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How to Hang Wallpaper Borders

Author: Home Flair Decor

Some of our friends seem to be naturally gifted when it comes to sport, and others are a dab-hand at creating culinary masterpieces in the the kitchen. And of course, we all know that certain someone who’s managed to refurbish their entire home almost single-handedly.

Our DIY-savvy pals really have got their heads screwed on though, because as well achieving the satisfaction of seeing their creations come to life, and keeping themselves fit and active - they’re saving themselves a tidy sum on professional fees too. Luckily, thanks to our handy ‘How To’ guides, you can be equally as smug as your Do-it-Yourself friends, and achieve the same sense of satisfaction - without compromising on the end results. In this blog, we look at how to hang wallpaper borders, in a simple step-by-step guide. And because we’ve got your back, we’ve provided you with details of all the stuff you’ll be needing to. Don’t worry ...you can thank us later.  

Step One: Measure up

First up, you need to decide whereabouts you are going to hang your border? Around the top of the room? At picture rail height or simply around the centre of your walls. Now measure, if no windows are in the way measure the entire perimeter of the room (don't forget to give yourself a little extra on the measurements to allow for any matching).

If you do have have windows to take into consideration these can be removed from your calculations but do remember to leave yourself some allowance for any matching and to ensure you have enough to complete all sections without having to make a join in the middle of a section.  

Step Two: That’s your lot

By now, you’ll have already seen our selection of lovely borders and picked out one that takes your fancy. Whilst your chosen border will have been manufactured by the same supplier, there may have been multiple print runs so each roll will contain a Lot/Batch Number. Here are Home Flair Decor we have a batch guarantee so all rolls within a single order will be from a single batch, if you require an additional roll in a subsequent order - simply add your existing batch details into the checkout comment box and we will do our best to send the same batch again.

 

Step Three: Adhesives add up

Next up, you’ll need to establish if your border is ‘unpasted’, ‘self-adhesive’, or ‘paste-the-wall’.  If it’s not self-adhesive, we highly recommend using a border adhesive over traditional pastes. This is the only way to guarantee adhesion to painted walls or wallpaper, these surfaces coatings almost always have a vinyl content so try one of our (vinyl-to-vinyl) Bartoline Border and Overlap Adhesives in either 250g, 500g, or 1kg tubs which will cover on average one roll, up to three rolls and up to 6 rolls respectively .

 

Step Four: On the surface

If you’re applying your border onto a PAINTED wall, lightly sand the area upon which the border will sit. The slightly rough surface will strengthen the bond between the adhesive and the border. (Just be sure you don’t sand beyond the perimeters of the border.)

 

Step Five: Lap it up

Measure the length of the first wall or section, and cut a strip of border that’s around 7.5CM (approx three inches) longer. This will allow for a little bit of overlap on each end.

When it comes to cutting, we suggest you leave your kitchen and sewing scissors where they belong. For precision cutting, our Professional Soft Grip 11” Scissors and 9mm Snap Off Knives are a sound investment.

Top Tip: Cut the length for your longest wall first, and perhaps save your shortest wall sections until last. You can then minimise the chance of a mid-wall join.  

Step Six: Apply some patience

Apply your adhesive to the back of the border and don’t be shy about slapping it on, just keep it off the front pattern! For ease of handling, gently fold the border in a concertina/fan style, making sure it doesn’t crease as you fold it back on itself. Converting the border into a smaller, accordion-style shape will also make it easier to transport it to your wall too.

The key here is to allow the adhesive to sink in for a few minutes and to expand before positioning it on the wall (check the roll label for the correct soaking time). If you are using a paste the wall border, you do not need to wait at all - these products are stable and will not react to the moisture from the adhesive.  

Step Seven: In position

  • To hang your border at the top of a wall, simply follow the ceiling line around the room, allowing at least an half-an-inch overlap at each of the corners.

  • If you’re applying a ‘chair rail border’ to the middle of a room, use our SupaTool Spirit Level,  and a pencil to make a faint line around the room at the desired height before you start.

  • When it comes to bordering windows and door frames, be sure to overlap the corners by about two inches, as this’ll help prevent the border from falling down later on. Then, cut through both strips at a 45° angle from the corner, taking care to remove any excess pieces. Use a clean, damp sponge to wipe away any adhesive that may have crept out.

 

Step Eight: Silky smooth

Once you’ve secured the border in the desired position, smooth over with a wallpaper hanging brush to ensure the removal of any air bubbles and the maximise contact with the wall or substrate. You now need to allow time for it to dry and bond with the wall. If you notice any excess adhesive as it dries, don’t panic! Simply use a damp sponge to remove it ASAP. If you are using a self-adhesive border extra care needs to be taken in regards to level and air bubbles, once it’s stuck down - it’s stuck!

Top Tip: Be careful not to adjust the positioning of the paper too dramatically as you’re smoothing out the bubbles, as it can stretch and become loose.

Step Nine: Repeat

As with sport and baking, practice makes perfect when it comes to learning a new DIY skill.

Now you’ve got your longest wall nailed, continue onto your next wall. The most important thing here, is to match the pattern on your first strip. Again, we suggest you allow an inch or so for overlap. Once you’ve got the overlap in place, cut through the border with a utility knife, using your a 9” utility knife. Remove the paper for a clean, seamless match, and wipe off any adhesive residue with a soft clean sponge.  

Step Ten: Pat yourself on the back!

Congratulations! You’ve just completed your first bordering project!

If you’ve hung the paper in a bathroom, try to wait at least 48 hours before running the shower or hot water, as the humidity is likely to delay the drying process and any steam may pull it down. Likewise, ensure all other environments remain at ‘room temperature’, to allow the adhesive enough time to dry out naturally.  

Good luck from all the team here at Home Flair Decor.