So you want to use wallpaper as part of your decorating, and we get it, it can be totally intimidating! The choices are to usually hang it yourself and make a mess of it, or, hire a professional and possibly pay a fortune for the stress-free pleasure. Some of you might be up for the challenge though and if you're into learning a new skill, love being precise and have a great attention to detail then you should have a go! Check out our guide and tips into making it a smooth (in more ways than one) experience.
Before You Start
- Clean Your Walls: Use Sugar Soap and get the surface you want to hang as clean as possible, scrape away any old wallpaper or sandpaper any dry, flaky paint.
- Fill Any Holes: Depending on the type of wall use a suitable filler like Polyfilla to even out any cracks or holes, so your wall is as smooth as possible.
- Ensure It's Dry: Once you’ve prepared your wall, don't start any hanging until it's clean and dry.
- Buy Some Paint: Think about purchasing a colour match paint so you can fill any gaps or cover up any minor errors, it's also a great way to cover up and seams where your panels of wallpaper might not meet.
- Room Environment: Consider the environment as If your room gets particularly humid like a bathroom, or summer house then it might not be the best place for wallpaper. Also if the room is subject to the elements and moisture many wallpapers aren't waterproof either so could end up warping or peeling over time.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Hanging
Just a few things to remember before starting the task at hand: be confident and don't rush it. Rushing the job will mean you will live with your mistakes which will bug you endlessly every time you look at your walls. If your walls are uneven, then using lining paper first will help you achieve a smooth finish with the actual wallpaper. Remember to hang lining paper horizontally (against the grain of your wallpaper) to avoid peeling and matching up the seams.
- The Pattern Repeat: If you're not using plain wallpaper you must check the pattern repeat will align with the neighbouring drop either side of your strip, then cut it accordingly. You may think you waste a lot of your roll but ultimately this will ensure you keep your repeat pattern consistent. Then make sure it's the right way up and not upside down and allow two to three inches at the top and bottom for trimming.
- Invest In Good Wallpaper Paste: We can't stress this enough, this will make or break the job and you want a good paste which allows a certain element of movability when mounting but enough adhesive to keep your wallpaper stuck to the wall and not sliding off! When you measure the water to your paste it will gradually thicken, you'll know it's ready when the stirring stick can stand up by itself in your measuring jug. This is important as if it's too watery overstretching will occur causing the wallpaper to shrink back when dry.
- Brushing: Apply your paste with a wide brush and ensure you coat your wallpaper to the edges. If you don't use enough then it won't stick to the wall and make it difficult to position too. Allow your paper to soak up the paste for 5 minutes to ensure it's securely mounted.
- The First Sheet Is The Most Important: This first strip of wallpaper is your guide for the rest to ensure you are hanging the rest of them level and to line up any repeat pattern. Use a piece of string with a small weight attached (a big pen or scissors will do) to hang from the corner of your ceiling and wall, this string drop will act as your first vertical line to line up your initial strip of paper against. You can then use the edge of this first strip of paper as a drop for subsequent rolls to be aligned against creating the perfect positioning.
- Trimming: Once you've perfected mounting and aligning your wallpaper strip you can cut off the excess trim with a sharp scalpel or Stanley Knife and ruler to give a nice straight edge.
- Cleaning: You will mark your wallpaper unfortunately and excess paste can seep from the seams and edges so make sure you a clean damp, soft cloth available to wipe away any marks or paste as you go. Any water should be removed using a clean dry cloth to prevent buckling and shrinkage.
- Tricky Corners and Edges: You might have a fireplace, cornice or area which your wallpaper has to work round. Use a damp cloth to finger to slowly press the wallpaper around your awkward corners. Once you've managed to work it as far as it can go, use a small scalpel to carve your way round, remember your colour match paint to cover up any errors in the process. Remember, don't wrap paper around corners either, always trim it to the edge and start a new piece on the neighbouring wall.
- Final Touch: Let your work dry overnight and in the morning go over the seams again with paste again where any paper didn't stick and wipe down again with a clean cloth. Once you've done this, you can stand back and admire your handy work!
- Cleaning: Always used a mild household cleaning product or a soft damp cloth for ongoing maintenance as some stronger products can ruin your wallpaper if they contain acid or bleaching agents.
Love Omar x