Lining a room with wallpaper allows you to do a lot more than you can do with paint in much less time. Aside from masking minor imperfections and enlivening walls, wallpapering is one of the easiest and most effective ways of achieving instant decoration. However, not many homeowners get it right, not even after several attempts. While it is true that wallpapering calls for patience and precision, lack of knowledge might still be the main reason for mismatched patterns and peeling seams.
You can achieve perfection even if you consider the task beyond your do-it-yourself skills. Here are the best tips for hanging wallpaper, from pasting and aligning to hanging and trimming.
Buying wallpaper in consecutive batch numbers helps to ensure uniformity. Having measured the area that needs covering, order a little bit more wallpaper to allow for mishaps. If you’re going with patterned paper, a roll might be advisable.
Prep the room
If it’s your first wallpapering job, a low traffic room or a feature wall might be the best place to start. Remove any loose paint, plaster or old wallpaper and fill in any cracks. Use sugar soap to wash the wall thoroughly. Once dry, apply an equal part mixture of PVA glue and water to the wall using a paint roller. Aside from giving the wall a glossy finish and helping the wallpaper to stick, it makes sliding the paper into position a lot easier.
Use the plumb line to mark the room with straight lines, making sure the intervals are equal. Measure the room’s height from floor to ceiling, and transfer the same plus four extra inches to your pasting table. In this way, you won’t have to measure each piece of paper individually and will have accounted for possible variations in height.
Make sure you’ve got the right glue for your wallpaper. Some types can have adverse effects on the finish, particularly if you’re using delicate paper, in which case a soft, wheat based paste might be the best option. Unroll the wallpaper face down, and drag it against the edge of your pasting table to remove the curl. Make sure you check for defects. Once you’ve laid the paper flat on your table and weighed down each end, cut it into strips according to the previously marked measurements. Apply the wallpaper paste, making sure you get the ends and edges. Try not to get any on the table but if you do, use a slightly damp sponge to wipe it off.
Book the paper
Fold the paper concertina-like to avoid creasing and set it aside. Let the paste soak in. You’ll want to follow the recommended booking time because these usually vary depending on the type of wallpaper.
Line the first strip
Since it’s the first length that sets the template for the entire room, getting it straight is vital. This is where the guiding lines you drew earlier will come in handy. If you chose a large-patterned wallpaper design, begin in the middle and work outwards. For a small pattern repeat or plain wallpaper, start from the corner. A wall with no doors or windows is preferable because it allows you to hang full lengths. Make sure each strip of paper hangs the right way up with an overlap of around two inches at the ceiling. Don’t worry about attaining perfect parallels with your first attempts. Since the paste won’t dry immediately, you’ll have time to adjust the strips to perfection.
Tuck and trim
Tuck the wallpaper into the upper corner using a paper smoother’s edge and then sweep the paper hanging brush over the entire sheet. Gently press the paper into place, working from the ceiling down. Once you’ve pushed a taping knife into the ceiling and wall joint, trim off the excess paper.
Repeat the entire process with every other strip, ensuring the pattern lines up. Working away from the window reduces the chances of overlapping edges casting a shadow. Remember to sweep the brush from the center outward to push any air bubbles out.