Papering the walls of an old bathroom

Q: I want to update my 36-year-old bathroom and put wallpaper on the walls. The walls are made of painted rigid-composition board and the panels are set in one-eighth-inch-thick metal stripping which protrudes. If the strips are removed , the board would probably fall off. Could I put a one-eighth-inch covering between the metal strips to even it up? Mary V. Zaehringer Moscow, Idaho A: If the metal strips are shiny, clean and polish them, and be sure to remove the wax. Then, using a spray can, apply a clear acrylic coating to the metal. This will protect the polish in the future.

If the metal is dull, rub it with steel wool or lightly sand it with sandpaper. Then paint the metal to match the proposed wallpaper.

After polishing or repainting the metal strips, hang the wallpaper tight to the strips, leaving the strips exposed.

An all-over design in the wallpaper may be preferable to one that has to be matched. You may wish to use a washable wallpaper in the bathroom.

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