11 tips for perfect wallpapering

Wallpaper can create a range of amazing interior design effects, from statement walls in bold designs to subtle textures and a traditional flare. But hanging wallpaper is the bane of every DIYer, especially those who have never done it before. To ensure you’re wallpapering like a total pro, we’ve put together some essential tips for perfect wallpapering:

1. Order everything at once

When you place an order for wallpaper, ensure you order everything you expect to need in one go. When you receive your order, check each individual roll to ensure the lot numbers match, and it all comes from the same run. While different runs may look the same, there are often subtle differences in colour and tone that can quite ruin the effect you’re trying to achieve. Make certain every roll you have is from a single batch to avoid this problem.

2. Hide mistakes in alignment

Paint a strip about an inch wide in white paint across the top of any walls you are papering, especially if the paper or paint you’re covering is dark. This will ensure any alignment mistakes are less noticeable if you don’t quite get the paper perfectly aligned with the top of your wall.

3. Make sure your wallpaper is straight

Most walls in houses aren’t at perfect right angles. As a result, using the wall as a guide to keep your paper straight is a bad idea. Use a plumb bob line to measure your wallpaper against, ensuring it stays straight. You can do this using a spirit level as well, but a plumb line makes the best starting point for the first line. Once you’re sure you have one piece of paper on perfectly straight, a spirit level is usually sufficient to keep going. Double check each and every piece. If you are even slightly out it will ruin your wall, and it usually takes a few strips going up out of alignment for the mistakes to show.

4. Match patterns by cutting extra

Cut your first strip of wallpaper around four inches longer than the wall’s height. After that, you will need to cut remaining strips around two inches too long at both the top and bottom, sometimes longer, in order to ensure your pattern matches and is consistent along the wall.

5. Lay your strips out on your floor

When you’ve fully measured and cut your first wallpaper strip, and have double checked to ensure it’s the right size, lay it on the floor. Measure out the next strip next to it, and so on, making certain there’s plenty of space at both the top and bottom to align your patterns properly. Using a pencil, lightly label each strip on the back so you know what order they go in. It’s far easier to do this on the floor than the wall, and the pencil will neither show through or wash off when your paper gets pasted.

6. Avoid your booking strips drying out

You need to ensure the paper doesn’t get dry while it’s booking. Keep any booking strips in large plastic bags.

7. Sharp tools

Before you start tripping, make certain your utility knives and other tools are sharp. Dull tools cause wallpaper to rip and can cause uneven lines and damage.

8. Carefully trim your paper

To protect your wallpaper and make sure your cuts are straight, place a putty knife carefully between your blade and the wallpaper. Make sure you don’t lift your blade before you’ve finished the cut.

9. Use drawing pins

Using drawing pins is an easy way to secure long strips of wallpaper. Put each pin in an area that is light in colour to ensure it doesn’t show. Once you’ve removed your drawing pins, use a seam roller across the hole to smooth it out.

10. Use border adhesive

You’ll need special paste for borders if you intend to hang them over the top of your wallpaper. Ensure you’ve left the main wallpaper to dry for a minimum of 48 hours and hang the border using border adhesive.

11. Match your faceplates

Here’s a top tip for a totally flawless finish: paper over your faceplates to match the wallpaper. Ensure you properly match the pattern over the plate to perfectly match the wall beneath.

Do you need a hand with your wallpapering? Get in touch, we’re here to help…

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