How to Wallpaper Around Doors, Windows, Switches and Sockets
Papering Tricky Areas
Follow the numbered sequence in the diagram, allowing for small overlaps where indicated by the dotted line. Cut a special piece of paper for area 3 with small overlaps to tuck behind 1 and 4.
Hang a full drop of paper as though the door were not there, then cut away the surplus to within 2-3 cm (1 in) of the frame. Make a diagonal cut at the top edge, as shown, and crease the overlap top and side into the frame with the back of the scissors. Peel back, trim and smooth back into place.
Switch off the power supply. Paste paper down over the fitting, then cut a cross in the paper, taking care not to scratch the switch plate. Trim back paper leaving about 1 cm (½ in). Loosen plate, tuck in paper and re-tighten. Do not tuck metallic or foil wailcoverings behind switch plates, just trim round the edge.
‘When papering, clear up trimmed, pasted offcuts as you go’
Tips of the trade
• When stripping old paper, score it and soak with water containing liquid detergent. Scrape it off from the bottom of the wall upwards, taking care not to dig into the plaster. If using a steam stripper always wear strong waterproof gloves and safety goggles.
• If you have never hung wallpaper before and think you will find pattern-matching difficult, choose a random pattern for your first attempt.
• Use heavy-duty fungicidal paste for vinyls and conventional paste for other papers, mixed to the right consistency for the weight of the paper. Some papers carry instructions to paste the wall, not the paper.
• Allow time for the paper to absorb the paste before hanging, and give the same ‘soaking’ time to every length. Heavy-duty papers need longer.
• A seam roller will flatten embossed papers and make the joins obvious, but is useful when adding a border. Dampen the area to be covered by the border and press with the seam roller to provide a flat surface.
• Heavyweight embossed papers are not a good choice on ceilings; they may be too heavy to stick firmly and could come down on unsuspecting heads.
• A random pattern will help flatten out any angles you want to disguise.
• Bold geometric patterns can look as though they are sliding off any wall that is not perfectly straight.
• Tie a plastic bag or bin liner to the ladder for sticky offcuts; leave them on the floor and you’ll find yourself treading sticky footprints into other rooms.
• If you have to make a horizontal join, do not use a straight cut — tear the paper across slightly unevenly and overlap for an almost invisible join.
• Paper often bubbles when first hung but dries flat. Prick any remaining air bubbles with a pin and smooth out.
• To remedy any curling seams, ease open the seam, dab on a little paste with a cotton bud and smooth back with a seam roller.
• Make sure you hang patterned paper the right way up!
• When hanging grasscloth, brush each length in place with vertical downward strokes only, to avoid loosening any of the strands.