Uncle Bobs Tips

How to Wallpaper

How to Wallpaper

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Learning how to wallpaper is a simple diy project, one that won't even take you the weekend to complete. So if you're tired of the way your house looks or just want a change in scenery, read ahead to see how to hang wallpaper quickly and easily. Read my other articles for more wallpaper tips and professional wallpaper techniques.

What you'll need:

Primer, smoother (brush or plastic spatula), scissors, blade or exact-o knife, seam roller, water tray, brush or roller, paste (varies), ladder, spirit level or plumb line, sponges, yardstick/straightedge, sandpaper, clean rags

How to wallpaper like a pro:

1. Preparation

- Prepare the wall by making sure the surface is clean of dirt, oil, or water stains, or flaking bits of paint. Fill cracks and holes, and sand and prime rough areas. Also, remove any old wallpaper since wallpapering on top of preexisting wallpapering is a big no no (see wallpaper removal tips).

- Cover furniture and lay a large tarp down on the floor in front of each wall as you do it because wallpaper is a messy process.

2. Pasting the paper

- Cut a strip of wallpaper according to the measurements (see estimating and measuring wallpaper tips). Lay the paper flat on your pasting table, and remember you'll be working on one half and then the other half. Start by gently but thoroughly brushing paste down the center of the first half. Then paste the far side, and finally, the side nearest to you. When you've completely pasted one full half of your paper, fold from one edge to the center of the strip, being careful not to crease the paper. Lay flat and ensure that all areas are wet and covered to avoid drying out. Now do the second half of the paper the same as the first. You can also fold your paper accordion style. Nearly all pastes need to sit for a while, so read the instructions to see how long the curing time is.

3. Hanging the wallpaper

- There are different schools of thought as to where to start wallpapering from. For simplicity, let's say you are going to start at one corner (see wallpaper tips on how to choose the best place to start). Measure how wide your wallpaper is and draw a vertical line from floor to ceiling that measures this width minus approximately 2.5 cm/1". You can measure with a plumb line or a spirit level. Cut your wallpaper about 10 cm/4" longer than the floor/skirting to ceiling/molding measurements (basically the length of wall you want to cover plus 10 cm). Apply the past (see above), and carry your folded paper to the wall. With 5 cm excess hanging above and 5 cm below, hang the wallpaper on the wall using the drawn line as a guide. Press the remainder 2 cm into the corner using your brush or spatula, and allow excess to curve over onto the next wall. Be sure to make it nice and straight, as this strip will be your guide for all future strips. This means the overall symmetry of the job is dependent on that at initial pasting. Press down with your brush/spatula and smooth out any air bubbles or creases working from the middle to the outer edges.

4. For each subsequent strip, be sure to line up your pattern. Hang each strip just as you did the first (minus the overlap into the corner.)

Read about special conditions and dealing with obstructions. For the best job, I highly recommend reading our other articles on wallpaper techniques and wallpaper tips.

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