Wallpapering for the first time....

And so the time has come in my life where I feel the need to wall paper a wall. But...

  • What if it's wonky?
  • What if we don't have a wallpapering table (we don't - but we have a long-ish kitchen table...)
  • How do you cut the paper straight and not have a wobbly top or bottom edge?
  • How much is the right about of glue?
  • How will I paper around the gas pipe thing that sticks out the wall a little bit?
  • Will we really have to take off the trunking?

Arrggg!!! I don't want to do it!!!!



  • Wall papering is fun, honest image

    Your kitchen table will be fine (just wash it down well aftwerwards).

    In terms of wobbly top and bottom edges - cut the paper so it's a bit longer than you actually need....then line up the top edge first, before smoothing it down the wall. When you get to the bottom, the paper will overhang the skirting a bit, so ou can then trim to fit.

    Simples image

  • My first effort at wallpapering is still up, some years later. I found I tended to push the paper together too hard at the bottom than the top, such that the last piece was not in any way square!

  • Thanks Saffy image

    But what if my ceiling wall is wonky, and I just can't tell? What if all the wall paper sticks together? And how does one sort out the end bit where you don't need a full width? What if I end up with just 2 inches?? Maybe I should measure first....

  • Google Wickes wallpapering tips...fact sheet that will be very helpful.image
  • get the missus to do it....image

    my attempts at wallpapering were shite so we have evolved a good method - I cut and paste, she hangs.

    alternatively pay a professional to do it
  • JEvaNs* wrote (see)

    Thanks Saffy image

    But what if my ceiling wall is wonky, and I just can't tell? What if all the wall paper sticks together? And how does one sort out the end bit where you don't need a full width? What if I end up with just 2 inches?? Maybe I should measure first....

    If you want to do it properly, tie a weight to a piece of string and let it dangle......will show you if your edges are wonky.

    Re the end bit.........you should finish up at a door frame, so like with the skirting board, cut a bit more than you need then you can trim it to fit.

  • Use a plumb line as Saffy suggests.  Do this for every sheet even if you are butting it up to the one next to it.

    Cut the paper longer than you need.  Don't forget any pattern repeat.  Line the roll up roughly with the pattern matching in the right place at the top of the wall so that you know how much wasted paper you need at the top.  Add this amount to the height of the wall and then add about 20cm on the bottom to make sure.  Measure twice, cut once.  Mark the top of the paper (on the back) with a cross so that you know which end you have in your hands before you try to hang it.

    Put plenty of paste on the paper.  Slap in on like Ruby Wax's make up.  You can never have too much paste, but people often make the mistake of using too little.  If the paper is too long for the table then paste one half, loosly fold the soggy bit over on itself (without it creasing) and then shift the paper up so that you can paste the other half.  It's easier to startpasting from the bottom end.

    Leave for the paste to soak in as directed on the packet.

    If you need to, loosly fold the paper so that it is easy to handle.  If it is full length then it will make a heck of a mess and leave paste everywhere if you don't fold it.  Line up the pattern towards the top of the wall and if you have help, get the second person to hold the bottom of the folded paper away from the wall and to take the weight.

    That's my bit done.  Then Hubby takes over the rest of it.

  • 1 - Draw a straight line down the wall and line the first piece of paper up with that line.  Use a plumb line to get it vertical.

    2 - Measure the walls so you don't get a join in the corner as it will be almost impossible to get a neat join.

    3 - Use a traditional paste, not a PVA based paste as they're really sticky and make it impossible to adjust the paper.

    4 - Make the paste up according to the instructions on the packet.  You will need to let it sit for a few minutes to thicken up properly.

    5 - Take your time and make sure you're happy with the piece you've just hung before starting on the next piece.  Mistakes will amplify!

