Wallpaper is officially in vogue again, and there are numerous designs to choose from nowadays. From budget floral patterns to designer damasks and textured mosaics, it’s possible to buy wallpaper to suit every room and price point.
Choosing the right wallpaper for a particular room or feature wall is a very personal decision, but the mechanics of hanging wallpaper can be made easy with a bit of planning. Firstly, ensure the walls themselves are in good order by sanding down rough edges, flattening nail heads and filling any holes with plaster.
Use a tape measure to calculate the distance between the top of the skirting boards and the base of the cornicing. Add three inches to this, allowing for slight deviations in wall length, before marking faint perpendicular lines with a pencil on the pasting side of the roll at these lengths. Cut along the pencil lines using sharp long-armed scissors – don’t use Stanley knives for this, because wallpaper tears surprisingly easily. Make sure any repeated patterns align, so the design of one panel continues seamlessly into those either side of it. If you have to cut the paper around a window or other obstacle, be precise with your measurements – cut the paper while it’s still dry, and then lift it into place to confirm it fits prior to the messy business of pasting.
Mix up the strongest wallpaper paste you can find in a bowl large enough to take your biggest paintbrush, and add slightly less water than the instructions suggest. Remember that wallpaper paste is highly poisonous, so shut animals away for the duration of pasting; carefully clean up any spillages, which can be hard to spot since wallpaper paste is translucent.
If the wallpaper you’ve chosen isn’t paste-the-wall, clear a space at least six feet by three on a smooth surface and apply plenty of paste to an unrolled piece of wallpaper. Fold it up in a concertina pattern, pasted section to pasted section, before positioning the top of the sheet against the bottom of the cornicing or ceiling edge. Smooth it down with a soft brush to iron out air bubbles and paste bulges, and carefully trim off excess paper at the bottom. Wipe down all the paste that’s oozed out with kitchen roll, and leave to dry – any remaining air bubbles can be deflated the next day with a pin.