10 tips to help you wallpaper like a pro

10 tips to help you wallpaper like a pro

Posted 13th June by Peter Byrne

Are you planning to carry out some wallpapering in the near future?

Well, we've spoken to Alex Whitecroft from I Want Wallpaper who explains what you can do to make sure you hang yours like a pro...

1. Choose the paper for you

If you can, get consecutive batch numbers when you're buying wallpaper - this means it will perfectly align when hung. You'll also want to accurately measure the total area you're covering - it's better to over order, as that gives you wiggle room for potential accidents.

Erismann Botanical Leaf Wallpaper in green £13.99 per roll

2. Tool trade

Another crucial part of hanging wallpaper will be having the right equipment - it's worth borrowing or buying the following, to help you achieve a professional finish:

- Pasting table
- Step ladders
- Bucket
- Pasting brush
- Seam roller
- Wallpaper smoother
- Carpenter's level
- Pushpins
- Steel tape measure
- Pencil
- Scissors (and a jug of water to dip them in to remove paste)
- Large scraper or spatula
- Utility knife

3. One at a time

If you’re wallpapering for the first time, you're best off beginning in a 'low traffic' room like a bedroom - this lets you get the practice in. Another option is a feature wall, instead of going in all guns blazing on an entire room.

Arthouse Botanical Songbird Wallpaper in teal £10.99 per roll

4. Prep

'Size' the wall to start, covering it in a solution of half PVA glue, half water - this can then be applied with a paint roller. It's not crucial, but it provides a glossy finish, so the paper is easier to put up. It also helps it stick in place.

5. No rush

A plumb line helps you draw straight lines at regular intervals all around the room. Measure the floor to ceiling height of your room, and make a mark on the pasting table - this saves you the hassle of measuring every individual piece of paper. Leave yourself with a good few inches to achieve variations - this particularly applies in old houses, as the floors and ceilings can be uneven. You also want to make sure you have adequate paper for lining up the pattern. The basic rule here is more is more - after all, you can trim it down, but you can't make it grow.

Holden Décor Congo Glasshouse Tropical Wallpaper in pink £11.99 per roll

6. Paste it

You can use certain pastes to remove the finish of wallpaper papers - just check you have the appropriate paste for the paper you're using! A gentle, and in many cases, suitable, paste will have a wheat base. You can apply it with a strip of paper that's flat on the table, and then level it with the edges (try to avoid getting the paste on the table). Weigh down each end before evenly spreading the paste. Then, fold the paper in a concertina so you can carry it safely to the wall.

7. Line up

You want to have the first length straight, as this, essentially, sets the template for the rest of the room. Use the straight pencil lines you've drawn as a guide.

8. In and out

Does your paper have a large pattern? Then start in the middle of the wall, or a particular focal point and from there, work outwards. Just make sure you measure your wall's mid-point. If it's a plain, smaller pattern, start to paper it from the corner of your room, ideally on a wall which has no window or doors. That way, you can go full length without facing any problems. There's another important detail to consider - make sure each sheet is the right way up.

Erismann Graphic Arts Wallpaper in grey £13.99 per roll

9. Trim

When you apply paper to the wall, let it overlap onto the ceiling, and then trim it down once you're pleased with its position. There's no need to worry if your first try looks a bit wonky or out of position - simply manoeuvre the sheets so you get them into the perfect position - this will ensure the paste doesn't dry and also leaves you with smooth walls.

10. Smooth as you like

Repeat this process with further strips and make sure the patterns line up. Work away from the windows, so you don't have any shadows from overlapping edges, and to finish off, smooth the paper to ensure there's no air bubbles.

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