How to hang wallpaper


Wallpaper can hide a multitude of sins from previous tenants or hideous choices of paint colour. However, we all know that wallpapering takes time and effort and can cause you a whole lot of stress.

Just a medium sized room can take a weekend to strip and a day to hang all the paper if you are not a professional which just sounds like too much hard work. Weekends are sacred so if you want a beautifully decorated home without the hassle why not let Colours Complete bring all the equipment and do all the hard work so you don’t have to.

To give you an idea about how Colours Complete can decorate your rooms we have given a little insight below:

What you will need?

Wallpaper stripper
Paste bucket
Wallpaper smoothing brush
Pasting table
Decorating scissors / sharp Stanley knife
Dust sheet
tripping knife
Spirit level

Buying wallpaper

When buying wallpaper, make sure that each roll is exactly the same as the rest, including the batch number and shade number. It may be worth buying an extra roll than you think you need, it is better to have some leftover than run out.

There are many types of wallpaper including self-pasting, washable, and peel-able. You need to decide which is easier for you and ensure you read all the manufacturer’s instructions.

Roll Calculation

Use this simple calculation to determine how much wallpaper you need for a room:

  • Measure the perimeter of the room and then divide this figure by the width of the roll (X).
  • Divide the length of the roll by the drop + 10cm (Y).
  • Divide X by Y to give the number of rolls needed.
Preparation steps

Place a dust sheet down to cover the floor and furniture around where you are working.

If you already have wallpaper you will need to strip it away to ensure a clean finish. This can be tricky if it will not peel off dry. If this does not work soak the old wallpaper with stripper or warm water and detergent. Once the wallpaper is wet through scrap it off with a stripping knife. Colours Complete of course have a professional wallpaper stripper which can complete a room in a very short time.

You will need to make sure the wall is free from peeling paint or grease. Check for cracks and fill in necessary. Check for loose plaster and repair with a suitable plaster repair product.

Make the wallpaper paste – wallpaper paste takes about 15-20 minutes to mix properly until it is ready to use.

Hanging the wallpaper – Step by Step

Step 1 – Work out how many pieces of wallpaper you need and carefully measure the length required (normally the height of the wall) and cut from the roll, allowing an extra 100mm at top and bottom for trimming. To start with, only cut one length at a time. Wallpaper round the room in a clockwise direction.

Step 2 – Mark the back of the paper with a ‘T’ at the top, this avoids confusion. Use bulldog clips to hold the paper on the table so when you paste, it prevents the ends from curling back up or tie a piece of string, across the table, to the legs.

Step 3 – Place the first length of wallpaper on the pasting table and start pasting from the bottom working evenly over the paper working from the middle to the edges. Then fold the bottom over into a concertina, this will make the paper easier to work with.

Step 4 – Hold the length of wallpaper by the top of the wall and place it loosely up against the wall, leaving about the 100mm at the top, align the edge with the edge of a window frame or wall

Step 5 – Smooth the paper onto the wall with your paper smoothing brush, ensuring to disperse any trapped air. Run the back of your scissors into the crease between the wall and ceiling. Gently pull the paper away from the wall, enough to let you trim the surplus at the top using the crease as a guide, then smooth the paper back onto the wall with. To trim the bottom, use the same technique as the top.

Repeat the process for each length, ensuring that the edges meet exactly and the pattern is matched.

  • Always sponge off any excess paste with a clean wet sponge or it will dry as a shiny patch.
  • When you get to a switch or socket, make sure you first turn off the power supply to that unit.
  • Wherever possible take radiators off the walls. If this is not possible, cut the paper to the required shape to drop down over the radiator brackets, and then smooth it out using a radiator paint roller.
  • If blisters appear as the wallpaper starts to dry, it usually means there are air pockets underneath. Ease the paper away and brush it down again, expelling the air as you do so.

If you would like a free, no obligation quote email us or call 01453 752574