Where To Start When Wallpapering

When looking to add new life to a space, be that the bedroom, living room or hallway, a transformative yet attainable approach many homeowners opt for is wallpapering. For many, this is selecting a feature wall to elevate with a fun, colourful or statement pattern amongst other bare walls; however, for some, adding wallpaper to all four walls or even the ceiling (yes, really, it’s a trend!) is the path they take. While wallpapering is a popular decorative method, for beginners and even some pros, applying it perfectly can seem a daunting task and many questions are asked.

Where do you start?

How do you ensure a smooth finish?

How can I align the pattern for a professional result?

What happens if it all goes wrong?

Do not fret! Let's take a look at wallpapering for beginners, breaking down the essential steps and rules to follow so you can decorate with confidence.

Step One: Preparing Your Space

While you may be feeling mixed emotions of excitement to see the end result and apprehension just wanting the wallpapering process to be over, this is something that cannot be rushed. Before we begin considering opening your new paper rolls, you must prepare the space in which it is being hung.

To begin this process, you’ll want to clear the room; you may even take this as an opportunity to declutter, too. Ensuring your room is empty for wallpapering is key; not only does it give you the room to move around as needed, but it mitigates the risk of injury or damage, too. You must also make sure the room is prepped for the walls you’ll be decorating. Applying wallpaper to textured walls with peeling paint or holes and cracks is a big no. Ideally, your walls need to be smooth, clean and dry before beginning to lay your wallpaper. For those renovating an older home, try cleaning your walls to remove dust and debris. This can be done with a mild detergent mixed with water. You can also ensure your wallpaper adheres to your walls by utilising a primer or wall sealer; this works as a base and helps for long-lasting results.

Step Two: Gathering Your Tools

Now your space is ready, you need to ensure you are, and with this comes purchasing the right tools. The tools you use throughout your wallpapering journey will set the tone for not only the results but also the time it takes and how stress-free the process is. Tools you may require are:

  • Pasting Brushes
  • Rollers
  • Wallpaper Paste or Adhesive
  • Wallpaper Smoother
  • Stanley Knife
  • Scissors
  • Spirit Level
  • Measuring Tape
  • Sponges For Cleaning
  • Ladder

It’s essential to source these tools and materials before beginning your decorating.

Step Three: Getting Set Up

So now you have the room ready to go and the tools needed to tackle wallpapering successfully, and we can get everything set up to go. First, we need to know the height of the walls to cut and measure the wallpaper sheets correctly. To do this, we need the height and width of your walls while adding an extra 10%, allowing room for mistakes and or the pattern alignment. The key to successful wallpapering is making it manageable, and by this, you’ll be cutting your sheets into pieces you can easily hold and work with. When cutting your wallpaper, ensure it’s a little longer than the wall height so you can trim it to fit perfectly at the bottom. Finally, if you’re working with a pattern, lay out your wallpaper design on the floor to guarantee pieces are hung in the right order and match up correctly.

Step Four: The Wallpapering

Now it’s the fun (yet sometimes overwhelming) part - the wallpapering, but remember, always read the instructions provided with your wallpaper first.

Depending on the brand and type of your paper, the manufacturer may suggest applying paste directly to the sheets; however, others recommend putting paste on the walls first. Once you’ve added your adhesive, you can start to position the piece on the wall. It is highly effective to start from the top and work your way down. Now it’s on the wall, grab your smoother and run it along the design; this removes any air bubbles or creases in the paper for a smooth and professional finish. Once at the bottom, trim your edges to align with your wall's edges using your Stanley knife. Clean any excess paste and ensure all seams are stuck effectively. Repeat this process for all sheets until your wall is covered and you have the desired result.

Step Five: The Finishing Touches

Now that your wallpaper is up and your rooms are coming together, we can add the finishing touches of decor, frames, prints, and furniture. While your wallpaper may be a statement in itself, A2, A3 and A4 frames with wall art and prints will make all the difference, as well as cohesive sofas, dressers, shelving and decorative items too. Using the feature colours in the wallpaper, be that dark navy blue, fluorescent pinks and purples or a subtle neutral, match these to your accessories. Your wallpapers and interior will work hand in hand to create a house you are proud to call home.

In conclusion, with the right preparation, materials and instruction, there’s no need to call in the professionals to put up your wallpaper. By following these steps, you can achieve a professional-looking wallpapered room filled with personality and style, all while feeling the rewards of doing it yourself.

Looking to elevate the walls you’ve just decorated? Check out The House Outifit’s collection of best-selling wall art prints and find the perfect frames to match!

Finally and most importantly, take your time and have fun. Happy wallpapering!