Measuring and cutting...
So we have prepared the room and are ready to start working with our walllpaper, if you are wanting to wallpaper any ceilings we will cover this in a later blog (you would do this before any walls so you dont splash or spill paste onto your walls). Measure the height of your walls, use a steel tape measure for this and cut cut your first piece from the roll, allow an extra 50mm (2 inch) to both top and bottom for use when trimming. This allowance is needed for limited pattern matching and to ensure you get a neat finish down at the skirting board and up at the ceiling/coving.
Lay out the first drop (drop is the name we give to each length of paper) on the paste table making sure you have the pattern facing up so you can match the next drop. Unroll the paper from which the second drop is to be cut, ensure the pattern is facing the same way so we can match this drop to our first. Move the paper along until the patterns match, cut this second drop using the first as a guide for the length, each subsequent lengths are cut in exactly the same way, each matching the drop that has preceeded it.
Here we need to mention that not all wallpapers have a straight match accross the width of the roll, the above deatils explain how to cut wallpaper with a straight match. Wallpapers may also be free of matching where you simply cut your lengths to the appropriate drop size and hang, be careful of alternate hanging here as these need a little more care when hanging. Look for an alternating arrow head emblum on your roll label, this means you need to mark the same end of each length cut on the reverse, then hang ensuring that you mark is near the ceiling on drop 1, near the floor on drop 2, back near the ceiling on drop 3, then again near the floor on drop 4, continuing until your room is complete. The idea behind this tecnique is to keep the the colour and tone very even.
There is also a drop match, often called a half-drop, these rise as they extend accross the width of a roll. With a drop match, your second length will begin half a pattern repeat further along the roll, drop 3 will match drop 1, drop 4 will match drop 2. By working off of two to three rolls of wallpaper at the same time, you may find that you can minimise wastage as each roll will have been cut at varying positions in the pattern repeat. So try to cut each length from a seperate roll (ensure you only use one batch of wallpaper when using this technique).
To keep things running smoothly, you should try to create a routine when paper hanging, cut all of your drops first (so you only need measure once, unless you have a sloping ceiling), keep all your wastage as these may be useful when decorating over doors and windows also below windows and behind radiators. Then paste three drops of wallpaper, by the time you have finsihed pasting, your first drop should be ready for hanging after (soaking times do vary so check the reverse of the label prior to pasting, you may only get two drops pasted ready or be able to paste more). For paste the wall wallpapers, it is often advantagous to have your cut lengths reverse rolled (inside out), with the pattern on the inside held together with an elastic band, this will save you time when hanging and help ensure the face of your wallpaper remains free of adhesive.
So we skipped over pasting a little there, lets give you some top tips for pasting perfection.
1. Lay your drops out, stack them neatly on your paste table pattern side down and pushed up against the edge of the table, furthest from you and the extra lenth hanging equally over each end of the table.
2. Slide the top drop so the end of the length is lined up with the end of the right hand side of the table. Now paste to the top drop, working from the centre of the drop outwards (always paste outwards as this will stop any adhesive finding its way on to the front) in a herring-bone pattern.
3. Once you have worked your way along the piece up to the end of the table (about two thirds of the drop), slide the drop towards you (the front edge of the table) ensuring the right hand end is not overhanging the table, continue pasting outwards from the centre of the strip again in the heringbone style.
4. When this section is completed, fold the drop over onto itself pasted side to pasted side.
5. Now slide your drop to your right, so the edge of the wallpaper is no longer overhanging the table, continue pasting from the center out, any paste that ends up on the lining of drop underneath will not affect it so do not worry, once complete fold this end onto itself again, paste to paste.
6. You can now fold this drop up in a concertina (zig zag/fan) and put to one side while soaking.
If it is a warm day or you notice the edges of the rolls are curling during pasting, do not concertina the strips, once intially folded, roll the wallpaper inwards from the edge like a scroll. (if the temperature is particularly high, pop the wallpaper into a plastic bag while soaking to retain maximum mositure.
Next time....Hanging techniques