How to Hang Wallpaper

How to Hang Wallpaper

How to Hang Wallpaper

Follow our wallpapering guide and transform your rooms, hallways and landings into living spaces you can be proud of.

Types of Wallpaper

Lining Papers – These come in different varieties. Pure white papers are specially made for providing a smooth surface for painting. Off white lining papers are used as a base for wallpaper. Heavy white lining papers are used for uneven walls.

Standard Wallpapers – Smooth paper with a pattern. Relatively inexpensive but not hard wearing.

Woodchip Wallpaper – Hardwearing heavy wallpaper which is very good for covering walls with slight imperfections. A surface layer of wood chips creates a nice effect.

Flock Wallpaper – Heavy paper with a fine paper added to some areas to create a pattern.

High Relief Paper – A variety of papers with heavy relief patterns including tiles, plaster effects, etc. Hardwearing and good for concealing lumpy surfaces.

Embossed Wallpaper – Heavy paper designed to be painted. Various patterns are pressed into it creating nice effects.

  • Paste brushes.
  • Smoothing down brush or sponge.
  • Fold away paste table.
  • Bucket.
  • Stepladders.
  • Scraping and cutting knife.
  • Measuring tools including plumb line, pencil, measuring tape.
  • Big scissors.
  • Wallpaper.
  • Paste.

Getting Started

Clear furniture and remove light fittings. Spread dustsheets over the floor and other surfaces to remain paint free. Cotton sheets are the best as they soak spilt paint. Lock doors if necessary or tell family not to enter work rooms in order to prevent accidents (You might be up a ladder).

Strip old wall paper. You can wet it first with warm water and scrape it off. Alternatively buy a steamer. Steam strippers are filled with water and then you plug them into a wall socket. You hold a flat surface over the paper that needs to be removed and the steam does all the hard work for you. They are highly recommended as they remove even the most difficult wallpaper with ease. Once you have got old wallpaper off you need to wash down the walls with hot water to remove traces off old paste, paper and plaster. It is then important to fill any holes or cracks with plaster filler. An even surface is very important if you want to achieve a good final result with your wallpaper.

Be Prepared

  • Measure the heights of your walls at both ends so you know the maximum height of the walls and allow a few inches extra so you can trim the paper and make it look neat. Measure ceiling in a similar way.
  • Use plumb lines and spirit levels to create straight lines and measure around the room for each strip. Mark guidelines on the walls with a pencil.

  • Cut off a few lengths at a time and number them on the back with a pencil. Then you can have the next piece soaking with paste while you apply the first one.

  • Mix your paste. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and try to prevent lumps.

  • Coat the strips of paper well and evenly to prevent peeling. Think of the strip of paper having three stripes along it. You need to coat the central stripe of the strip first and then the stripe nearest to you and then the stripe furthest from you.

  • Some papers will need to be soaked. Medium to heavyweight papers need five to ten minutes left on the table. A good guide if in doubt is that the paper should be supple. Try and keep soaking times per sheet constant as this will prevent irregular effects when applied.

  • You then need to fold the ends inwards so glue touches glue. This is important because it gives the glue time to work. You must be careful not to crease the wallpaper so just bend it gently. Once the ends are folded fold the new ends into the centre to create a concertina. This will make the wallpaper easy to handle when putting it up.

  • Good places to start are corners, around doors, near curtains or in the far corners of a room where seams will not be noticed.

    Step By Step

    • Hang lining paper first. This should be applied horizontally and start from the top of the wall. Hang main paper vertically. The first piece should be lined up precisely next to the guideline. Remember to allow a bit at either end so you can cut neatly.
  • Use a slight push where appropriate to slide the paper into place on the walls.

  • Use your brush down the centre and move it out to the edges trying carefully to get rid of any bubbles.

  • Repeat the process and bear in mind the need to match up patterns if you are using patterned wallpaper.

    More Top Tips

    • Prepare walls thoroughly to prevent a knobbly look.
  • Take your time and be methodical.

  • Always paper ceilings before walls

  • Finish any painting before wallpapering.

  • lways choose the correct type of adhesive for the paper. Check manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Wear overalls or old clothes.


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