4 easy tips for wallpapering your dream room

No material can transform a room as quickly as fresh wallpaper. And with practice, even a novice can master the basic techniques needed to do a good job. Here are four tips for choosing the perfect wallpaper and prepping your space before you begin the transformation.

4 easy tips for wallpapering your dream room

1. Before you start wallpapering

  • Choose a smaller room out of the public eye for your first project. And start on a wall with a minimum of windows and doors because the measuring, hanging and fitting will be easiest there.
  • Many do-it-yourselfers also find that working with a helper makes everything go more smoothly.
  • Clean and repair previously painted walls before applying wallpaper.
  • If a glossy paint has been used the surface must also be deglossed with a light sanding.
  • Apply a primer-sealer coat specifically designed as an undercoat for wall coverings.

2. Estimating wallpaper quantity

Buy all the paper you need at one time because colour can vary from print run to print run.

  • If you are uncertain, draw a picture of each wall, including measurements and the position and size of all the windows and doors.
  • Take the sketch to your wallpaper supplier.
  • An experienced salesperson can offer advice on how many rolls you need to purchase.
  • When you place your wallpaper order, also buy compatible paste and a paste brush for standard papers, or a water box for prepasted papers.

3. Choosing wallpaper

If you are new to paperhanging, keep your first project as easy as possible. Choose a paper designed with the do-it-yourselfer in mind. Here are some characteristics to look for:

  • High-quality, machine-printed, pretrimmed papers tend to be the most problem-free. Flocked and foil papers or wallpapers with selvage edges that must be trimmed on the job are challenges better left to professionals your first time around.
  • Patterns that are "straight" are easier to hang than "dropped" patterns. Straight patterns are so called because neighbouring panels meet in a straight line, so they require little extra figuring when you cut and hang them. Dropped patterns have design repeats that are meant to be matched panel to panel, a somewhat more difficult calculation to measure. Dropped patterns also require more paper to compensate for the matching.
  • Small-scaled overall patterns tend to camouflage uneven surfaces. But striped, shiny and solid wallcoverings are best reserved for very smooth, perfectly plumb walls.
  • Matching pattern scale to room size is also critical. Too large a pattern in a small room can be oppressive; too small a pattern will be lost in a large room. Bring home samples of wallpaper or wallpaper books to see what patterns work best for your purposes. View them in both natural and artificial light.

4. Preparing to work

  • Before you begin wallpapering, remove as much furniture as possible. Spread a drop cloth on the floor, and cover remaining furniture.
  • Plug work lights into an outlet in an adjoining room, and shut off electrical power to circuits in the room to be papered.
  • Remove all mounted light fixtures, register covers and light-switch and electrical-outlet cover plates.
  • Finally, lay out all of the tools you will need: tape measure, plumb line or chalk line, pencil, utility knife and blades, broad knife, smoothing brush, smoother blade, seam roller, bucket, sponge, rag, step stool or ladder and worktable.

Creating a new room can be this easy. Follow these simple steps, and you'll be wallpapering in no time!

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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