Roo asked: How do I clean my sjoji? I have a shoji (rice paper) screen. The wood trip is dusted weekly and wiped where it might be touched monthly. The paper is yellowing on the lower third and has some spots. I have only ever dusted the paper portions with a feather or Swiffer duster, but would like to wash and brighten the paper. What is the best way to do this & keep the paper taut? There is slim wood trim on both sides of the screen with a single layer of paper in between. Thank you for your answer.
General cleaning methods, including regular dusting, will keep your sjoji looking great and lasting for a long time. However, even with the best cleaning, the paper used on sjoji screens is not meant to last forever. Typically, it is changed out at the start of each new year by removing the old paper and gluing on a new sheet. The process is fairly simple and is described below.
You Will Need:
- Replacement sjoji paper
- Rice paste
- Small paint brush
- Soft cloth
Steps to Replace the Paper:
- Lay the screen flat on the floor and remove the old paper. This can be easily accomplished by moistening the frame to release the glue and paper.
- Once the paper is removed, you are ready to attach the new paper.
- Place the roll of paper at the bottom of the panel.
- Tape the edge of the paper to the frame with a small piece of tape.
- Unroll the paper 12-15 inches to ensure that the paper is lined up straight on the frame.
- Use a brush to apply a thin layer of paste on the grid of the frame.
- Carefully unroll the paper flat along the frame, watching to keep it straight.
- Use a soft cloth to wipe over the paper to make sure it is flat and smooth.
- Use a utility knife to carefully cut the paper from the roll.
- Ideally, you want the finished the product to have a quarter-inch of trim still showing. The paper may shrink some as it dries.
- When the paper is completely dried, reinstall the shade.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- The smooth side of the rice paper should be facing outward.
- If the paper appears to be sagging after it has dried, spray the entire sheet with slight amount of water. As the paper dries it will shrink and tighten.