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Home > > How To Hang Wallpaper

How To Hang Wallpaper

How to Hang Wallpaper: A Step-by-Step Guide

Wallpaper is an excellent way to transform a room and add a touch of personality. If you've selected your pattern and style, but aren't sure how to hang it up, don't worry. In this guide, you'll find a step-by-step process for how to put up wallpaper in your home, including measuring and cutting wallpaper to the correct lengths, applying adhesive to the wall, hanging lengths to achieve a straight and smooth finish, and tackling awkward areas like radiators, windows, light switches, plug sockets, and door frames.

Before you begin, you'll need to make sure you have the right tools and materials for the job. This guide will cover everything you need to know to hang wallpaper like a pro. Whether you're creating a feature wall or covering an entire room, we've got you covered. Let's get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Wallpaper is an excellent way to add personality to a room.
  • Follow a step-by-step process to ensure a straight and smooth finish.
  • Make sure you have the right tools and materials before you begin.

Before you Begin

Before hanging your wallpaper, there are several tasks you need to complete to ensure your walls are fully ready for wallpaper. Here are some things to consider before you begin:

Have you removed any existing wallpaper?

Removing any existing wallpaper will give you a smooth finish and prevent air bubbles and creases from appearing when you hang the new wallpaper. If you're unsure how to remove wallpaper, check out this guide on how to remove wallpaper.

Are your walls freshly plastered?

If your walls are freshly plastered, it's essential to seal them with wall sealer before hanging wallpaper. Wall sealer, also known as wall size, seals the porous surface of the wall and improves the adhesion of the wallpaper paste. It also aids the slide of the wallpaper, which is useful when you're matching patterns or hanging it in awkward areas like window recesses.

Have you lined the walls with lining paper?

Hanging lining paper is essential to prevent the new wallpaper from shrinking when it's hung, which leads to gaps between the lengths of paper. You may also want to hang lining paper if your walls have any stains or small imperfections in the surface, as it will help to disguise this.

Do you have enough wallpaper?

It's crucial to ensure you have enough wallpaper before you begin. Our Wallpaper Calculator can help you estimate the amount of wallpaper you'll need for your project. When measuring the height and length of the walls you want to wallpaper, also measure the windows and doors, and allow extra for wastage. We recommend allowing 10% extra, and any unopened rolls can be returned (see terms and conditions). Also, allow for extra when using paper with a large repeat pattern – the pattern repeat is usually stated on the roll label or product information.

Are all the rolls of wallpaper the same batch number?

Ensure all the rolls have the same batch number printed on the label, as the colours and, in some instances, the finish can vary between batches.

Have you planned how you're going to hang the wallpaper?

It's essential to plan how you're going to hang the wallpaper before you begin. We recommend hanging wallpaper vertically unless the pattern requires it to be hung horizontally. If you're hanging it over lining paper, hanging it in the opposite direction to the lining paper means that the seams won't fall in the same place and create ridges.

Do you have any fixings on the walls?

If you have any fixings on the walls, unscrew them before papering, leaving the wall plugs in place. Mark the position of each one by pushing a matchstick (with the head broken off) into the plug. Leave it slightly proud so you can find the hole and reuse it later.

Make sure to complete these tasks before you begin hanging your wallpaper to ensure the best finish possible. Hanging wallpaper may seem complicated, but with new techniques like "paste the wall" wallpaper, it's become simpler. There's no need to apply the paste to the wallpaper, fold it, and let it soak in before hanging it. With "paste the wall" wallpaper, there's no need for a pasting table, which means you might be able to save up to 30% of your time compared to traditional wallpaper hanging methods.

How to Hang Wallpaper

Hanging wallpaper can be a fun and rewarding DIY project that can transform a room. However, it requires some preparation, patience, and attention to detail to achieve a professional finish. Here are some steps to follow when hanging wallpaper:

Step 1: Prepare the Walls

Before starting to hang wallpaper, it is crucial to ensure that the walls are clean, dry, healthy, straight, and smooth. If the walls are not in good condition, the wallpaper may not adhere properly and may look uneven or wrinkled. For plaster, plasterboard, or wood walls, apply a universal primer the day before to help the wallpaper grip the wall. If the walls are covered with gloss or silk paint, sand them down and apply a universal primer. If they are covered with matt paint, wash them with a cleaning product that contains baking soda and let the walls dry for 24 hours before wallpapering.

