Tips for applying wallpaper

Hanging wallpaper

Hanging wallpaper isn’t a massively difficult task but it can be a bit fiddly, particularly if you have never done it before. As it often involves rather large sheets of wallpaper, it can be a good idea to make sure there are at least two people available to apply the paper to the walls.

When it comes to the task of hanging wallpaper, preparation is key. It might not be the most entertaining part of the operation, but it will certainly be worth it later. Firstly, make extra certain that all your rolls of wallpaper match so you don’t get halfway through and then realise that you’ve accidentally got three different kinds of paper. Double checking the amount you need before you begin is also worthwhile.

Ceilings and floors

Also, if you are planning to paint your ceiling at the same time – it’s a good idea to do this before you start the process of hanging wallpaper to avoid any risk of the paint dripping onto your new decorations.

Next, cover the floor with a dust cloth and make sure you’ve got everything you need to apply the wallpaper to the wall. Typically you will need a table or long flat surface for applying paste, a paste brush, a tape measure, a sharp knife or scissors, something to smooth the paper with and possibly some clean water. Once you’ve got everything assembled, make sure any old wallpaper has been properly removed using wallpaper stripper. If it is difficult to get off, you might need a steam stripper.

Wall defects

Now you need to go over the walls and ensure that any cracks or chips have been filled prior to hanging your new wallpaper. This will give you a good surface to work from. If your walls are slightly porous then you can seal them using a diluted adhesive. Leave this to dry before you begin hanging your wallpaper.

Before the wallpaper is applied it will need to be cut into the right size. This will usually be the same height as the wall to which you will be applying it. If possible, it’s also worth leaving a few extra inches at the top and bottom of the sheet so that you can trim it down to size later. However, this isn’t strictly necessary – just make sure you get your sizes absolutely right.

Start point for applying wallpaper

If you are planning to hang bold wallpaper, you might want to choose a focal point in the room (such as a chimney breast) and start hanging it from that point. If your wallpaper is more subtle, this won’t be such an issue for you. Also, it might sound obvious, but it is important to make sure that you have got all of your wallpaper the right way up so that any patterns match up when it is on the wall; you might need to pay extra close attention when hanging it to make sure the patterns match.

Finally, when applying the wallpaper paste, apply it to the wallpaper and not the wall. Don’t saturate the wallpaper but ensure you use a decent amount so that it will stick and won’t fall off once the glue has dried. Brush the wallpaper downwards once it is on the wall so that any air pockets are removed and you are left with a smooth, sealed finish.

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