Hanging Wallpaper

If you've never wallpapered before, it's not as daunting as you might think. Simply read our hints and tips below and you'll have great results in next to no time.

You will need

materials:
wallpaper
wallpaper paste
sugar soap
lining paper
(optional)

equipment:
dust sheets
step ladder
bucket
paper hanging brush
pasting brush
tape measure
plumb line
pencil
wallpaper scissors
sponge
seam roller

Before you begin

Before you begin

Preparation, preparation, preparation!

It's easiest to work in an empty room, so if you can, move all furniture, furnishings and objects out of the room. Cover existing flooring or carpets with dust sheets to protect them. Strip off all old paper and ensure walls are smooth and dry. If you've used a steam-stripper you may need to leave your walls for a few hours to thoroughly dry out. Fill in any cracks and holes and sand the filler when dry to leave a smooth, bump-free surface. Newly plastered walls will need to be 'primed' or 'sized' to ensure the new wallpaper will bond properly to the walls. The best way to do this is to brush watered-down wallpaper paste all over the walls to be papered. Leave to dry thoroughly. If there's any painting to be done, such as skirting boards, dado rails and door frames, now's the time to do it before you start wall-papering.
Lining Paper

Lining Paper

For a top quality finish, it's recommended to line your walls first before applying your wallpaper. A heavy grade lining paper (1000gsm) can help to cover any imperfections in your walls and give a smoother final finish. Lining paper should be hung horizontally around the room so that vertical seams don't show through on the wallpaper. Don't overlap the paper but leave a small gap of no more than 2mm between joints when hanging lining paper horizontally. Leave to dry thoroughly before hanging wallpaper on top of lining paper. Any initial air bubbles in the lining paper should dry out and disappear. If any persist, make a very small cut in the lining paper and brush in some wallpaper paste and smooth back down. Allow to dry.
Cutting the Paper

Cutting the Paper

Measure twice, cut once is the old adage! Don't assume all your walls are exactly the same height either, older houses in particular are liable to have 'settled' over the years. Measure regularly as you go. Allow 50mm top and bottom (100mm in total) to each piece for trimming at ceiling and skirting board. Measure your first length of wallpaper and mark it on the back with a pencil and straight edge. Cut with wallpaper scissors or a sharp craft knife and metal ruler for a perfect straight line. You can now use this piece of paper to measure against the remaining roll for your next piece of wallpaper (don't forget any differences in your wall heights). Also, if you have a pattern repeat, you'll need to check whether it's a straight match or if you need to allow enough extra length to match the pattern. Once you've cut your paper, number each piece and mark the top and bottom to avoid hanging any pieces upside down!
Pasting the Paper

Pasting the Paper

Depending on the paper you've bought, you'll be either pasting the back of the wallpaper (traditional method), soaking the wallpaper in water (ready-pasted), or pasting directly onto the wall (new paste-the-wall papers). Assuming you're pasting the paper, work down the length of the paper and from the centre to the edge. Don't paste from the edge to the centre as this can get paste onto the front side of the wallpaper. Once you've thoroughly pasted the paper, gently fold the pasted edges together (don't crease it!) and leave it for the recommended time as stated on the label. Some wallpapers need to 'soak' for a short period, this is to allow them to stretch before applying to the wall.
Hanging the first Piece

Hanging the first Piece

If your wallpaper has a bold pattern, you should see if there is a central focal point in your room such as a chimney breast. If so, hang your first piece exactly in the centre of this feature and then work out from either side. If you have a plain patterned wallpaper or no specific focal point, it's best to start from one side of the window (usually the right hand side) and then work around the room into the furthest corner. Then work from the other side of the window into this corner. Before hanging your first piece, you must draw a vertical line on the wall using a plumb line. Hang your first piece against this line and you'll have a nice straight edge to butt your next piece of paper against. Trim the top and bottom with wallpaper scissors and smooth down with a paper-hanging brush making sure there are no bubbles. Hang your next piece butting up to the edge of the first, don't overlap or leave any gaps, run a seam roller over the join.
Wallpapering Internal Corners

Wallpapering Internal Corners

Don't try and hang a full width piece into a corner, it's better to hang it in two pieces. From the last piece before the internal corner, measure from the paper into the corner and add approximately 25mm to this width. Cut the paper down the length to this width and paste into the corner. You should now have a 25mm overlap on the next wall to be papered. Mark a new plumb line on this wall and use the remainder of the last piece used to paper the new wall. Carry on with a new full width piece butting up against the join as before.
Wallpapering External Corners

Wallpapering External Corners

Similar to internal corners, but make the overlap onto the next wall a bit wider, 50mm should be sufficient. Match the pattern as best you can and then, to ensure a butt joint, slice through both pieces of paper (with a sharp knife), peel back the top paper and remove the piece from underneath. Smooth back the top paper into position and you now have a butt joint.
Switches and Sockets

Switches and Sockets

Better to be safe than sorry, so switch off the electricity at the fuse box first. Smooth down the wallpaper over the switch or socket, find the centre and make a series of diagonal cuts towards the outer edges of the plate - don't cut further than the edge of the switch plate. Fold back the triangles of wallpaper you've just cut and trim off most of the wallpaper. Loosen the screws in the switch plate so you can pull the plate away from the wall and tuck in the edges of the trimmed wallpaper. Tighten up the screws for a nice neat job.
Wallpapering Ceilings

Wallpapering Ceilings

If wallpapering the ceiling and the walls in a room, it's advisable to do the ceiling first (so you don't get any mess on your newly papered walls!). Work across the room, parallel to the window wall and paper from the window into the room. You'll need to mark a guideline across the ceiling that's parallel to the wall to give you an 'edge' to work to for the first piece. Work with the 'folded' pasted wallpaper across one arm and gradually 'unwrap' the folds as you smooth the paper onto the ceiling. Butt join your next piece and work across the ceiling. Light fittings can be treated in the same way as sockets and switches. If you prefer to dismantle the light fitting, ask a qualified electrician if you are unsure how to do so and ensure you switch off the electricity at the mains first!
Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Design repeat

- what's this?


