Considering hanging wallpaper for the first time? I recommend before you start, reading my “Wallpapering Beginners Guide”. Hanging wallpaper doesn’t have to be scary, with the right tools and a little patience anyone can wallpaper like a pro.
If you’re faced with having to remove your old wallpaper, you might be interested in reading an earlier post How To Remove Wallpaper Fast, full of useful tips for stripping wallpaper.
Step 1 : Wallpapering beginners Guide
Wallpaper Batch Numbers
Assuming you have already calculated how many rolls of wallpaper you need. If you are unsure on how do to this, draw a plan of the room with measurements and consult your local painting store. Don’t guess or try and save money by not ordering that extra role. It is vital for the success of your job that you order enough wallpaper to finish the project
All wallpapers comes with a batch number and colour code on their label. To ensure colour and pattern uniformity, check that all batch numbers are the same.
Step 2 : Wallpapering beginners Guide
There are a few tools that will be required when hanging wallpapering. Below I have listed the essential tools you will need.
- Hamilton 9 Ring Wallpaper Hanging Brush
- Wallpaper Pasting Brush
- Hamilton Perfection Wallpaper Scissors
- Olfa Auto Lock Snap Knife
- Plumb Bob & Line
- Aluminum Folding Wallpaper Table
- 15 Litre Pasting Bucket
- Decorators Sponge
- Wallpaper Edge Seam Roller
While most of the tools are relatively inexpensive, they all play an important role. I personally prefer the aluminum wallpapering tables over wood. They are easier to clean, lightweight, strong and don’t absorb moisture.
When trimming wallpaper depending on the type (paste the wall, paste the paper) having a snap knife and a sharp scissors is recommended. Delicate wallpapers once soaked can tear when using a snap knife.
Step 3 : Wallpapering beginners Guide
Sizing Walls Before Wallpapering
Depending on the surface of your walls, they may need to be sized before you can hang wallpaper. Walls that have never been painted or papered will need sized. Also walls that have been patched with fresh plaster or filler would also benefit from being sized before wallpapering.
Sizing helps to:
- Seal walls creating a vinyl surface that helps the user manipulate the wallpaper into place.
- Stops the moisture being sucked out of the paste to quickly.
You can size the walls using a watered down mixture of wallpaper adhesive. Mix the wallpaper as recommended by the manufacturer and then add an additional 2 litres of water for sizing walls.
NOTE: Diluted wallpaper paste cannot be used for wallpapering, always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on the back of the wallpaper paste. Ratios of water to paste change in accordance with the type wallpaper being hung.
Step 4 : Wallpapering beginners Guide
Where To Start Wallpapering
Alway start in the corner of a room and wallpaper away from the light so as not to cast a shadow if the paper overlaps. Try to start on a wall with no windows or doors, use your plumb bob or spirit level to strike a vertical straight line.
If you are using a plumb bob for the first time, simply hold the string at the top of the wall, letting the weight hang without touching the floor. Wait until the weight stops swaying, then with a pencil mark your straight line.
Wallpaper your first section of paper to the straight line, allow the edge of the paper to wrap slightly around the adjacent corner by a half inch.
Step 5 : Wallpapering beginners Guide
Paste The Wall Wallpapers
Some modern wallpapers have new paste the wall technology. Instead of pasting the wallpaper, letting it soak and then hanging, you instead paste the walls. I use a 9 Inch Roller in combination with a 3 Inch Brush to paste the wall before hanging paste the wall wallpapers.
Wallpapering tips paste the wall
1) Size all the walls the day before to stop the plaster absorbing the wallpaper paste.
2) Use your Olfa Snap Knife and regularly snap a new section of blade for clean cuts.
3) Pay particular attention to the seams, ensure they have enough paste and use your Seam Roller.
4) Only use Paste The Wall paste as it specifically designed for paste the wall papers.
Paste the wall papers do save time by not having to let them soak, but are more difficult to manipulate due to the man made fibres woven into the wallpaper to stop them from shrinking.
Step 6 : Wallpapering beginners Guide
Pre Cut Your Wallpaper
Speed up the process of wallpapering by pre cutting your wallpaper before hanging. Place your first cut section onto the pasting board, then cut multiple sections remembering to match the pattern. Information on the pattern repeat can be found on the wallpaper label.
Once the wallpaper is pasted, take the bottom corners of the paper and fold it back on itself. This allows for better handling of the paper, once you have the top section of pasted on the fold, you can then unfold the remaining wallpaper.
All paste the paper wallpapers require a Soaking Time, which is dependent on room temperature and wallpaper type, soaking time is generally around ( 5-10 minutes). Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for allocated soaking time.
Step 7 : Wallpapering beginners Guide
Take one of the pasted sections and carefully unfold letting the bottom section hang. Next place the paper onto the wall starting at the top. Use the straight line you marked earlier as a guide, smooth the paper using your Wallpapering Brush, always work from the centre outwards to the edges, removing air bubbles as you go. Wipe off any excess paste with your Decorators Sponge.
Continue papering using the edge of the first section as your guide for matching the pattern. Start the next pasted section at the top and match the pattern and seam before smoothing the paper. Next close the seam using a combination of Seam Edge Roller and your fingers to push the seam closed. Run a damp sponge over the entire section of wallpaper checking for any trapped air bubbles.
Step 8 : Wallpapering beginners Guide
There are many situations when hanging wallpaper that you will need to trim the wallpaper, (plug sockets, light switches, ceilings, skirting boards, windows, door frames).
Using the blunt edge of the scissors press the paper into the corner (edge) of the ceiling, skirting, then with a Snap Knife trim off the excess. When papering around plugs or light fittings, the simplest method is to paper over them, then cut a box the same shape only smaller than the socket cover.
With the papering snap knife cut the corners to match the dimensions of the socket cover. Turn off the power, screw off the socket cover and carefully manoeuvre the socket through the wallpaper. Push the wallpaper behind the cover removing any bubbles and leave to dry before screwing the plug socket, light switch flush to the wall.
Easy Hang Wallpaper Tips
- Size the walls to help with adhesion and to allow better manipulation of the wallpaper.
- Pre cut your wallpaper matching the pattern before you cut
- Apply plenty of wallpaper adhesive ensuring all areas are covered and let soak
- Remove air bubbles by smoothing the paper from the centre outwards to the edges
- Clean off the excess paste with a sponge after hanging each section
- Trim a little, you can always trim more, you can’t add back
I hope you found this article on how to wallpaper for beginners helpful. You might also be interested in:
- How To Remove Wallpaper Fast
- Painting A Door Without Brush Marks
- How To Paint A Room Like A Professional
- Best Bathroom Paint To Prevent Mould
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