DIY How To

How to Choose Wallpaper

DIY Projects - Choosing Wallpaper

When choosing a wallpaper decide what effect you want to achieve and take into consideration how practical it will be. Each room has different requirements and by choosing the right paper, you will be sure of getting the look and feel you are after for many years to come.

Top TipTry to make sure the batch numbers are the same on all rolls of paper. If not use the different batch numbers on separate walls.

Wallpaper for Painting

There are various types of wallpapers that are suitable for painting.

Lining paper
Lining paper helps to cover defects in the walls surface, providing a smooth and even finish for the wallpaper to be applied onto. If it is being used to line the walls in preperation for a finished paper, the lengths are hung horizontally, this prevents the joins in the lining paper from matching up with the joins in the wallpaper, which is hung vertically, thus preventing the paper peeling on the joins.

Lining paper comes in different grades from 400 to 1200 or more, the higher the number the better the quality and weight of the paper. Buy one that will be suitable for your walls. If you are using the lining paper as a base ready for applying paint to the walls, hang the lining paper vertically as you would any normal wallpaper. Using a lining paper as a base for painting has benefits in providing a smooth surface to paint and also makes it easier to change colour from a dark colour to a lighter colour. It is also easily removed with water when the time comes for a complete change. A good quality grade will be a lot easier to handle and less likely to tear when it has been pasted.

Wood chip
This is a budget paper and is not particularly attractive or durable, it consists of small pieces of wood sandwiched between two layers of paper. The thicker grades are easy to hang and provide good coverage for rough or uneven surfaces but it is not easy to trim to length and can prove difficult to remove. The thinner grades of wood chip are difficult to hang and are easily torn when wet.

This paper is imprinted with a raised pattern and comes in lots of different designs. It is easy to hang and provides good coverage over rough surfaces, again the thinner grades can tear when wet.

Textured vinyl's
These have a deep embossed surface pattern that makes them ideal for covering uneven walls, they are also hard wearing which makes them suitable for heavy traffic areas such as hallways and children's bedrooms. Some have nice delicate hints of colour so don't need painting, but you still have the option to paint over if necessary. These are very easy to hang but are usually a little more pricey than relief papers.

These are heavy duty wall coverings that will cover uneven surfaces and they are extremely hard wearing. Make sure you read the instructions before buying, as some have special requirements and techniques for hanging, also they are usually more expensive than most wallpapers.

Patterned Wallpaper

There are lots of printed wallpaper available, these are usually difficult to clean so are best used in low traffic areas, the cheaper thinner grades can also tear easily when wet.

Choosing a washable wallpaper is good for hallways, stairs etc where there is quite a lot of traffic. It is hard wearing and a thin plastic coating means it can be washed down if dirty. It is easy to hand and can sometimes be stripped dry.

Vinyl Wallpaper

This is very durable due to a layer of PVC, that enables the walls to be washed or sometimes scrubbed. It is very good for kitchens and bathrooms due to its ability to resist steam and mould. It is easy to hang and is strippable dry. When using vinyl wallpaper use a fungicidal paste to prevent mould growth.

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