Wall-papering Made Easy


Wallpaper is a great way to show your style, and is as popular as ever with thousands of different types to choose from. While papering a whole room can seem daunting, feature walls are popular in the home décor world at the moment and look set to stay, so this can be the perfect opportunity to give it a go yourself without getting overwhelmed.


I know I’m always going on about preparation which can seem dull and tedious, but it is so important to help make sure you do a good job. If you are repapering then it is a good idea to hire a wallpaper stripper from a DIY shop to take away the old paper. This makes it much quicker and easier especially concerning the dread that is wood-chip. Then, it is important to fill in any cracks and crevices with filler and allow it sufficient time to dry out too. It is also possible to paint a thin layer of primer to ensure maximum smoothness. If you plan on wallpapering over gloss paint, you will need to sand this too before you can start hanging the paper.


When choosing a wallpaper paste, if you haven’t had experience hanging wallpaper before, then it is advisable to pay a little more for a ready mixed paste rather than doing it yourself; this way the consistency will be perfect. Also check the thickness of your paper as there are various grades which can require different paste viscosities. Along with the paste, a wallpaper table is also handy, although you can use and large rectangular table as long as you aware that it may get a bit glued up! The trestle tables used for wallpapering are fairly inexpensive anyway.


Now before you start, another thing to consider is that especially in older houses, the walls are not completely straight, so it is usually best to start in a corner and draw a vertical line in pencil down the wall. This way you should be able to hang your first strip in a full length from ceiling to skirting board. However if you have chosen a wallpaper with a particularly pattern, then it is wiser to start in the centre of the wall and then trim at wither end since then the design can achieve its full potential. Measuring out your wallpaper to precisely fit your wall with matching pattern joins is also an option since then you can then just fire ahead with the pasting. Note it is a good idea to leave 5cm-10cm extra so that you can extend over the top and bottom and then trim it precisely against the edges.


Laying your wallpaper strip pattern-side down on the table, working from the centre outwards apply an even but generous layer of paste to the underside using a wallpaper roller or brush going right up to but not over the edges. Leave for a few minutes so that it makes the wallpaper pliable – depending on how thick the paper is, the amount of time will vary. Using your penciled vertical lines as a guide, starting at the top, hold the paper at both sides and slowly smooth it down using a papering brush making sure there are no bumps. Once the first strip is done, the rest of the job is easier as you can line up and use this first strip as a guide, so make sure it is vertically straight!


For bigger rooms, it is recommended to bring in a professional, but a feature wall can be a satisfying way to teach yourself a new practical DIY skill!

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