This indicates the depth,

 in cm or inches, of the

wallpaper illustration.

Wallpapers are printed

using cylindrical rollers,

so the design on the final

printed wallpaper will

repeat each time the

 roller turns. The

 biggest rollers - 64cm or 25"

 will

 give us the largest design

 repeat depth. Some designs

repeat several times on the

 roller so create a much

 shorter design repeat,

 for example from as little

 as 2cm or 1".

What does the

 pattern match on

 my wallpaper mean?


To create a great look,

 its important that where

 two sheets of wallpaper

 join the pattern on the roll

 matches. The pattern

match can come in different

 forms:- straight match,

offset match

 and free match.

What is a straight

 match?


A straight match means

 that the left and right edges

 of the wallpaper strip match

 in a straight horizontal line

 with the left and right edges of

 the next strip of wallpaper.

What is an offset

match?


With an offset match,

 the right hand edge of the

first wallpaper strip only

matches with the left hand

side of the next strip,

when the second

 strip is dropped by a

specified distance. For

 example a label might

state a 56/23cm offset match.

 This means the design

 repeats every

56cm and the point at which

 they match from left to

 right is every 23cm.

What is free match?


Free match basically means

 there is no matching required.

 It is the easiest product to

 hang, as no matter how

the strips of wallpaper

are hung, no visible join

 or seams need to be worried

 about. This also reduces

the amount of wastage.

What type of

 wallpaper

 can I use in a

 bathroom?


Vinyl wallpapers resist

 moisture and are splash

-proof and are therefore

 suitable for use in the

 bathroom. No wallpaper

 is recommended for use

 in direct contact with

 water, such as to line

a shower.

What type of wallpaper

 can I use in

the Kitchen?


Vinyl wallpapers resist

moisture and are splash

-proof and are therefore

 suitable for use in the kitchen.

 No wallpaper is recommended

for use in direct contact with water.

What paste

should I use?


Most commercially available

 pastes are suitable for

our ranges of wallpapers,

but please read manufacturers

 instructions carefully before use.

What types of paint

should be used

with paintable

wallpaper?


We would recommend a

 good quality matt emulsion

paint and allow to dry before

 applying other finishes,

 i.e. silk emulsion or

satin/gloss oil paints.

Always test on a small

piece prior to emulsioning.

Can I hang new

wallpaper over

existing wallpaper?


It is possible but we do

 not recommend it - It

can be done if you are

 hanging over a flat wallpaper

 but it is not possible to hang

 over textured or vinyl products,

 as the

 new paper will not adhere.

 It is always better to strip

 off any existing paper,

this will almost always

give a better finished result.

When should I use

 lining paper?


Lining paper gives a perfect

 base on which to hang wallpaper

, therefore we would

always recommend it.

What is cross lining?


This means hanging

lining paper horizontally

to give an even finish when

the top wallpaper is hung over it.

What is a vinyl

to vinyl adhesive,

and when do I use one?


This is commonly used for

hanging a border on top of

a flat, or lightly textured

vinyl wallpaper.

Regular paste will not adhere

to vinyl, hence the development

of vinyl to

vinyl adhesives.

What is 'Paste-the-wall'

wallpaper and

how much quicker

is it to hang?


As its name suggests,

'Paste the wall' papers

allow you to apply your

paste to the wall before

hanging, rather than to

the back of the wallpaper.

Dry wallpaper weighs

less which means there's

less chance of it tearing.
We believe that papering

straight from the roll

cuts decorating time by

about a half and it's a

lot cleaner too. You dont

need a pasting table,

unless you find a flat

surface helps when

you're measuring out

your lengths prior to hanging.

Why can't the

'Paste-the-wall'

method be used

for traditional

wallpapers?


Most traditional wallpapers

expand when wet,

which means they

must be left to soak before

hanging. Paste the walll

papers have a special

backing which does not

expand, allowing it to be

hung straight from the roll.

Can I paste the

back of

'Paste-the-wall'

wallpaper?


Yes, if you find it easier

to hang conventionally

then you can paste the

back of Paste the

walll papers. It's still quicker

as there is no 'soaking time'.

Can I hang a

border over a

'Paste-the-wall' paper?


Yes, use a vinyl to vinyl adhesive

and if hanging over a wallcovering,

 paste the border first.

How quickly

do I need to

hang the wallpaper,

when hanging

'Paste-the-wall'

wallpapers -

will the paste

dry too fast?


Paste as you need to

hang, don't paste a

whole wall at once,

however you will

have plenty of time to hang the roll.

Will 'Paste-the-wall'

wallpapers slide

enough, i.e.

to match pattern, etc. ?


Yes, although the lining

paper may develop bubbles

when it is pasted.

This is normal and the decorated

wall will dry flat.

Wouldn't it be

quicker to paint,

than wallpaper?


Not necessarily, with our

'Paste-the-wall' papers

 you never have to go

 around the room again,

 applying a second coat.

What happens

when I want to

redecorate?


'Paste-the-wall' wallpapers

peel off easily when

it's time to redecorate.

Simply lift a corner at

the base of the wall

and peel upwards.

 
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