Wallpapering Basics

Selecting your wallpaper

This is really a personal preference decision, but I would like to guide you in the right direction as there can be a couple of things that will make the hanging process less stressful.

The texture can be quite important depending on the surface that you are hanging your wallpaper on, a nice thick texture will hide any small defects and will make the preparation job a bit easier with less preparation required. Try to avoid thin wallpaper types unless your prepared surface is perfect or brand new. The other thing to look out for is the wallpaper colour/pattern. Patterned papers can look quite nice but be aware that they can seem a bit outdated rather quickly. You also need to spend more with patterned wallpapers as you can’t get as many drops (each piece you hang) per roll.

Wall preparation

I recommend that you remove all old wallpapers prior to hanging your new one. This removes any chance of bubbling of the wallpapers underneath. Spraying the walls with warm water (we just use a weed sprayer) is a helpful hint to get the walls soaked without making too much mess. A steam wallpaper remover can also be used.

When the walls are dry you need to sand them, fill any defects and sand those areas again. A coat of wall size is now required. The size helps you hang the wallpaper as well as makes life a little easier next time its time to strip the wallpaper again. Wait for the size to completely dry before hanging the wallpaper.

Preparing the job

Before you begin to hang, make sure you do these few steps:

  • check that the lot/batch numbers are all the same. A different batch number will result in a slight difference between rolls which may not seem like a big deal but when the wallpaper is hung it is very visible and looks terrible.
  • make sure you have the correct paste as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • make sure you plan out the job. Work away from the main source of natural light.
  • draw a plumb line at the beginning of each wall, especially if it’s a patterned paper.
  • calculate the required amount of drops required and cut them to length on the table face side down.

I recommend that you use a roller to apply the paste as this gives a more even coverage. The paste needs to be quite thick, follow the manufacturers specs.

Hanging the wallpaper

As you start to line up the paper with the plumb line, be sure to stay away from the line about 10mm. This will ensure that no pencil lead will get onto the face of the paper causing damage.

Use a plastic spatula or wallpapering brush to smooth out all of the bubbles. Trim the top and bottom with a straight edge and a cutting knife. Be sure to clean off any excess paste as it will blacken over time and looks horrible.