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How to Hang Wallpaper

How to Hang Wallpaper

    This task should be fairly straightforward, whether you have experience doing DIY or none at all.</p>

Preparing the Walls for Wallpapering

Before putting up your new wallpaper, you will need to prepare your walls. This will include, removing old or existing wallpaper, ensuring your walls are smooth, free of cracks or imperfections and are dry. If your walls are freshly plastered or are bare and unpainted they will need sealing (sizing).

Remove existing wallpaper

Removing old wallpaper ensures that you get the best possible finish. You can remove existing wallpaper in a couple of ways, we would recommend first finding out what type of wallpaper is currently on your wall. If the existing wallpaper peels off easily and almost complete with its backing it is likely that it was a strippable wallpaper or a non-woven (paste the wall wallpaper). In this case you can easily remove all wallpaper then remove any residue with a mild soap solution in hot water.

If your wallpaper is a little more stubborn, then you may have to use a stripping solution or a steam wallpaper stripper. Most wallpapers can be removed by removing the patterned layer leaving a backing layer behind, this is known as peelable wallpaper. Soaking the wall with hot soapy water or a stripping solution, leave for a few minutes to allow the adhesive to soften then gently scraping the wallpaper off with a wallpaper scraper will make easier work of removing this.

For cushion vinyl wallcoverings, often used with tiling on a roll and other kitchen and bathroom wallpapers, scoring of the surface will aid in allowing any steam or stripping solutions to penetrate the surface layer and soften the adhesive layer below, this is known as wet removable. With all stripping, take care to not damage the plaster underneath where possible.

Tip: If you have more stubborn wallpaper, ensure you apply a good amount of soapy water/stripping solution whilst thoroughly wetting the wallpaper..then step away and allow this to work its magic! Repeat this soaking where necessary before you start scraping.

Are your walls smooth?

If you take off your wallpaper to find that the walls underneath have a couple of holes or cracks, possibly from old fixtures or fittings, make sure you fill these prior to hanging new wallpaper.

To fill holes in your wall, you can use a multi-purpose powdered filler or a ready mixed all purpose filler and once dry gently sand down with fine sandpaper to ensure a smooth finish.

Are your walls freshly plastered?

If you are applying wallpaper to freshly plastered walls you will need to seal them with a wall sealer, also known as wall size or PVA adhesive. Make sure you don’t skip this step as it will greatly increase the efficiency of the wallpaper paste/adhesive by reducing the porosity of the surface. It does also help you with “slip and slide” of the wallpaper as you hang it on the wall, making butting up and pasting in awkward areas that little bit easier.

Will you have enough wallpaper?

Another necessary step in preparing to hang wallpaper, is to make sure you have enough rolls to cover your entire room or to complete your project. Our wallpaper calculator can help you work the coverage out. Just remember to allow for around 10-15% extra than you actually need, as you will be trimming excess wallpaper off once it’s on the wall. Feel free to call the team for any help in calculating the number of rolls for you, just have your measurements ready.

Tip: When using wallpaper with a pattern repeat, always allow for extra due to the nature of matching this type of wallpaper you will always end up with a bit more wastage. Feel free to give us a call with your measurements and the pattern details and we can double check your calculations.

Do I Paste the Wall or the Wallpaper?

Check the roll label symbols for how your wallcovering should be hung. Unless stated otherwise, you can always use the standard hanging technique below.

Paste the wall wallpaper should be hung using a different technique, here is our guide to hanging Non-Woven Paste the wall wallpaper.

How to Hang Wallpaper

Step 1: Measuring and Cutting The Wallpaper

Measure the length of the wall using a tape measure and cut enough lengths of paper to complete the first wall, allowing at least 100mm on the length for trimming (50mm at top and 50mm at bottom). Check the pattern match of the wallpaper if using pattern repeat wallpaper and cut your lengths accordingly, you can find more information on using pattern repeat wallpaper in our guide.

Step 2: Drawing a straight/vertical line

Next, using your plumb line and a pencil, softly draw a straight vertical line.

