How to Wallpaper a Room

Wallpapering a room: a beginners' guide

Wallpapering requires a degree of precision, but need not be a difficult job if you equip yourself with the correct tools and are prepared to take your time — don't rush it. These tips will show you the best way to do the job right.

How to Wallpaper a Room

1. The essentials

Work out how much paper you need, add a bit for spare and ensure that the rolls all have the same batch number to be sure that they match perfectly.

You will need:

  • Plumb line
  • Paperhanger's scissors
  • Plastic bucket
  • Paste
  • Wallpaper
  • Paste table
  • Paste brush
  • Paperhanger's brush
  • Trimming knife (optional)
  • Sponge and some clean rags
  • Seam roller
  • Small scissors

2. Turning corners

Few corners are a perfect 90 degrees, but you can master the knack of papering them.

  1. At an internal corner, cut the length to 15 millimetres (3/4 inch) wider than the widest distance to the corner. Put it up in the normal way, using the brush to push right into the corner. Measure the offcut, add 15 millimetres (3/4 inch) and hang the offcut this distance from the corner on the adjacent wall.
  2. At an external corner, cut paper to wrap 25 millimetres (one inch) round the corner. If you try to turn more than this, the paper is likely to crease.
  3. After the corner, if the turned-round edge is vertical, butt the next drop of paper to it. If not, you will need to overlap it onto the turned-round edge, matching any pattern as best you can.

3. Hanging

Begin hanging on the wall next to the window wall (or the wall with the largest window) and work away from the light. This means that any slight overlaps won't cast shadows on the wall.

  1. Use the plumb line to mark a vertical line on the wall at the starting point. This should be at most a paper's width minus 15 millimetres (3/4 inch) from one corner of the room.
  2. Unfold the top of your first length and align its right hand edge with the vertical line, allowing 50 millimetres (two inches) at the top for trimming. Smooth down with the paperhanger's brush.
  3. Smooth down the middle first, then outwards towards the edges in a kind of herringbone pattern, working out any bubbles. Unfold the bottom part of the drop, and smooth it down in the same way.
  4. Use the back of your scissors to crease the paper where it meets the skirting and ceiling and trim to length. Butt the next length to the first, matching any pattern and pressing the join with a seam roller.
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