The wallpaper hanging check list

There is a myriad of advice available on the web purporting to be the best way to hang wallpaper. In the end it comes down to practice, patience and discovering your own technique. Rather than try and produce the definitive ‘how-to’ guide, we have created a check list to help you avoid those fundamental mistakes.

Firstly, for the novice, you will probably find vinyl wallpaper easier to hang. Vinyls are more forgiving if over-soaked or over handled. Whilst other wallpaper materials, being slightly less durable, requires a little more care. If in doubt give Holloway Painting & Decorating a call for a fast, competitive quote!

  1. Preparation
    Finish all of your painting before hanging your wallpaper.
  2. Move the furniture and lay out dust sheets or a floor protector.
  3. Get your tools together. Make sure your scissors/shears are sharp and free from old paste, this will dull the blades which results in tearing. Stanley blades may need changing if you are papering large areas.
  4. Check wallpaper batch numbers are all the same. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Strip old wallpaper but be careful not to damage walls or lined surfaces.
  6. Make sure all walls are sound, clean and dry. Fill any cracks and seal porous surfaces where appropriate. Use a lining paper on poor or uneven walls. Let the lining paper dry before you start to paper.
  7. Papering
    Decide where your focal point is in the room. For bold patterns start from the centre of say the chimney breast. For plain or small patterns, start behind a door.
  8. Before you cut, measure carefully, “measure twice cut once”. Always check that you have ‘drop’ to match the pattern before cutting your next length.
  9. Use the recommended paste and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Leave wallpaper to soak for the recommended time.
  10. Draw a straight line for your first drop using a plumb line or long spirit level.
  11. When hanging paper, take your time. Fold the paper carefully to carry to the wall. Position the paper so you have enough ‘trim’ margin above and below. Smooth the paper with a brush. Mark the trim lines by stippling into the ceiling and skirting edges.  Peal back and remove surplus paper from top and bottom using your shears. Carefully wipe away any paste from the ceiling and skirting boards with a wet sponge. Wash sponge frequently. Gently but firmly brush away any air blisters.
  12. Corners
    Never wrap a full width wallpaper round an inside corner. Always do it in two pieces.
  13. First, cut the paper drop so that it is 25mm wider than the required width. Stipple the wallpaper into the room corner using your pasting brush to mark the trim line. Peal back and trim off excess paper.
  14. Next, measure and mark a new vertical line on the adjoining wall using your plumb line. The line distance from the corner should be less that the roll width ensuring you have at least 25mm overlap in the corner to allow for trimming. Hang using the plumbed line as your guide. Stipple the wallpaper into the room corner using your pasting brush to mark the trim line. Peal back and trim off excess paper. Clean of any excess paste using your sponge.
  15. For external corners, follow the same technique, allowing a wrap-round of at least 50mm.
  16. Sockets and light fixtures
    Wall sockets and lighting fixtures. Turn off the electricity supply. Smooth the paper carefully around sockets and switches. Press the wallpaper firmly around the edge of the fitting, lightly mark the outline and trim away the surplus.
  17. Alternatively, from the centre of the socket of fixture, cut a cross in the wallpaper so the socket/fixture can just pass through the hole. Trim the excess paper allowing for a 5mm overlap so that the socket/fixture can be unscrewed slightly and the wallpaper tucked  behind before re-tightening. ENSURE THE POWER IS OFF!
  18. Ceilings
    Always do the ceilings before the walls. If possible get someone else to assist you. Use a ladder or platform. Do not overstretch. As with walls, mark a straight line to use as a guide. to start.