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How to Guide: Hanging Paste the Wall Wallpaper

We wanted to give a little advice to help guide you when using paste the wall wallpapers. With good preparation, any non-woven wall-covering will give you a great finish, so whether you’re a decorating beginner or perfectionist pro read on for top tips.

Whether you are a seasoned pro or this is your first time decorating, a paste the wall wallpaper is a great product to use. Firstly let us explain some of the most commonly asked questions about this new technique of wallpaper hanging. We will then explain the hanging technique itself along with some top decorating tips and tricks.

What is the difference between paste the wall wallpapers and paste the product wallpapers?

Thanks to the introduction of a new type of substrate (base layer), synthetic fibres are used for the backing of paste the wall wallpapers. These synthetic fibres are non-porous so they will not absorb moisture from the adhesive, they will not swell and do not require any “soaking time” - soaking being the term used when a regular wallpaper has been pasted and left whilst the paper fibres swell.


How will I know if my wallpaper is paste the wall? 

You should check your wallpaper labels for this information. Industry standard icons are used for a variety of specifications including the application of adhesive, see below. To look at the reverse of a paste the wall wallpaper and a regular wallpaper side-by-side you will see that the non-woven backing is much lighter in colour, and that synthetic fibres have a resemblance of a poly cotton as opposed to the paper backing that has a cream appearance.


Are there any drawbacks to paste the wall wallpaper?

Not so much a drawback as a consideration, the synthetic nature of the substrate can mean that some paste the wall wallpapers appear opaque. This does vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and by product quality and colour. All paste the wall products are recommended to be hung over an evenly coloured surface.

Is it better to paste the wall or paste the wallpaper?

We would give two answers to this question incase this is read out of context. In regards to a non woven paste the wall wall-covering the choice is really yours! If you are feeling adventurous then ditch the paste table and follow the techniques we will explain later, if you really wish to paste your paste the wall product this is also fine. Just remember you do not have to wait for any reaction or absorption with these products so go ahead and paste your length and stick it straight on the wall.

If you are talking about a regular paste the product wallpaper then the paste table does have to come out and you must apply adhesive directly to the product, this also means you must allow the wallpaper to soak for the suggested length of time as advised on the manufacturer's label.

If you attempt to use the paste the wall technique with a regular wallpaper, you will not achieve an acceptable finish. The product would not receive a full and even coverage of adhesive, it would then begin to expand on the wall (or to try to).

This would cause:

  • Creasing, a reduction in contact with the wall surface
  • Lifting seams and 
  • Essentially a terrible result

What paste is best to use for paste the wall wallpapers?

You can use an off the shelf extra strong powder/flake adhesive such as Bartoline or Solvite. The concentration of mixing will be on the packaging but as a rule of thumb the concentration is double that used with the regular paper version of your wall-covering.

Alternatively, you can use a ready mixed adhesive should the paste the wall wallpaper be of a heavy weight or for use in a high humidity area such as a kitchen or a bathroom.  

Can I use a paste the wall wallpaper on lining paper?

Yes. If you overhang a regular lining paper you may see some bubbling of the lining paper but this will dry flat again once dry. Non-woven paste the wall lining papers are available which will not react with adhesive.

So, how to hang paste the wall wallpaper...the technique:

Step 1. Before hanging

You need to make some essential checks to your wall-covering. 

Check all batches or shades match on each roll of a single design. Open your rolls and check thoroughly for any visible signs of damage, print errors/shading or production marks. Keep all roll labels safe until your decorating is complete, if any problem or you have a concern STOP IMMEDIATELY and contact us.

We buy all stock in good faith from our manufacturers however from time to time errors can have taken place during production.

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Ensure your wall surface is clean and sound, should the surface be particularly porous then an application of wall size will be required. The wall/s should be of even colour throughout. Cover floor surfaces and furniture prior to pasting with dust sheets and don't forget to check the direction of hanging before you continue, not all patterns will come off the roll as they should be hung!

Step 2. The hanging

1. Using a measuring tape to measure approximately 45-50cm away from the corner you are starting to decorate from and use a plumbob to give you a vertical level to work from. Mark the wall with a pencil at regular intervals to give you the perfect start. 

We use the above technique because our walls are not always level and, should you use your corner as the natural starting point you may find your wallpaper looks wonky.

2. Paste the wall using a brush or roller, not all the wall just a section at a time that is wider than the roll width.

Pasting the whole wall in advance may seem like a good idea however paste dries so fast on a large open surface area that your wall will be dry before you get to hanging your last strips. 

3. Dry hang your wallpaper directly from the roll, work away from your vertical marks into the corner smoothing out any air bubbles with a hanging brush or smoother.

 This is where the checking the direction of hanging was so worthwhile before you started; you don't want upside down trees, birds or flowers - just think how would this look in nature.

4. Trim the excess using a utility/snap off knife or score your wallpaper so a visible line can be seen and trim the excess with scissors.

You can also use a trimming guard or spirit level to get an absolute straight cut when needed.

5. Now repeat the process and work away from you vertical marks to complete your first wall, if you are continuing to decorate each wall a plumb line will need to be used at the start of each new wall.

Step 3: Hanging tips

Prepare your strips in advance.

To do this use your paste table or a clean flat space. Measure the floor to ceiling height of the wall/s to be decorated and use this to measure and cut the first strip remembering to give a little surplus for trimming once hung and then number this strip on the back in pencil (at what would be the top of the strip). You can now match up the next strip in the dry state, cut off the repeat wastage leaving a little super plus once again and then mark on the back that this is strip 2.

For speed of hanging reverse roll each strip, secure with an elastic band ensuring that the strip number is visible. Now match up to strip 2 with your roll, again remove repeat pattern wastage while leaving some surplus for trimming and mark the reverse as strip 3. Repeat this process of matching up to your previous strip, marking, reverse rolling and securing with an elastic band until you have enough strips cut to complete your decorating.

Now you can use the above hanging technique of pasting the wall section by section and picking out the correct numbered strip in numerical order, remove the band and offer the top of the coiled strip to the pasted wall. Again working to the vertical markings when starting out, unravel the coil down the wall whilst smoothing out any air bubbles. You can then quickly trim, apply more adhesive and continue into the next strip.

You may wish to adjust your starting position if your pattern dictates that it should be centralised first - just ensure you work from a level line for best results.

Top Tip! Use multiple rolls at once! Because each roll has been cut at a different stage of the pattern, you may reduce wastage by cutting the odd number strips from a second roll!

After Hanging

Clean up any adhesive spills before they dry and ensure no paste has been left on the surface of your new wallpaper, coving's, ceiling or skirting boards - this can easily be removed in a gentle fashion now with a damp sponge or cloth. Very little adhesive should make it onto the surface of your walls using this technique but any that is left behind will show as a flakey white residue and if your wallpaper contains metallics this may affect the colour and even tarnish the surface.

Those are the basics of using paste the wall wallpaper and we wish you good luck with your first project using this product. If you have already experienced the convenience then head over to our collection of paste the wall patterns and plan your next project!