Hanging wallpaper: where to start?
1. Firstly, work out how many rolls you will need. You will need to multiply the height and width in feet of your room in order to calculate the total square footage. There are numerous wallpaper calculators that are available on the internet which will make this easy for you. As a rule of thumb, you will get four drops on a plain roll and three drops from a patterned roll on 8ft-high walls. Make sure that the batch numbers are the same on every roll purchased.
2. Choose the right paste. When purchasing your wallpaper, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations with regard to which paste to use. Some require pasting the paper, and others require that you paste the wall.
3. Ensure that all of the previous wall coverings are completely removed. Use a flexible spatula knife to remove the top layer of wallpaper. You can then soak the backing paper, making it easier to scrap off and remove. You can use a steamer to remove multi layers of stubborn paper.
4. Carefully sand and fill the complete area to be wallpapered. This will ensure that there are no unsightly depressions or lumps visible after wallpapering.
How to hang wallpaper straight
5. Use a plumb line or a level to ensure that you are hanging the paper straight; do not assume that the corner in which you make a start is plumb. Measure 1/4” in from the corner where you wish to start and draw a straight line vertically down from ceiling to skirting board. If the wall you are papering has a focal point, like a fireplace, start in the centre of the wall and work outwards. This will give you a balanced finish overall.
6. Size the area prior to papering. You can buy multiple different products to achieve this, but the most cost-effective way is to make a runny mix of wallpaper adhesive and apply this with a roller to the area being papered. This will act as a seal between the wall and the backing paper. It prevents the plaster from absorbing all the adhesive’s moisture and slows down the adhesion process, which allows you more time to get the paper placement just right.
7. Where possible, start hanging paper in the corner of a wall with no windows or doors. This will enable you to hang a full length from the ceiling to the skirting board. Before unrolling your paper, measure the wall from ceiling to skirting board and add extra two inches for the final trimming at ceiling and skirting.
8. Unroll the paper with pattern facing the pasting table and measure out your length with a tape measure. Fold the paper in on itself and cut along the crease. Once you have your length, mark on the paper which is the top, this will avoid mistakes later on.
Paste the wall
9. Line each edge of the paper with the edge of the table and apply the wallpaper paste using a 9” roller and scuttle. This will help you achieve a consistent and even coverage of paste on the wall and stop you getting excess paste on your table. Gently fold over the end of the paper that has been pasted and continue with the rest of your length. Remember to wipe down your table in between each length of paper. You may have to wait a few minutes for the paste to adhere (check the instructions).
10. Gently lower your length of paper and align the edge with the plumb line that you marked earlier on the wall. Take the time to make sure that the edge is perfectly aligned all the way down the wall. Smooth the excess overhang into the crease at ceiling and skirting. Smooth down the paper with a clean dry brush, working carefully and slowly form the centre of the paper outwards. Gently lift the paper and relay to smooth out any trapped air bubbles.
11. Trim off the excess overhang at the top and bottom using either a sharp clean pair of scissors or a snap-off blade knife. Ensure you snap a section of the blade off after approximately six cuts. This will ensure that the blade is as sharp as possible and enable you to achieve a good clean cut.
12. Wipe off any excess adhesive on the wall. Match the pattern repeat on your next length with the first length already hung. Repeat the process as you work your way along the wall.
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