Glass fiber is considered one of the most durable finishing materials. They can last you 30 years or more while maintaining perfect condition. In addition, these wallpapers can be repainted many times, and gluing them will not cause absolutely any difficulties. They fit perfectly into any interior, they can decorate any room, so it is not surprising that today they are at the peak of their popularity. Despite this, not all buyers know exactly how to choose fiberglass, and what to do with them next: how to glue them correctly, and then paint them. Let’s try to shed light on some topical issues.
Probably, from the very name of this finishing material, you can guess what it consists of. This is glass, which, under the influence of high temperatures, is melted and drawn into threads, from which the cloth is subsequently woven. So that the finished material is not too fragile, it is impregnated with special substances based on starch. In a similar way, two main types of fiberglass are made today:
“Sputnik” is the thinnest glass cloth, also called painting glass cloth. It is used for leveling surfaces, reinforcing walls, and also as a base for painting the ceiling. Such material has no patterns;
- glass wallpaper itself or glass cloth wallpaper. They have a denser structure, differ in the presence of some kind of pattern: herringbone, rhombus, circles, waves, etc. This material is used for pasting walls and cabinet furniture, it is intended for reusable subsequent painting. It is about this type of wallpaper that we will talk about.
Pros and cons of fiberglass
Fiberglass wallpapers are very popular today, and the growing demand for them is explained by a number of their advantages:
absolutely safe and environmentally friendly material;
high strength, because it is almost impossible to scratch them;
- it is a non-combustible material, like glass itself;
- fiberglass additionally strengthen the walls, hide small cracks;
- they can pass air, but mold or mildew will never start on them, so this type of finish can be used in rooms with high humidity;
- the ability to glue such wallpaper on any surface;
- the ability to repaint several times. Depending on the pattern, density and manufacturer, the number of paint layers varies from 6 to 20;
- if the paint is selected correctly, then the coating can be washed, and even the inscriptions made with a felt-tip pen can be washed;
durability: 30 years or more.
With all the advantages of fiberglass, it is necessary to take into account some of their disadvantages, so that the coating does not disappoint in the end. So, the main disadvantages are as follows:
if you decide to make repairs and replace the wall decoration, then removing glass wallpaper from the walls will be problematic;
- they cost more than paper or vinyl wallpaper;
- high paint consumption compared to simple wall painting;
- the choice of patterns is not the richest, and if the pattern is not sufficiently embossed, then it may completely disappear under several layers of paint;
- if you pick up the wrong paint, then some stains may not wash off later.
How to choose fiberglass?
When choosing glass fiber wallpaper, you should pay attention to several key parameters: their density, pattern, composition and manufacturer.
Density of fiberglass
Strength and durability directly depend on density. The denser glass wallpaper you choose, the longer their service life and the more times they can be repainted. For high-quality decoration of a room, it is better to pay attention to material with a density of 100 g / m2 and higher. In this case, the wallpaper will serve as expected for 30 years or more.
Wallpapers with a density of less than 100 g / m2 are not as dense and strong, their durability is much lower, but the price is also more affordable. Such material is suitable for economy class finishes, or if you do not plan to frequently repaint the walls.
Glass wallpaper pattern
The variety of patterns, although limited, but still have plenty to choose from. Most often on sale you can find materials with the following texture:
- some manufacturers have a material with a pattern that resembles raindrops on a window glass, parquet or rice paper.
This is not an exhaustive list of possible textures, as manufacturers are constantly adding materials with new patterns to their collections. Nevertheless, you can find a texture suitable for an apartment.
Pay attention to how voluminous and deep the relief is. It depends on how many layers of paint can be applied without losing the pattern.
Composition and packaging
An important parameter when choosing is the composition of fiberglass. Ideally, the material should be 70% fiberglass and 30% impregnation, which is indicated on the accompanying documents. A significant deviation from the specified parameters or the absence of the necessary documentation should be alarming.
Also pay attention to the packaging of fiberglass: it must be complete. The canvas itself should be neatly woven, not crumble, and have smooth edges. It is very convenient when the manufacturer marks the seamy side with the appropriate signs, which helps not to confuse and properly glue the canvases.
The best glass fiber manufacturers
Say what you like, but the name of the manufacturer means a lot today. Some firms have established themselves well in the market, and their products are of consistently high quality. So which manufacturers should you look out for first?
Tassoglas is a well-known Swedish company, which is considered the world leader in the production of glass wallpapers. The company offers material with various patterns, high durability and strength. Depending on the model, such wallpapers can withstand 5-15 layers of paint;
Nortex – fiberglass wallpaper made in China. These are durable finishing materials, perfectly balanced in terms of price and quality. The density of different types of fiberglass in the manufacturer’s collection is 115-260 g / m2, and the choice of possible textures is very extensive;
Virtulan is a German manufacturer of glass wallpaper, and they cost an order of magnitude higher than, for example, Nortex. The company has existed since 1931, and has already managed to establish itself with high German quality. Designers are constantly working on the creation of new textures and patterns, so the glass wallpaper of this company is always distinguished by its original appearance, and the collections are constantly updated.
