Wallpaper School – How to hang wallpaper
Wallpaper is an inexpensive way for you to lighten up and transform your home. Hanging the right wallpaper can create personality within a room, and really make a statement if needed.
So, you’ve found the perfect wallpaper for the room you’re decorating, and you can’t wait to get it straight up on the wall, but the thought of “where exactly do I start?!” is starting to settle in, right? And you don’t want to ruin something you’ve spent so much time and thought into choosing. Well do not fear! We’ve created this handy wallpaper guide for you to follow to take the stress away from something that isn’t quite as daunting once you know exactly what you’re doing.
First things first, make sure you’ve got enough wallpaper to see you through the wall(s) you’re covering, and the tools to make the job that little bit easier, preventing you from getting all glued up!
Hot water and a sponge
Pasting brush/hanging brush
Tip for uneven walls or using heavily embossed wallpapers:
You can use a lining paper if you have a wall that has imperfections on it, or if you’re using a high quality/expensive wallpaper that’s embossed, to ensure the best end result.
Just make sure that you apply the lining paper the day before, to ensure that it’s completely dry before you carry on with your decorative wallpaper layer.
- The key to a smooth finish with wallpapering, is that the surface you are wallpapering is well prepared – the surface must be dry, level and firm.
- Firstly, ensure that all electrical sockets in the room are switched off or covered, as any liquid used can get into them.
- If you have a surface that was previously wallpapered, and the wallpaper isn’t peelable wallpaper, it may be easier for you to use a mixture of hot water and wallpaper stripper in order to soak and remove the paper. Soak for around 10-15 minutes and then peel off the wall, and then use a stripping knife to remove any access paper.
- Some wallpapers may have a peelable layer which will enable you to just soak the underneath layer left on the wall with hot water and a sponge. Then use wallpaper stripper tools such as stripping knives to remove the remaining paper.
- To ensure a really smooth base, use some sand paper just to level the surface off and get rid of any little bits of glue or paint left on the walls.
- Once the wallpaper has been completely stripped and soaked from the surface, wash the wall thoroughly with hot water, dry with a cloth and leave to dry.
- Before you begin the hanging process, double check your surface is bone dry, flat and completely clean of any previous adhesives.
- Finally, make sure you have protective sheets around the floor, and that the area is clear enough for you to work in.
Hanging the wallpaper:
Now we’re onto the fun part, covering your walls in your lovely wallpaper! There are a few techniques to applying wallpaper, and they all vary depending on whether your wallpaper requires you to paste the wall or paste the paper on hanging. The method below is a step by step guide of how to put up paste the wall paper.
Start in a corner of the room, a window or a door, and measure 52 cm from that starting point. Standard rolls of wallpaper are 53 cm wide, so this allows you to have a 1 cm overlap of wallpaper on the wall adjacent to the wall you’re papering, to ensure a clean, sharp edge once cut.
Mark the wall with a pencil at the 52 cm measurement, and draw a line to the ceiling and the skirting boards using a spirit level or plumb line. The first piece you’re hanging is very important as it must be vertically straight, but once you’ve got that right, the rest comes pretty easily!
Next, grab your paste and pasting brush and start to apply the paste into the corners and edges of the outline you’ve made. Then use your paint roller to roll/spread the paste within the width of the wallpaper length, going over a little bit to ensure there is a margin for the next length.
Once you’ve evenly spread the paste on the wall, measure the height of your wall, add on about 8 cm and cut the wallpaper to the required length on your pasting table. If your wallpaper has a pattern repeat, then for your next panel you will need to make sure you add on the pattern repeat measurement before cutting it, to ensure it lines up correctly.
For example: if your wall measures 240 cm, and the pattern repeat of your wallpaper is 46 cm, for the wallpaper lengths you cut after putting up the first one, you will be cutting 286 cm lengths of paper to make up for the access in pattern repeats.
Once your first length is in place and you’re happy it lines up perfectly, use your wallpaper brush to remove any bubbles that have formed, using vertical strokes.
Happy with your work? Then cut your paper neatly with the trimming knife at the top, the bottom and the overlapping edge, and wipe off any access paste. Then move onto the following panels using exactly the same technique, and if using a wallpaper with a pattern repeat, make sure you match the pattern as you go along.
- Any fingerprints or paste marks on the front of the wallpaper can be wiped off with a damp sponge afterwards.
- Some wallpapers have different aftercare requirements, so check with the supplier to confirm these.
Further help & advice:
- One of our suppliers ‘Boråstapeter’ created this video showing how to put paste the wall wallpaper up:
- The following video shows a different technique using wallpaper that requires you to paste the paper before hanging it on the wall:
Who said wallpapering was a tricky job hey?! A little bit of confidence, thorough preparation, some video tutorials and the right tools will get you there in the end!
If you’re still at the stage of choosing the right wallpaper for your room, then why not come into our showroom that’s open 6 days a week to gain some advice and inspiration from our dedicated and experienced showroom staff. We’re here to ensure you choose the right product for your home, that you will love for years to come!