Step 2: Prepare the Paste

If the wallpaper paste is not ready-mixed, it is essential to prepare it according to the manufacturer's instructions before starting to hang wallpaper.

Step 3: Apply the Wallpaper Paste

Using a pasting brush or a roller, apply the wallpaper paste to the wall in a thin, even layer, starting from the vertical line you have traced onwards, from the top and working your way down across the width of a roll. Use a stepladder to reach the ceiling.

Step 4: Position the Wallpaper

Carefully position the wallpaper against the wall and double-check the strip's alignment against the vertical mark. Once you are happy that it is straight, use a wallpaper smoother to smooth it from the centre to the edges to smooth out any air bubbles and wrinkles. If you are using "paste the wall" wallpaper, it is easy to reposition. If the strip is not positioned as you want it, slowly take it off and reposition it.

Step 5: Trim the Excess Paper

Trim any excess paper on the top and bottom with a snap-off knife and a ruler, flatten out the seams with a seam roller, and then repeat for the rest of the wall, making sure the seams line up each time.

Step 6: Wallpaper Around Switches and Sockets

To wallpaper around any switches or sockets, cover these with the wallpaper strip and use the snap-off knife to cut around them.

Top Tips

If you want to create a feature wall and choose to wallpaper only one wall or corner, align the last strip you will hang next to the one already on the wall, smooth it out, and gently follow the corner line to cut the excess paper. If you are wallpapering an angle, gently recreate the corner line with the wallpaper smoother and glue the wallpaper to the wall, then continue to cover the wall with wallpaper.

Step 7: Wallpaper Around Doors and Windows

To wallpaper around doors and windows, cover the openings with the wallpaper strip, mark the angle with your finger, and use the scissors to cut the excess paper. Be mindful of leaving some extra centimetres on the window or door case. Cut the wallpaper at a 45° angle at the mark left by your finger. Smooth it out with the wallpaper smoother and cut the excess paper with the snap-off knife.

Step 8: Wallpaper Behind Radiators

Ideally, you should remove the radiators before wallpapering. However, if this is not an option, you can still wallpaper behind them. Measure the dimension from the ceiling or window edge to the radiator fixings, adding 2 to 3 cm for the cuts around window casings/ceiling. If the wallpaper has patterns, add the length needed to align them to the adjacent strip.

Step 9: Cut and Hang the Wallpaper

Using a pair of scissors or a ruler and a snap-off knife, cut the necessary wallpaper length and hang it on the wall. Smooth it out around the fixings of the radiator.

Step 10: Wallpaper Around Pipes

To wallpaper around pipes, apply paste to the wall, then measure and cut the piece of wallpaper you will need. Place the wallpaper behind the pipe and smooth it out.

By following these steps, you can achieve a professional-looking finish when hanging wallpaper.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tools Required for Wallpaper Installation

To hang wallpaper, you will need a few essential tools. These include a wallpaper smoother, a wallpaper brush, a tape measure, a pencil, a utility knife, a level, a wallpaper tray, a plumb line, and a ladder. It is important to have all the necessary tools before you begin the wallpaper installation process.

Applying Wallpaper to a Painted Wall

Yes, wallpaper can be applied directly to a painted wall. However, it is important to ensure that the painted wall is smooth and clean before applying wallpaper. Any bumps, cracks, or peeling paint should be fixed before wallpapering.

Beginning the Wallpapering Process

When wallpapering a room, it is best to start in the corner of the room that is the least visible. This is usually the corner behind a door or a piece of furniture. It is also important to measure the height of the wall and cut the wallpaper to size before starting.

Applying Peel and Stick Wallpaper

Peel and stick wallpaper is a great option for those who want to avoid using adhesive. To apply peel and stick wallpaper, start by measuring the height of the wall and cutting the wallpaper to size. Then, peel off the backing and stick the wallpaper to the wall, smoothing out any bubbles or wrinkles as you go.

Essential Steps for Wallpapering Beginners

For beginners, it is important to start with a small room before moving on to larger rooms. Measure the height of the wall and cut the wallpaper to size before starting. Apply adhesive to the back of the wallpaper and then apply it to the wall, smoothing out any bubbles or wrinkles as you go. Trim any excess wallpaper at the top and bottom of the wall.

Use of Adhesive in Wallpapering

Not all wallpaper requires the use of adhesive. Peel and stick wallpaper, for example, can be applied without adhesive. However, most traditional wallpaper requires the use of adhesive to stick to the wall. It is important to use the right type of adhesive for the type of wallpaper you are using.

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