Hanging Wallpaper Like a Pro


Plan your papering

The first step to hanging wallpaper is an important one that is too frequently glossed over.

Unfortunately for first-timers everywhere, exactness is important in wallpapering. Small mistakes, if overlooked, can result in unfixable eyesores at the end of the process.

To start, you should work out the dimensions of the area you wish to wallpaper. While you might not plan on covering doors or other areas with wallpaper, these places must be included in your overall plan.

With this figure in mind, you should be able to figure out how many rolls will be necessary for your project. Dimensions vary between manufacturers, though, so it is important to check exactly how large your chosen style’s roles are.


Select a design

In picking a design, it is important to remember that wallpaper isn’t meant to be terribly interesting. It is meant to be easy on your eyes after a long day of work. Avoiding loud designs is, in general, for the best.

Personal taste aside, though, there are a few practical things to consider about the design you finally choose. The most important consideration is whether the pattern is simple and repeated, or if it is more complicated.

A simple patter makes it easier to ensure the design is matched from one segment to the next. A complicated design is much harder to align properly.

If you do choose a complicated pattern, make sure that you purchase about 30 percent more paper than your room’s dimensions would require. With a simple pattern, you are probably able to get away with buying about ten percent extra.


Equip your team

With your design picked and your paper at-the-ready, it is time to get stuck in! Once you have wrangled-up your papering posse, you will need to give them the tools they’ll need to succeed.

Here’s what you should be giving them: a measuring tape, a soft sponge, one angled paintbrush (not too thick), a flat paintbrush (thick), a ruler, a pencil, a right angle, a boxcutter knife, a wide scraper, scissors and a few rags.



Starting the hanging

The placement of your first piece of wallpaper is important to get right. It will dictate the placement of all the following pieces.

It is especially important if your design wraps around itself, because, unless you are very lucky, it is the one place your pattern will not be easily matched.

The best way to cover this up is to start in an area which will be covered by a wardrobe, or in a corner where the difficult-to-avoid pattern disruption will be less obvious.

After you’ve placed your first piece in the best location, mark the walls, and set the wallpaper aside. Now it is time to roll on the sealant.

Wallpaper sealant is much thinner than paint, and will drip unless spread quite thin. It tends to adhere best to primers made specifically for wallpaper–though this varies by brand.

Once the first section is covered with the sealant, you can place your first piece on the wall. Lift it by its uppermost corners and gently slide your hands down the sheet until it is fully adhered to the wall.

Don’t worry too much if the paper starts to slip–it probably means that too much sealant.

A bigger concern are air bubbles, which will almost certainly become caught in the wallpaper as it was pressed against the sealant-covered wall. To get rid of them, gently push the flat side of your scraped over the whole area of the wallpaper. This should force any bubbles to the edge, and out from behind the paper. Be careful, as some wallpaper can be easily ripped.

In placing your second–and all subsequent pieces–be sure to line up the patterns as closely as possible, and to give about seven centimetres of overhang between each piece.


Tackling the tricky bits


Once the majority of the wall is covered, you will need to tackle the difficult spots–like door frames and lighting fixtures.

To cut out wallpaper to fit around lights, it is usually best to trace out the shape of the object in pencil on the back of the wallpaper, and then to cut it out using a boxcutter knife.

Space for door frames, which have more regular angles, can usually be cut out with scissors, though marking out a straight line using a ruler is always the safest bet.

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