How to Wallpaper: Tools and Tips
How to hang wallpaper
Hanging wallpaper is not difficult, but it is essential that you apply it to a properly prepared surface, otherwise imperfections in the wall will be obvious and your efforts will be wasted.
Before you start
Walls should be smooth, clean, dry and if necessary sealed with diluted paste containing a fungicide. All woodwork should be painted and dry. Place the pasting table under a window facing the light, so you will be able to see where you have pasted.
• ladders and scaffold board or scaffold platform
• pasting table
• suitable, large bucket and stirrer, or water trough for ready-pasted papers
• pasting brush
• rule and measuring tape
• plumb line and chalk or pencil
• long-bladed scissors
• paper-hanging (smoothing) brush
• seam roller (not for embossed papers)
Order of work
Start at the main window, working away from the light towards the longest unbroken wall. When you reach the corner, go back and work from the other side of the window. If the room has a chimney breast or other focal point, centre a length of paper on it and work outwards to left and right, lapping around the edge of the chimney breast.
Cutting and hanging
1. Measure the ‘drop’ and cut the first piece of paper to length, adding about 12 cm (5 in) to allow for trimming.
2. Cut several more lengths, matching up the pattern exactly to the neighbouring piece each time. Number them in sequence to avoid mistakes.
3. Take a window as your starting point, not a corner. From the edge of the frame, measure the width of the paper, less 12 mm (1/2in) and mark on the wall. Suspend the plumb line from ceiling height to coincide with your mark. Draw the vertical in pencil or chalk.
4. Lay the first length of paper face down on the pasting table, slightly overlapping the edge to avoid getting paste on the table. Weigh it down so it does not roll up. Paste evenly and liberally right to the edges. If the paper is longer than the table, let the pasted paper overhang while you paste the rest. Fold ends to middle, pasted sides facing, and leave to absorb the paste.
5. To hang, hold the top corners and start to unfold and press the top of the paper to the wall, sliding it to line up with your vertical guideline. Smooth downwards and outwards with the paperhanging brush. Open the bottom fold and continue smoothing the paper down the wall. 6. Run the back of your scissors along the angle of the ceiling and wall then peel back the paper and cut along the crease. Smooth the paper back into place. Do the same at the bottom and check for air bubbles.
7. Paste the next length and hang edge to edge (butt joined) with the previous piece — do not overlap. Except on embossed paper, gently run a seam roller down the seam.
8. Continue hanging lengths, in the order described. You will need to cut slightly shorter lengths above a radiator. Leave about 15-20 cm (6-8 in) for tucking and smoothing down behind the radiator. Sometimes it is advised to remove the radiator before papering, but this can cause problems with the heating system.
Ready-pasted paper is dealt with in the same way but, instead of pasting, soak each rolled length in the water trough according to instructions. Pull it out top edge first.