Wallpaper goes in and out of fashion. How to hang wallpaper is a question many have when considering updating the home. Today it is back on trend and is a great way to refresh your walls, create a signature wall and give a new look to your home.
However, you may feel unsure about reviving your wallpapering skills or trying something new. How do you hang wallpaper correctly? What if you can’t line it up just right? What about all that sticky paste getting everywhere? How do you get around the radiator and light switch?
If you want to hang wallpaper like a pro, you’ll need to know how to get it looking good. You can master the basics with the right skills, tools and practice but – beware – it is not as easy as it looks!
Let’s have a look at how to prepare and put paper on a wall.
Move all your furniture out of the way and protect it using a dustsheet. Wear overalls to protect yourself – the next job can be messy!
Your walls need to be free from old paper, cracks and imperfections. If the walls are painted, lightly sand them first. Any old wallpaper needs to come off with a steamer and scraper (Click here for example). Freshly plastered or absorbent surfaces need to be sealed with size (diluted wallpaper paste or PVA mix), applied with a brush or roller.
Use lining paper if your walls have imperfections. This off-white paper provides a smooth surface for paint or wallpaper. It is applied horizontally underneath wallpaper so it lies in the opposite direction to the wallpaper. This is called cross lining.
Before you buy your wallpaper you need to work out how much you need.
Be generous with your calculation, especially if the paper has a pattern that needs matching up. With a repeat pattern you need to allow more paper due to more wastage. Check that all the rolls you buy are all part of the same batch number so the colour matches.
Try the online wallpaper calculator, it can also assist you in making correct calculations.
Some types of wallpaper allow you to paste the wall first rather than the wallpaper. You won’t need to soak the paper as the adhesive goes straight on the wall, hanging dry from the roll.
With more traditional wallpaper you need to apply the paste to the paper and allow it to soak in first.
Don’t underestimate how tricky it is to wallpaper an entire room. You will need to go round corners, windows, radiators and around electrical fittings and plug sockets. Even the walls might not be entirely straight.
You will find that some wallpapers are more difficult to hang than others. Plain paper, stripes and random patterns may be easy but drop match wallpapers (where you need to match up patterns) are tricky to hang and can create a lot of waste.
A skilled amateur can usually solve everyday wallpapering problems. However, some obstacles may be a real challenge – even for the professionals, so it is as well to know your limits when it comes to wallpaper decorating.
There are a number of mistakes that newcomers make. This may include not reading the wallpaper instructions properly. The wall may be poorly prepared or the paste poorly mixed and applied (including not cleaning up properly afterwards). If incorrect smoothing techniques are used, this may result in air bubbles and a disappointing finish.
A poor job is visible to all and imperfections have to be lived with for years to come.
Remember that a skilled professional can be the ideal way of doing a wallpapering job. If you have chosen an expensive, good quality wallpaper you may want to show it off to its full potential.
You can find decorators with these skills through findacraftsman.com the Guilds directory of experts in your area. It can be worth the investment to get in an expert to do who can overcome unforeseen problems and create a beautiful space you can be proud of!