There won’t be paste flying everywhere and walls riddled with bubbles using this technique – you’ll have new walls in next-to-no time.
Wallpaper instantly adds colour, texture and striking patterns. But if the thought of doing it yourself evokes a sense of dread, time to meet ‘paste-the-wall’ coverings, the novice paperhanger’s new best friend! Paper goes on dry and sticks to paste applied to the wall. It doesn’t expand when wet like the old-fashioned stuff, so it’s less likely to bubble or crease – you’ll be decorating like a pro!
Gather your supplies:
Shibori Earth Grey Brick, or wallpaper of your choice
Wallpaper paste, to suit chosen paper
You’ll also need:
Crack filler; sandpaper; waterbased undercoat; wide scraper; pencil; spirit level; handheld paint mixer; bucket; paint roller, tray and brush; wallpaper smoother; knife with snap-off blades; sponge; seam roller
Check your wallpaper instructions for any special steps required.
For rough surfaces, like the rendered wall here, use a roller with long nap so paste fully coats surface.
Fill any holes and cracks with filler. Let dry. Lightly sand, then spot prime with undercoat. On rendered masonry walls, use wide scraper to remove any lumps. Lightly sand to make wall as smooth as possible. On plaster walls, only light sanding is required. Wash away dust and dirt. Let wall dry completely.
Tip: If hanging dark wallpaper on a light-coloured wall, even the tiniest gaps between strips will stand out. To avoid this, paint wall a similar colour to wallpaper before hanging.
Starting from 1 corner, use width of wallpaper roll as a guide to mark out positions of each wallpaper strip to be applied. If you end with a very narrow strip in opposite corner, adjust markings so end strips are even. Where 1 edge of first full-width strip will be applied, use spirit level and pencil to draw plumb line down wall.
Measure and cut paper strips to length required, allowing 100mm extra for each strip.
Prepare wallpaper paste following product instructions. If required, stir paste with handheld paint mixer for an even consistency. Let it stand for a few minutes, then pour a little paste in paint tray.
To hang first strip of paper, apply paste to wall using roller. Go slightly past plumb line drawn on wall. At edges where you can’t roll, use paintbrush to apply paste.
Bring first strip of wallpaper into position so long edge meets plumb line and there is 50mm overhanging at top. Press paper onto paste along top of wall. Double check long edge meets plumb line all the way down wall.
Starting at middle and working in gentle vertical sweeps, use wallpaper smoother to press upper half of wallpaper onto paste. Make sure to start in centre of strip and work air bubbles out to long edges. Repeat this method on bottom half of wallpaper strip.
Always work vertically when smoothing wallpaper. Working horizontally may twist paper, causing bubbles and creases.
Don’t try to reposition paper once you’ve started sticking to wall. If you make a mistake, pull entire strip off wall and start again.
Using knife, cut off overhanging wallpaper at top and bottom of wall by holding knife against edge of wallpaper smoother and cutting across wallpaper. Discard excess strips of wallpaper. Use damp sponge to wipe away any excess paste squeezed out at edges.
Tip: Regularly snap off knife blades so you’re always using a sharp blade. A blunt knife can easily tear wallpaper.
Repeat Steps 7–8 to hang next strip of wallpaper, making sure the pattern on new strip lines up with the first. Use seam roller to run across join between 2 strips to firmly bed down wallpaper. Repeat to hang remaining full strips along wall.
To paper corners, cut wallpaper using method described in Step 8.
To cut around power points, work wallpaper down over top of power point. Cut paper diagonally across face of power point to create 4 triangular flaps. Working on 1 side of power point at a time, smooth wallpaper to edges of power point using smoother. Use knife to cut off flap. Repeat for remaining flaps.
Check face of wallpaper in bright light and wipe off any excess paste.