Vertex is a Czech manufacturer of glass fiber wallpaper, whose assortment includes a basic set of all patterns. The material has a good balance of price and quality and is widely represented on the domestic market.
Alaxar is a group of companies with production facilities in China, Finland, Germany and Sweden. Glass wallpapers are produced under the Wellton and Oscar trademarks. The assortment is very wide, and in Russia there are many representative offices of the company, so domestic buyers will be able to choose exactly the option that suits them best.
X-Glass – glass wallpaper of the middle price segment. It is interesting that the manufacturer is located in Russia – it is Liga LLC, and the plant operates in Finland. The range of products is sufficient.
- Chinese manufacturers such as Mermet, Veterman, Bau Master and Walltex are widely represented in large hardware stores and hypermarkets. They offer a very affordable product, the quality is usually average. They are in decent demand among domestic buyers.
How to glue fiberglass?
So, the material has been selected, now it remains only to glue the fiberglass on the wall and paint them, and then enjoy the result.
First you need to completely get rid of the old wall decoration: peel off the wallpaper, remove the paint layer, etc. Now the surface needs to be primed to strengthen the wall. If there are strong cracks and irregularities, then it is better to putty them, however, do not overdo it, since fiberglass wallpaper has excellent reinforcing properties. This means that they are able to hide small differences in plane and defects very well, while preventing further formation of cracks. At this stage, you can also treat the walls with a fungicidal composition to prevent mold and mildew from growing on them, which is a common occurrence in the kitchen and in the bathrooms.
When starting to cut and glue fiberglass, do not forget about your own safety. Material of even the highest quality can slightly crumble during cutting, and small particles will fly in the air when working with it, the fall of which on the skin and into the respiratory tract is undesirable. Therefore, it is worth wearing clothes that cover the whole body, gloves and cover your mouth and nose.
It is necessary to cut the glass fiber wallpaper depending on the geometric parameters of the walls in the room, but do not forget to leave an allowance of 5-15 cm, depending on the pattern, so that it can be correctly combined. The roll width, as a rule, is 50 cm, sometimes 1 m. It is convenient to cut it into strips using scissors, you can use a knife.
Now with regard to the gluing itself. It is better to choose a special glue for fiberglass. Some glass wallpaper manufacturers have their own glue in the lines – this is the best option. A composition for gluing vinyl wallpaper may also be suitable, but it is not recommended to use glue for paper wallpaper, since it will not withstand the weight of the embossed canvas.
The finished glue is evenly applied to the wall section with a roller, to which the prepared piece of glass wallpaper is immediately applied. Next, it is worth running over it with a clean roller or a special spatula to ensure better contact with the wall surface, and also so that air and excess glue come out from under the wallpaper.
The next glass fiber wallpaper is glued according to the same principle. At the same time, the canvases are combined end-to-end so that there are no gaps, but without forgetting about the need for an exact match of the pattern. If excess glue seeps through the joint, then it should be carefully removed immediately with a sponge or clean cloth.
Some defects when gluing glass fiber wallpaper are easy to fix. If in some places they peel off or a bubble has formed, you can draw glue into the syringe and fill the problem areas with it. If the air bubbles are large, you can make a neat cut, and then glue this section of the wallpaper. After painting, it will be difficult to see where the defect was. But if in the process of wallpaper installation, nodules and folds formed, then it will be almost impossible to get rid of them.
How to paint fiberglass?
You can start painting glass fiber only after they are completely dry, which is about two days. But before applying paint, it is better to prime the surface. This is done so that the paint lays down better, and so that it is less absorbed into the porous surface of the fiberglass. Glue diluted with water can be used as a primer. It is applied in a thin uniform layer over the entire surface of the wallpaper, and after it dries, they proceed directly to painting.
It is very easy to paint fiberglass, and a beginner can handle it. It is better to use a roller for this. It remains only to choose the required paint color, and maybe several colors, if it meets the interior concept.
Not every type of paint is suitable for painting fiberglass. Experts recommend using:
- water-dispersion paint, resistant to washing. Matte formulations or silky matte are optimal;
- latex paints;
- polyurethane varnish-paints are also quite applicable.
Depending on the desired effect, the paint is applied in one or more layers, but you need to wait until the previous layer dries. It is better for beginners in painting to choose matte compositions: if there are any irregularities on the surface, they will be hardly noticeable.
With fiberglass it is very easy to update the interior. It is enough just to buy the desired paint and paint the walls: the pattern will be preserved, but the color will change.
Glass fiber is an excellent alternative to paper and vinyl wallpaper, as well as decorative plaster. They are simply glued and painted, and to make the installation and operation process as easy and hassle-free as possible, you need to choose the right glass wallpaper, and our advice should help you with this.