  The best technique for hanging offset match wallpaper is to cut and align the strips on a pasting table before pasting and hanging.  Offset match wallpaper has the most waste associated with it.

Reverse Alternate Lengths 

Reverse hang is another fairly easy method with minimal waste paper.  It is often seen with plain or lightly textured wallpaper and is the process of placing adjacent strips in alternating directions.  Basically, every other strip is reversed in direction.  The reason why plain wallpaper might have to be reverse hung is to prevent shading. 

Direction of Hanging

This symbol tells you what direction you should be hanging your wallpaper.

 Paste Instructions

Paste instructions are extremely important to be aware of. Not following the instructed paste instructions can cause bubbles, creases, the wallpaper to not stick correctly, the design to expand on the wall and cause expansion bubbles and even tearing to your wallpaper.


Paste the Paper 

This is the most common paste symbol that you will see.  Paste the paper is the process of applying the paste directly to the back of the wallpaper, leaving it for its soak time then applying the pasted strip onto the wall.  

Also known as Adhesive to Wallcovering.

Paste the Wall

Paste the wall is a more recent addition to the wallpaper world.  It is quickly becoming more popular as it is a much easier application, there is no need for soak times and less risk of errors. To apply you simply apply the paste directly to the wall then fix the paper on top.  Paste the wall wallpaper will often be found with non-woven wallpapers.

Ready Pasted

This means that the paste has already been applied to the paper for you. It only needs dipping into a water tray to activate the paste before it can be hung. 


When you inspect a wallpaper label sometimes there will be a symbol relating to the removal instructions for that wallpaper.  You might not want to think about the day when you want to remove what you are currently putting up, but knowing what strategy must be used to remove your wallpaper at a later date will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.  


With strippable wallpaper you can remove the wallpaper in one strip while the paper is dry. Both the back and front layers will come off the wall easily.  It makes it easy to redecorate in the future.


Different from strippable, peelable wallpaper only removes the top layer off the wall, leaving the backing paper behind.  Again, you can remove the wallpaper while the paper is dry. 

Wet Removable

To remove this wallpaper you will need to wet it down with liquid wallpaper stripper or warm soapy water.  After the paper is wet you will need to manually scrape away all excess paper.

 Light Fastness

Light fastness is simply the degree to which your wallpaper will keep its colour in sunlight.  Any wallpaper will eventually start to lose colour if put in direct sunlight for a long time.  These symbols help you pick which ones will fade the slowest. 



This symbol means that the wallpaper is only slightly resistant to bleaching in direct sunlight.  If you want the colours to last it would be best placed in an area that does not receive a lot of direct sunlight.


A little better than Moderate wallpaper, you should still not put it on a wall that will get a lot of direct sunlight if you want the pattern to last.


This type of paper will hold up fairly well in sunlight.  Still not the superstar that Very Good is, it does a good job in a sunny room.

Very Good

This should be your choice if you are putting your paper in a very sunny location.  It will keep its colour for a long time even in direct sunlight.


 Remember to identify all the symbols on your wallpaper so that it will meet all your needs.