Choke - To detect Arsenic - Stripping Walls - Paperhanging -Paste - Cleaning Varnished and Unvarnished Papers - Whitewash - Distempering - Smell of New Paint.

By those who are furnishing anew, the paper of a room and the paint should be decided upon before the carpet and curtains, etc., are chosen. By those who already possess these items, the paper and paint should be so selected that they will not render shabby by contrast the half-worn things.


In the choice of papers various points should be borne in mind.

1. Dark papers tend to darken rooms and make them appear smaller.

2. The pattern should be suitable to the dimensions of the room for which it is required, and should form a suitable and appropriate background to the furniture and pictures.

3. Colours should be chosen which are unlikely to fade.

4. Rooms with a north aspect should have warm sunny tints, not grey or blue.

5. Sanitary papers should be chosen for hall, lavatory, bathroom, staircase, and kitchens, as when varnished they can be washed, and, being smooth, they do not so readily retain dust.

6. Bedroom papers should be pretty, unobtrusive, and bright; a light ground and small pattern being advisable. Avoid any design which suggests counting and grouping.

7. Avoid rough, uneven surfaces, such as flock papers: they not only retain dust, but actually create it.

8. Avoid any paper, however charming, which contains arsenic; as severe headache, and inflammation of the skin, eyes, and internal organs are often the outcome of its use.

To Detect Arsenic

Light a piece of the suspected paper; if it smells of garlic, arsenic is present. Or, as a further test, pour a little diluted hydrochloric acid on the paper; if it becomes blue, arsenic is undoubtedly used in its colouring. Nowadays, however, arsenic is rarely used.

Varieties Of Wall-Paper In General Use

PLAIN-TINTED LINING paper, any colour, 1/- per piece. SILK FIBRE, usually self-coloured, 2/6 per piece.

INGRAIN, plain or self-patterned, 2/- to 2/6. Ingrain papers have superseded the old-fashioned "flock" papers, which attracted dust, the flock itself, too, falling and making dust. This spring there is, however, an attempt at a revival of the flock variety in a good quality, costing 21s. per piece.

SATINETTE or SATIN STRIPE, 2/6 per piece.

SANITARY or WASHABLE, 2/6 per piece.


These may be bought already varnished in the piece, or may be varnished after being hung; the latter being the better method, as in this way the joins are more thoroughly coated. Varnished papers, which are washed in the same way as varnished paint (see Chapter XIV (Wood).), are advisable for kitchens, bathrooms, etc. Designs naturally vary very much, and the papers range from the machine-made at 3d. per piece to the hand-made at 10/6 and more. Very pretty bedroom papers may be had from 9d. upwards.

Ceiling papers are now largely used, and may be had at very low prices; Linerusta and Anaglypta, which give a handsome appearance either as coverings for the ceiling or as a dado, are somewhat costly. Indian, Chinese, and Manilla mattings are also sometimes used to form a dado. (For cleaning, see Chapter XII (Carpets).);