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Wallpaper Paste

Wallpaper Paste

People ask me for this old folk recipe all the time. Everybody claims that there is no commercial wallpaper paste that works as well and is free of pesticides!

  • 1 cup flour (wheat, corn, or rice)
  • 3 teaspoons alum
  • water
  • 10 drops oil of cloves (natural preservative)

Combine the flour and alum in a double boiler. (If you donít have a double boiler, set a smaller pan inside a bigger one that contains enough water that can be brought to a boil without overflowing). Add enough water to make a consistency of heavy cream; stir until blended. Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened to a gravy texture. Let cool. Stir in the clove oil. Pour into a glass jar with a screw top. Apply with a glue brush.

Makes 1 cup. Shelf life: 2 weeks refrigerated.

Read more: Home, Crafts & Hobbies, Green Home Decor, Household Hints

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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8:15AM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

This article was posted in 1999. Has anyone seen the long-term effectiveness of this paste, given that it's now 2012? I would like to use it, but I don't want to ruin $500 worth of wallpaper :)

12:42PM PST on Nov 18, 2011

Alum is a pickling spice that can be found in the spice section of any grocery store. It isn't needed, nor is the clove. I usually just boil water and add my flour/water paste and whisk it in like you would when making gravy. Works wonders!

11:53AM PDT on Sep 27, 2011

Thanks Annie!

11:47AM PDT on Sep 27, 2011

Thanks Annie!

3:25PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Alum is also known as "Pickling Spice", I think. It makes your pickles crispy, and is slightly toxic.

12:43AM PDT on Nov 6, 2010

Thanks for the article.

9:51AM PDT on Oct 16, 2010


7:56AM PDT on Sep 3, 2010

what is alum please?

1:08AM PDT on Aug 13, 2010


4:36AM PDT on Jul 23, 2010

Great and easy to make. My problem though is I don't know what alum is nor do I know if I can find it here. Is there anything else I can use instead of alum?

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people are talking

So lovely! *_*

Not for me, I sleep just as good as when I don't have caffeine at night.

No problem with coffee drinking at night

Great recipe for those who want to DIY.

Number crunches have changed from the bottom of reading glasses to eye level computer monitories. T…


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