Uncle Bobs Tips

Wallpaper Techniques

Wallpaper Techniques

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Wallpapering is a great diy project because it's straightforward, simple and quick. It also gives the room a fresh look with relative ease. But before we get stared, let's walk through some of the preliminary steps and some wallpaper techniques that will get the job done right.

Choosing wallpaper

- Vinyl and fabric-backed wallpapers are the most resilient, but can be more difficult to work with. They require more precision, and specialized adhesive.

- For kitchen and bathrooms, choose a wall covering that is washable.

Estimating how much to buy

- When calculating how much paper you'll need, there are a few tricks. First, always estimate up because you will often need more than you figured, and finding the same batch can be difficult. Second, if using a pattern, understand that there will be even more waste than a plain color because you will have to line up the pattern (trimming off the unnecessary pattern in between). Your best bet is to buy an extra roll for emergencies or for touch ups later on. Third, you should check the lot/run number, code or label to make sure that all the rolls you are buying are from the same batch. This will ensure minimum amount of discrepancy in color and shade.

- A simple equation for estimating how much paper you will need is as follows. Add the length and width of your room and multiply by two. Multiply your answer by the height of the ceiling and divide the total by the usable yield figure (this is the amount of paper that you will be able to use per roll, allowing for pattern repetition- this is written on the roll). The number you get should tell you how many rolls you will need. I didn't take off for doors and windows. Some do, but I prefer to allow for overhang and errors. As I said before, I recommend buying an extra roll just in case. Going back for another one is the easiest way to get a mismatched color or pattern hue.

- Measure your wall length at a few places throughout the room as length often varies along the wall. Corners are also rarely even.

Setting up

- Clean your walls thoroughly prior to beginning this project. Stains from grease, smoke, or water can bleed through the paper if not cleaned and sealed properly.

- Tie a string around the width of your table at one end to prevent the strips of paper from curling up again.

- When marking the wall for your strip of wallpaper, make the mark thick enough so that two pieces of wallpaper can both be hung on that line.

- Remember to protect furniture and floor, this will get messy.

Hanging wallpaper

- Cut strips of wallpaper a few inches longer than necessary to allow for error and pattern alignment.

- Paste one side and then fold wallpaper book or accordion style.

- Use a roller or brush, starting from the horizontal middle of the paper and brushing back to the left and the right sides. This releases air bubbles and ensures the paper achieves complete contact with the wall.

- Occasionally, you will find wallpaper that requires the wall, rather than the paper, to be pasted. If this is the case, use a roller to apply the paste to a patch of wall slightly larger than the strip of wallpaper. This will allow you to paste and hang the next strip without getting too close to the previous strip.

Crafty wallpaper techniques

- Paint a thin line, the same color as your wallpaper, across the wall where it meets the ceiling (or molding). This way if your cut or application is not precise, the paint will show through the gap and blend into the wallpaper so no one needs to notice.

You're ready for the next step:

how to wallpaper

Also look out for our wallpaper tricks and wallpaper tips.

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