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The secret to hanging wallpaper

10 December 2015

Unlike paint, wallpaper can really push the boundaries when it comes to interior design. So if you’re planning on adding some textures and patterns to your walls then you need to learn one important factor – how to hang wallpaper. But as many homeowners will probably know, this is easier said than done! Peeling seams? Mismatched patterns? These are just some of the problems that can occur when hanging wallpaper.

First and foremost you need to choose your wallpaper. If you are after something a little bit different, then why not check out our range of bespoke wallpaper. You can use your own imagery or you can ask our team of talented artists to source or design something exactly to your specification. Choose from a range of wallpapers including classic, water resistant, magnetic write on and metallic. Try these for some inspiration.

Step 1. Preparing the walls

Before you begin, you need to make sure the walls are properly prepared. This means carefully removing any old wallpaper or flaky paint. You need the walls to be smooth, clean and perfectly dry for the best possible results.

Step 2. The first sheet

If you’ve attempted to wallpaper a wall before, no matter how good your technique was, did you find the pattern between the first strip and the last strip doesn’t match? Unfortunately nine times out of ten, this will happen. So the best thing to do is start behind the door. Paper out from that corner until you reach the spot above the door – that way it’s less noticeable as it’s the least conspicuous spot in the room.

Step 3. Measure up

Cut your first length of wallpaper so it overlaps the ceiling and skirting board by at least 5cm at each end. Cut in the same place on the repeat so patterns on the adjacent sheets line up.

Step 4. Paste it

Mix the wallpaper paste following the instructions. Use a pasting table and pasting brush to apply paste to the length of the paper - taking careful consideration pasting the edges. Loosely fold both ends of the cut length of wallpaper into the centre, pasted sides together (without creasing it), before loosely folding in half again. This prevents the paste from drying out before you hang the wallpaper, allowing you to prepare two or three lengths at a time.

Step 5. Lining up

Use a plumb line to mark a vertical line on your wall, then begin by unfolding the top half of your first prepared strip, slide the wallpaper onto the wall so that it's lined up and then unfold the rest.
Smooth out any bubbles, working from the centre out.

Step 6. Trim away

Carefully trim off any excess at the top and bottom. Using a razor, cut above the knife to trim off the excess. Work slowly. Alternate between cutting and moving the knife and don't slide the razor and knife together! If you do this then there's a good chance the paper will rip.

Step 7. Repeat

Hang your next piece of wallpaper, making sure that you match the pattern exactly. Wipe off any excess paste from the paper with a damp sponge as you go along and lightly seal the matching edges with a seam roller after hanging each new piece. If the wallpaper you have chosen has a large pattern repeat, be sure to allow extra length when cutting so that you don't have a problem matching up seams perfectly.  

Step 8. Close the seams

Lightly press the top of the paper to the wall then roll the seam with a seam roller to flatten down the edges. Now use the tips of your fingers to push the seam closed. Unfold the bottom of the sheet and finish matching and closing the seam. Then tightly roll down the entire seam to smooth the whole sheet. 

Step 9. Cut in around doors and windows 

At doors and windows, let the paper overlap by at least an inch. Using the razor, make a cut in the paper. Carefully run the razor from the corner of the window or door out to the edge of the paper. Trim the excess paper flap with a taping knife. 

And there you have it. Papering has just got a whole lot easier!