How to Hang Wallpaper: Matching, Aligning and Pasting
Matching, aligning and pasting
1. Cut the paper into lengths about 100 mm (4 in) longer than the height of the wall to allow for trimming later.
Patterned papers must be matched as the lengths are cut. In set patterns, the design is repeated horizontally across the width, but in drop patterns it runs diagonally so that the matching point comes between two similar points in the previous length. With drop patterns, you can match a point in the third length with a similar one in the first length, and match the fourth length with the second, and so on.
Plain (‘free match’) papers need no matching, but there may be an instruction on the rolls to reverse alternate lengths. To do this, simply turn the uncut roll round after each length of paper has been cut.
Short ends of rolls are often useful for fitting under windows and over doors, so do not discard them.
2. To make sure that the paper is hung vertically you will need a plumb-line. Window-frames must not be used as verticals against which to align wallpaper: like door-frames and corners, they are likely to be slightly off the vertical.
Hang the first sheet of paper next to the brightest light source in the room, so that any slight overlap between adjoining sheets will not cast a shadow. This light source is usually a window.
To establish a, measure out from the window-frame a distance just under the width of the paper.
Suspend a plumb-line from this point and mark the wall at several points behind the line. Use a straight-edge to join them together.
3. Lay the lengths patterned side down on the pasting table with the ends equally overhanging the ends of the table.
Position the top sheet for pasting by lining it up with the end as well as farthest edge of the table, then move it so that the paper overlaps the table by about 5 mm (1/8-1/4 in).
Dip your brush in the paste to immerse about one-third of the bristles, and press it against the side of the paste bucket to remove any excess.
Divide the paper into three imaginary strips, and paste strip No. 1, the broad central strip, first. Paste the outer strips from the centre outwards.
4. Paste strip No. 2, the one farthest away from you.
5. Pull the paper towards you, so that the near edge overhangs the bench by about 5 mm, and paste strip No. 3, the one nearest to you.
6. When you have pasted the first half of the top sheet, fold it over so the end rests on the centre of the length. Paste and fold the other half of the length.
Hanging, trimming and turning corners
7. Carry the first folded sheet of paper, with the ends uppermost, to the wall. You will need to use a hop-up or small step-ladder to reach the ceiling comfortably.
8. Unfold the top half of the sheet. Position the top of the paper against the ceiling, allowing an overlap for trimming, and lay its edge against the line you marked previously.
9. Run the hanging brush down the centre of the paper and work it towards the edges, to force out any air bubbles.
10. When you have finished the top half of the paper, unfold the bottom and repeat the action with the hanging brush until the paper is smoothed on to the wall.
11. Run the back of the scissor blades along the edges of the ceiling and the skirting board, and along the window-frame if there is an overlap, to mark where the paper must be trimmed.
12. Peel the paper back slightly and trim off the surplus so that it fits neatly into place. Before placing the cut length back in position, sponge down the ceiling, skirting board and any other woodwork to remove excess paste. Then brush the paper back into position and smooth it down.
13. Place the next sheet of paper loosely on the wall, as close to the first sheet as possible. Slide it into position so that it forms an exact butt-join, and smooth and trim it in the same way as the first.
Be careful with thin papers, as they will tear easily if you slide them about too much.
14. Corners are often out of true, and if you try to hang a whole sheet of paper round a corner it will crease.
To prevent this, measure the distance from the last full width of paper to the corner in several places, add about 5 mm (¼ in) to the largest of these measurements and cut a length of paper to this width.
Paste it up, hang it, and smooth it into place, with the extra 5 mm extending round the corner.
15. Hang the remaining offcut so that it overlaps into the corner. Use a plumb-line to make sure that it is vertical. You will lose only 5 mm of the pattern, and this will not be noticeable in the corner.
Chimney breasts, switches, awkward angles
16. The sheet of paper that goes above the fireplace, in the middle of the chimney breast, must be hung centrally if you are hanging a patterned paper, as this is the focal point of the room.
Hang this piece first, then work back to where you left off papering.
17. Take special care when you are trimming paper along the edges of the fireplace, as the weight of the paper may cause it to tear at its narrowest point, where it turns round the end of the mantelpiece. Avoid tugging the paper.
18. Trim the paper along the mantelpiece and remove as much waste as possible before smoothing it into place and cutting it to fit round the mouldings beneath the mantelpiece.
19. Allow a 25 mm (1 in) ‘turn round’ on projecting corners.
20. Before you paper round a light switch, turn theoff at the mains With projecting switches, press the knob through the paper and make a number of cuts in the shape of a star extending from the knob to approx. 20 mm (3/4 in) past the edge of the switch mounting. This prevents the paper from tearing.
21. Trim off the waste and smooth the cut pieces back into place. At flush mounted switches, turn off the electricity, unscrew the cover plate and trim off the paper inside the switch cavity.
22. At large obstructions, such as doorframes, make a rough trimming-line by running the back of your scissors along the edge of the frame.
23. Cut along this line and press the paper into the angle before trimming off the remaining waste. Then smooth the paper back into position with your hanging brush.
24. When you come to windows, paper inside the recesses first, then overlap, as shown, to conceal the join