Use a tape measure and extend it into the top corner of the wall you are about to decorate. You should mark the wall at the equivalent width of your wallpaper roll less about 25mm, for a standard roll of 530mm mark the wall 500mm out from the corner.

Repeat holding the plumb line at ceiling height so that it passes through the pencil mark and make several more marks along the line. Join the marks up with the ruler or batten for your convenience in the next steps.

Step 3: Pasting

Paste the first length by spreading some wallpaper adhesive the centre of the wallpaper with your paste brush, continue working the brush in a herringbone pattern from the middle out to spread the paste to the edges, adding extra adhesive as needed to give an even layer.

A good technique is to lay the paper against the table edge furthest from you and paste up to this edge first. Then slide the paper towards you and paste the nearest edge. Try to always work cleanly, out from the centre of the length and don't allow paste to get on the front of the wallpaper.

See our graphic for perfect pasting.

Step 4: Folding the pasted paper

As you are pasting the wallpaper, we recommend folding the wallpaper into concertinas. Ensuring only the pasted side is folded back on itself. Once folded (and correctly pasted) place to one side and leave your wallpaper to “soak”, this usually takes in between 5 and 10 minutes (always check the roll label for confirmation of timings). It is important to let your wallpaper soak until it is pliable,soft and has expanded fully, if you skip or rush this step the wallpaper will likely not adhere to the wall correctly or give you poor results.

Step 5: Hanging The First Piece

Take the length of pasted wallpaper which has been soaked for the correct time and unfold part of the concertina. Lightly press the top against the wall, with a 50mm overlap at the top. Slide the edge up to the vertical line and use a smoothing brush to get rid of air bubbles.

Continue down to the midway point of the wallpaper length, again use herringbone strokes outwards from the centre keeping the edge of the length on the pencil line drawn earlier, you can always double check this is vertical with a spirit level.

Unfold the final concertina, ensuring it is lined up with your pencil line and brushing to remove air bubbles, the bottom of the length should also have a 50mm overlap.

Now trim the top and bottom of the length by creasing the paper into the skirting and ceiling/picture rail with the back of the scissors, then cut along the crease. If using a snap-off blade, ensure this is clean and cut into the crease you’ve made - keeping your fingers out of the way. Should your wallpaper start to snag, snap off an individual section of the blade to renew the tip.

Step 6: Cleaning Off The Excess Paste

Hang the next length in the same way, butting the edge neatly against the first piece. Make sure the edges are firmly glued down by gently running a seam roller along the joint making sure you do not push adhesive away from the join. Always sponge off any excess paste from the wallpaper, skirting and ceiling with a clean moist sponge/cloth or the paste will dry as a shiny patch.

Check your roll label for any different advice on removal of surface adhesive.

Step 7: Finishing

Repeat the process for each length, ensuring that the edges meet exactly and the pattern is matched correctly.

Don't forget to remove any additional adhesive left behind on your ceiling, picture/dado rail and skirting boards. With this final clean tha could you your new wall/s finished! How did it go?

Wallpapering around corners (internal and external)

At internal corners, extend your tape measure again and measure from the last length you have hung into the corner, use this measurement and add 15mm to it.

With your next prepared wallpaper length, trim this to the width required from your above measurement. Be careful to cut the excess away from the correct side of the length, this ensures your joins will continue to match up the pattern.

Paste this cut length as before, soak and then when ready offer this to the wall and press the small overlap piece into and back out of the internal corner onto the next wall. You may need to have the full length open without any folds/concertinas to complete this last step.

Now continuing onto the new wall, overlap this section with the next full length of wallpaper, using a plumb line again for accuracy as in step 2.

For external corners, use the same technique but allow about 25mm overlap onto the new wall. Hang the first full length on the new wall so that it is about 12mm from the corner. This will reduce the risk of this lifting.

Once you have completed either type of corner, you can achieve a neat finish by “splicing” a new join. Using a straight edge such as a spirit level and a snap-off blade you can cut through the double layered overlap section, remove both the top surplus and the underlying surplus then smooth down to a neat and tidy new join.

Unfortunately we do not recommend any decorators.

Good Luck from Home Flair Decor.