If you’re turning your hand to home improvements ahead of putting your property on the market this spring, one of the quickest ways to transform a room is to add some colourful wallpaper.
While some people consider wallpapering a potentially complicated and awkward task, a combination of methodical planning and good organisation can make it infinitely more efficient.
Whether you’re covering an entire room or simply adding a new feature wall, our top tips will help you minimise mess and stress whilst achieving a flawless finish:
1. The first and most important step is to ensure each roll of wallpaper has an identical batch number. Different batches may vary slightly in colour and you may not notice until it has been hung.
2. Properly preparing your walls is also a crucial step – sand down any rough edges or nail heads and fill any holes with plaster.
3. Decide where to hang the first section of paper. Doorframes and corners are a good place to start, but if you choose to begin elsewhere, drop a plumb line (a small heavy object tied to hand-held string) to create a true vertical line, and mark along the wall with a pencil. This will provide you with a perfectly straight vertical to align your first section of paper with.
4. 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 as this can tear the wallpaper.
5. Make sure any repeated patterns align, so the design of one panel continues seamlessly into those either side of it. When working with more subtle patterns, take care not to accidentally apply any sections upside down.
6. If you have to cut the paper around a window or other obstacle, cut the paper while it’s still dry and check that it definitely fits before pasting.
7. 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 make sure animals are out of the way for the duration of pasting, and carefully clean up any spillages.
8. If you’re using paste-the-wall paper, slather paste across the wall and then press each sheet into place. For traditional wallpaper, clear a space at least six feet by three on a non-fibrous surface (smooth worktops or laminate floors are ideal), unroll a full section of wallpaper pattern-down, and apply plenty of paste, especially at the edges. Fold it up in a concertina pattern (pasted section to pasted section) to carry it to the wall.
9. Position the top of the sheet snugly 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 away excess paste with kitchen roll, and leave to dry. Any remaining air bubbles can be deflated the next day with a pin prick.
10. Always try to wallpaper in daylight with windows open or on vent, and fold dust sheets or newspaper inwards before disposing of them in a sealed bin.