How to Hang Wallpaper
A simple guide to hanging wallpaper in your home
Once you've prepared your walls by (removing old wallpaper) and have measured up - it's time to get creative! Wallpaper adds a new dimension and allows you to totally transform the whole look and feel of your room. You can go wild with all the designs available and get creative with where you hang your wallpaper. If you're feeling really bold, why not consider your fifth wall too? We love a wallpapered ceiling and it so often gets overlooked. The best interiors are always surprising, unique ones. So, whether you are looking for contemporary or traditional wallpaper designs - our extensive wallpaper collection has something for everybody!
If you're still undecided about how you'd like to decorate your walls, check out our sneak peek blog on Chapter 3 of our first book, Extraordinary Interiors. In this chapter, we explore walls and ceilings and the steps you can take to make difficult decorating a thing of the past.
How to Hang Wallpaper: Measure Twice
Before you begin, it's important to ensure you have the right quantity of wallpaper. A simple sum to estimate how many rolls of wallpaper you will need is to measure the width of each of your walls and divide by the width of the wallpaper you wish to order. This will give you the number of ‘drops’ required, which you can then multiply by the height of the room to give you the overall meterage required.
To allow for mistakes or tricky angles, we recommend rounding up to ensure you have spare wallpaper available. Wallpaper is printed in batches and as a result, there may be subtle variations in the colour between rolls of wallpaper ordered at different times. Therefore, rounding up at the start prevents the issue of having to order more rolls at a later date. The rule 'better safe than sorry' definitely applies here! Moreover, don't worry if you have unopened rolls left over at the end. As long as unopened rolls of wallpaper are in their original packaging and undamaged, these can be returned to us.
To double-check your measurements, a useful wallpaper calculator can be found here.
How to Hang Wallpaper: The Preparations
Next up, it is essential to check what type of wallpaper paste you need to use with your wallpaper. Rockett St George own-brand wallpaper requires a good quality, solvent-free, fungicide-protected, ready-mixed ‘tub’ adhesive. However, if your wallpaper is by another brand, please check the adhesive information on the roll carefully.
In addition, you will need to check the application method of your wallpaper. If you've chosen 'paste the wall' wallpaper, you won't need a pasting table, and the whole process will be much quicker. As a result, our collection is full of fabulous 'paste the wall' designs! Alternatively, you may have chosen self-adhesive wallpaper (great for renters) which can be less forgiving but is still very simple to do. Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions for more info on how to hang self-adhesive wallpaper. Our guide below uses the paste-the-wall method but step 2 can be applied to the wallpaper instead, for any designs that require pasting the back of the paper.
If your walls have any issues or staining you may want to use lining paper underneath your wallpaper to give a better finish. Please remember to allow the lining paper to dry out completely before hanging your fabulous wallpaper. If you have any fixings or sockets on your walls, now is the time to loosen or remove these. Clear the room and move any remaining items to the centre of the room and cover everything with a dust sheet. Walls must be dry and clean before you start. If you are wallpapering onto wood or plasterboard, make sure you have primed the surface first.
A List Of Everything You Need:
- Step ladder
- Spirit level
- Scalpel or craft knife
- Metal ruler
- Pasting brush/roller
- Wallpaper smoother
- Clean sponge or cloth
- Wallpaper paste
- Your wallpaper (ensure the rolls are from the same batch before opening!)
For how to hang textured or patterned wallpaper, follow this guide and pay careful attention to matching up your pattern or texture.
How to Hang Wallpaper: Paste The Wall
- Step 1 - If you have purchased a standard roll of wallpaper at 53 cm wide, start by measuring out 50 cm from the corner of your room. Do this at the top of the wall and using a spirit level to guide you, draw a line down the wall to the bottom. This will provide you with a guide to start wallpapering and avoid any messy corners (we'll get to that later).
- Step 2 - Paste the wall with a thin, even layer of your wallpaper paste mixture to an area slightly wider than the width of your roll.
- Step 3 - Next, place your opened roll of wallpaper on the (clean) floor at the bottom of your pasted section and unroll with the backing facing the wall. Using your step ladder, the end of the roll to the top of the wall leaving 2-3 cm on the ceiling to allow for trimming. Lightly press onto the wall to hold but not fix the wallpaper. Make sure you have lined the paper up to the pencil mark you have made on the wall and follow this down the wall lightly pressing as you move down. You should be able to manoeuvre the wallpaper if you go slightly off your guideline.
- Step 4 - Using your scissors, cut the roll across the bottom leaving approx 2-3 cm for trimming.
- Step 5 - Once you are happy that the wallpaper is in line with your guide, you are ready to fix it in place. Use your wallpaper smoother to press and smooth the wallpaper from the centre to the edge. This motion should eliminate any air bubbles, but if you get any, try to work them out to the edges. If you notice the wallpaper has moved from your guide you should be able to peel it back from the wall and reposition it. Avoid squeezing paste out of the joints and take care that the paste does not get onto your brush or roller. No paste should be allowed to come into contact with the front of the wallpaper and hands should be kept clean and dry at all times whilst hanging your wallpaper. Should any paste come into contact with the surface of your wallpaper, we recommend lightly sponging whilst still moist, using a clean damp sponge.
- Step 6 - Trim off the excess at the top and bottom of your wallpaper section using your scalpel and metal ruler.
- Step 7 - Paste the next section of your wall and repeat the process while lining up your wallpaper to meet the edge of your first panel. If you have patterned or textured wallpaper, make sure you have lined it up correctly before fixing and smoothing the panel to the wall. You may want to use a seam roller to flatten the joins between each piece.
How to Hang Wallpaper: Top Tips
When you come to pasting around windows or doors, keep your scissors handy. Follow the same process as above but cut the wallpaper to allow you to press the wallpaper against the wall and into the crease of the window or door frame. As you would at the top and bottom of the wallpaper, leave a slight excess so that you can trim this back neatly once the wallpaper is fixed in place.
If you are able to remove radiators from the wall, we recommend doing this to get a better finish. But if this isn't possible you can cut around and use a dry small roller with a long handle to press it against the wall in any hard-to-reach areas.
To hang wallpaper in corners, always try to wallpaper into and around the corner rather than up to it. A join in the corner of the wall is very hard to match up and your walls may not be completely straight. By following step 1 in this guide you should be left with a 3 cm overhang onto the adjoining wall. If you only want to wallpaper one 'feature' wall then follow the same step but use your metal ruler and scalpel to cut the wallpaper into the corner to ensure you get a crisp edge that matches your wall.
Please note, that in addition to our guide, all manufacturer instructions provided with your wallpaper should be read and followed carefully.
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