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by Russ Ware

Roll of wallpaper, measure, colour swatches on table

Difficulty:                  Medium

Completion Time:     2-6 Hours (depends on size of room)

Tools Needed:          Pencil, Tape measure, Bucket and wide brush, Plumb bob or spirit level, Steps, Lining paper, Paper-hanging scissors, Trimming knife, Pasting table, Steel ruler, Wallpaper paste, Paper-hanging sponge.

Wallpapering a room is one of those jobs that, with the correct preparation, can be easier than it first seems. If you follow a few simple rules, it can be quite a straightforward job.


Get everything ready that you will need for the job.

Now measure the height of the room, add on about 100mm (4 inches) to trim at the top and bottom, and write the measurement somewhere you can easily see it (in case you forget).

If you are using heavily patterned wallpaper, it is a good idea to allow slightly more at the top and bottom to give yourself a better degree of adjustment.

Cut your first strip and lay it face down on the pasting table.

Where to start? 

The best place to start papering a room can vary.

If your room has a dominant feature (chimney breast, etc) start here, if not, start in a corner.

If starting on a chimneybreast, measure it and mark a straight line down the middle with chalk.

Use this line as a straight edge for the first strip and work outwards.

If you are starting in a corner, measure a distance equal to the width of the paper (minus 20mm for an overlap in the corner) and use a plumb line to mark the wall.

Line your first strip up with the line and work along the wall.

The First Strip

Apply the paste to the back of the first strip, working from the middle out to the edges. Try to give the paper an even coat and try not to miss any areas.

Fold the ends of the paper into the middle and leave for a couple of minutes to soak in.

Carry the folded strip over to the wall, climb your steps and allow the paper to unfold.

Hold the top of the strip to the wall, allowing for your 50mm overlap.

Slide the paper across the wall until in line with your vertical mark.

When it is aligned, use a paper-hanging brush to smooth the paper onto the wall.

Start by running down the centre, and then out to the edges to get rid of any bubbles.

Crease the paper into the angle between the wall and ceiling (or skirting board) and then peel the paper gently away from the wall.

Trim along the crease with sharp scissors or trimming knife and then brush the trimmed edges back into place.


A man hanging wallpaper

Finishing the Room

You now simply have to repeat this process, using the edge of the previous strip to align the next.

Slide the new strip to butt up against the previous one and use a seam roller to make sure the edges are firmly stuck down.

Each time you reach a corner, stop and mark the wall like you did for the first strip.

Door and Windows

When you reach a doorframe, press the paper into the angle between the wall and architrave (wooden surround of a doorframe) and use the blunt edge of a pair of scissors to get a nice clean crease.

Pull the paper away from the wall slightly and trim the excess.

Brush the trimmed paper back into place.

When papering around windows, it doesn't look like there is enough paper to go round. The secret is to cut two patches for the top corners of the window recess.

Apply these after you've covered the sides of the recess.

How to paper a ceiling





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