DIY How To

DIY Projects - Wallpaper stairs

Papering on the stairs is more difficult than papering walls due to the problems associated with working at height.

Safety AdviceThe most important part of papering the stairs is having a safe working platform.

Stair ladder

There are ladders specifically designed to work on stairs, where the bottom of the ladders are adjustable so they can stand on different levels.

Access arrangement 1

Access equipment for stairs can be hired, but you can also construct your own safe working platform. An arrangement of ladders and scaffold boards can be adapted to suit the most common situations. Whatever your arrangement make sure you can reach everywhere you will need to without stretching.

Remove the stair carpet and screw a batten to stop the bottom of the ladder from slipping.

Trim around door

If you are using two boards at right angles, use G-Clamps or similar to hold them in place.
If you have to lean the ladders on a newly decorated wall, cover the ends of the ladders with clean cloths to protect the surface.

Paper order

Use a plumb line to mark a vertical line for the first length of paper. If the first length is adjacent to another wall then mark the vertical line the width of the paper minus 12mm (1/2") to allow an overlap of the adjacent wall.

Measure the longest drop, allow extra for the angle of the skirting and work from the foot of the stairs, paste the paper as normal and fold in a concertina style. Line up the top half of the paper to the plumb line and smooth out the paper but leave the bottom half hanging, or if you have a helper get them to support it. Climb down the ladder and smooth out the bottom half, trim in the usual way, remembering to allow for the angle of the stairs.

Paper head of stairs

When papering a wall where your platform obstructs the wall, hang two or three lengths but only smooth out the tops. Re-arrange the platform and then smooth out the lower sections.

Top TipChoose a wall covering that is hard wearing. You don't want to be redecorating the stairs every year.

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