  • bar a pasting brush, a plumbline and a decent pair of scissors to cut the paper, two other items are essential

    an edge roller to flatten the edges down where they butt each other

    a paper brush to push out any bubbles that appear and before the paste dries

    also - wash any excess paste off at the time you hang, don't leave it to dry

    finally - loads of tea and some good music
  • Wonder if he's started yet or whether we've frightened him off image
  • You lot are obviously very good at it  - how much do you charge?  image 

    I have never tried wallpapering as I prefer paint.

    Having said that, my walls are old and wonky so come decorating time next year I have the choice of an exciting adventure with either Smoothover or lining paper - still, at least it's plain! image  

  • Hanging paper is not difficult, as long as you prepare. 

    All the tips given above are good - particularly the one about using a plum line.  Rub coloured chalk on the string, then press or twang it against the wall to get a vertical line to line the paper up to.

    Also, really, really, do not trying to join strips of paper in the corner, it never works well.

    Don't be daunted by how floppy and heavy the paper feels when it's pasted, it does go into place and smooth out.

    Use something very very sharp to trim the paper at the tops and bottoms, or it can snag and tear.

  • My sister and I papered my bedroom when we were teenagers...it was that anaglypta stuff (bumpy patterns that you paint over) - by the time we finished there was no pattern left on it as we had brushed it too hard to make sure it stuck...except for one mysterious bump - turned out it was the pencil we had used when measuring the paper.
  • Wow, that's a lot of helpful information... Thank you!! I'm off to prepare the room now. It's only one wall we are doing, so no joins to worry about, but that plumb line thing sounds like a good idea.

    SuperCaz... Sounds like your 'bit' is doing all of it!

    Very nervous though!!

    Thanks all!

    Ps- I am the wife!
  • It takes Hubby longer to get the paper up, smoothed and cut in at the top and bottom than it does for me to do the rest.

    He is a perfectionist.

  • Hubby and I papered our son's bedroom when he was about 3. Neither of us had papered before. First bit went fine, full bit of paper, slap it on the wall, smooth it down. Sorted. Second bit...OMG there's hald a door frame in it. OK no problem, we can cope, we're grown ups after all. Slap it on, smooth it down, hack uselessly at the flappy bits, swear a bit, smooth it down again. Sorted. Third bit: FFS, OMG, there's the second half of the doorframe, a light switch and a radiator all in one piece of paper. Cry, swear, sulk contemplate painting instead.

    Took about an hour, but we did it. 4th piece...stuck the b*gger on upside down. image

    Oh top tip...if you've got to paper a chimney breast or other obvious feature, drop your first plumb line there, dead centre to the feature and start from that line. Otherwise, you'll end up with a pattern repeat that;s "not quite" central and it'll be pointed out to you for years to come.

  • when I bought the house nearly 20 years ago,,,,My OH and I tried decorating our bedroom........I was feeling ill at the time with a stomach bug and I soon realised my OH was useless papering....by the time we finished the room we had nearly seperated.............

    Since then we have had the house plastered so that I can paint it on my own..........

    i have managed to hang paper with my mother a number of times without any arguements

  • hi!!
    job done!

    thanks for all the expert advice... All considered and applied and we now have a Feature Wall. Yes you can see the join in places, but its not so bad. We had a nice time too (I asked husband to please be patient with me as I always over think and plan things lime this) and are very pleased image

    lots of tidying up to do now though image
  • Awesome well done! I *love* wallpapering - my mum taught me how, it's a useful skill to have! image
  • JEvaNs* wrote (see)
    (I asked husband to please be patient with me as I always over think and plan things like this) and are very pleased image
    Are you my sister?
  • Are you stalking me now? image
  • I've come to this late and you obviously didn't need my bit of advice which is to size(sic?) the walls.  Basically, "paint" them with paste before you try to paper them and let it dry.  It seals the surface and stops the paste from the paper just soaking into the wall and preventing you from being able to move the paper when it's up.  And if you are buying patterned paper, make sure each roll has the same batch number, not just pattern number otherwise you may get differences of shade between rolls.

    I've never been able to use a plumb-bob.  I could never get a straight line from one.  Using a spirit level you can draw a line - does the same.

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