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DIY Projects - Where to start wallpapering

Decide where in the room you are going to start. If you are using a plain or lightly patterned paper then start at a window and work away in both directions as shown below in Blue.

If on the other hand you are using a large patterned paper start in the middle of a focal point such as a chimney breast and work away in both directions as shown below in Red.


Paper hanging order

DIY Projects - Wallpaper - Marking a starting point


Mark plumb line

If you are using a large patterned paper, first determine the focal point within the room. If the room contains a chimney breast measure the width of the chimney breast as this is the focal point within the room. Mark the centre, then hang a plumb line, mark off several points along the line and join them up with a straight edge. If there is no chimney breast mark the centre of the main wall then hang a plumb line, mark off several points along the line and join them up with a straight edge.

Hang paper

Hang the first length to one side of the line and then the second length on the other side of the line.
It is crucial that the first piece of paper is put on vertically as this is used as a guide for the following lengths.

Mark plumb line

If you are using a plain or lightly patterned paper, then measure out from the corner of the starting wall the width of the paper minus 12mm (1/2") At this point hang a plumb line and mark off several points along the line and join them up with a straight edge. Hang the first piece to the side of the line nearest the window, the extra 12mm (1/2") is turned around the corner onto the window wall and the second length on the other side of the line.


DIY Projects - Cutting & Pasting


Preparing the Paste

There are different pastes available, for vinyl papers use a fungicidal paste, this prevents mould growth. For all other papers you can use a hot or cold water paste, if mixing your own, check how much water needs to be mixed with a sachet of paste. This will depend on what type of wallpaper you are using. Measure the required amount of water into a bucket and sprinkle the paste into the water whilst stirring, this will prevent lumps forming. Follow the instructions for mixing times and standing times.

Once you have determined where you are going to start, set up your pasting table in a position that allows you clear access to where you are going to paper. Lay a dust sheet underneath and have a damp cloth and some water handy to wipe off any paste that gets onto the table.

Measure the height of the wall and add 100mm (4") to allow trimming later. Cut the first piece, if the paper has a pattern that needs matching up, then place the first length decorative side up on the pasting table and match the second length to it, allowing extra for trimming.

Paste paper

Lay the length decorative side down on the pasting table. Line up the end and far edge of the paper with the end and far edge of the table. At the other end let the rest of the paper fall onto the dust sheet. Paste the centre and far side, then pull the paper to the near edge of the table and paste the near side.

Fold pasted paper

Fold over the pasted end to the centre of the table then pull the un pasted paper onto the table and continue as before.

Top TipWhen using patterned papers, as you cut a length put a T for top and B for bottom, so you know which way up it goes.


DIY Projects - Hanging Wallpaper

Before you begin check the batch numbers on the rolls of wallpaper. If you couldn't get all the same batch numbers, but decided that this was the paper for you, then separate the rolls into batch numbers and make sure you don't mix batch numbers on the same wall.

Take the first length of pasted paper and with one hand align the edge of the paper with the plumb line marked on the wall, support the folds of the paper with the other hand to stop it stretching.

Line top

The top of the paper should be placed at the junction of the wall and ceiling (or cornice) with a 50mm (2") overlap for trimming. Slowly unwrap the folds and line the paper to the plumb line. Using a paperhanger's brush, work from the top to the bottom, smooth the paper out from the centre, removing any creases or air bubbles.

Mark overlap

Where the paper overlaps the wall and ceiling (or cornice) brush the paper into the angle. Using the blunt edge of the paperhanger's scissors to mark a trimming line by gently running the scissors along the paper.

Trim paper

Gently pull the top of the wallpaper away from the wall and cut along the creased mark with the scissors and brush the wallpaper back into place using the paperhanger's brush. Wipe off any excess paste from the wall or ceiling, then repeat the same at the bottom of the wall where the paper overlaps the skirting.

Hang the next length, butting it against the first piece of wallpaper, where necessary match the pattern before smoothing the paper into position. Do not allow the papers to overlap each other where they butt up otherwise the edges may not stick, and you will see the joins.


DIY Projects - Hanging Wallpaper - Internal corners

Internal corners should be papered with two separate pieces of wallpaper, overlapping slightly. When approaching an internal corner and the last drop is not as wide as the width of the paper, measure from the last drop to the corner add 12mm (1/2") and then trim the next length to this width. Don't discard the off cut. The extra 12mm (1/2") will turn around the corner onto the adjacent wall.

Hang paper 5

Hang the piece of wallpaper, butting its edge up to the last drop and brush the overlap onto the adjacent wall. Make sure it is brushed well into the corner. If the overlap has any creases due to the wall not being straight, then using the scissors cut small triangular pieces where the crease is, this will allow the paper to lay flat. Trim the top and bottom as normal.

Hang paper 6

When starting on a new wall always mark a new plumb line. If you are using the off cut from the previous length, mark a vertical line that distance from the corner. Hang the off cut to the plumb line, overlapping the strip of paper turned onto the wall. If using a new length of paper adjust the plumb line to suit the width of a new length.

When measuring the last piece, measure in 3 separate places, the top, middle and bottom. Add the 12mm (1/2") to the widest part, this makes sure there should be enough overlap, even on walls that are not true.


DIY Projects - Hanging Wallpaper - External corners

As with internal corners, external corners are unlikely to be completely square, so never try to hang a piece of wallpaper more than 25mm (1") around a corner as it will not hang straight. Always use two separate pieces of paper with a slight overlap. Use the same method as for internal corners except instead of 12mm (1/2") overlap allow 25mm (1"). Where the paper goes around the corner make a cut at the top and bottom where the paper meets the ceiling and skirting board, this will allow the paper to be smoothed around the corner without tearing the paper.

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