The new wallpaper will instantly decorate and transform your room. They can enliven walls with textures and patterns, refresh and visually expand the space. It would seem that it can be difficult to stick wallpaper? But, believe me, it is better to approach this matter responsibly and prepare in advance!
Before starting, make sure all your walls are clean and dry. Any “problem areas” (cobwebs, dampness) must be eliminated before gluing the wallpaper. Remove all nails and hooks with pliers. Fill any large holes with filler and smooth them out with sandpaper to ensure there are no burrs.
To properly paste the wallpaper, you will need:
At least the wallpaper itself. To make sure you buy enough rolls, measure the width and height of all your walls and then use the wallpaper calculator (you can find it online or download it as an app). The labels or manufacturer’s website of your wallpaper will have all the information about it, including pattern repeat (a measurement that tells you how far down the roll the pattern will match again), you will need this data to calculate how many rolls you need.
Wallpaper glue. Buy pre-mixed glue.
Wallpaper brush. Choose ones with a handle in the middle (roller) rather than those that look like large combs – they are easier to place in pre-made pasta tubs.
Plumb instrument. You can buy one from a hardware store or install a plumb-line app on your smartphone.
Sharp wallpaper cutter or clip-on blade and scissors. Using a knife is easier, but scissors are best for pieces of wallpaper that cannot be cut because they are soaked with glue. You will also need scissors to cut the paper off the roll.
And also: tape measure and pencil, a couple of clean napkins for gluing wallpaper to the wall, a table for wallpapering.
To start, select an “easy” section of the wall (where the surface is flat, there are no switches and sockets). If possible, start in a spot that won’t be as visible when you’re done (for example, if you’re planning on putting a large closet or sofa there). Expand the wallpaper, inspect for defects.
Measure the length of the wall you are going to wallpaper, and then add about 20 cm to this measurement with a margin at the top and bottom. Unfold the wallpaper on your desktop, then use a tape measure and pencil to mark the back of the paper so you know where to cut it. Fold the paper onto itself, make sure it’s even at the edges, and cut off the first strip.
Using a plumb line or application, mark a straight vertical line on the wall close enough to the edge of the first strip, but so that it is not obscured by the first roll of paper. Use this marked vertical line as a key guide when laying down the paper. Don’t rely on door frames, ceiling or baseboard as they will most often be at a slight angle!
The first part is ready, you can glue it to the wall. Lay the cut sheet face down on the table. Using a roller, apply a thin layer of wallpaper paste to the back of the paper. Do not let the paste get on the work surface, otherwise it will stain the next sheet (if stained, immediately wipe off with a barely damp sponge). Slide the paper all the way to the edge of the table to apply the paste to the ends and edges.
Fold the back of the paper over onto itself, with the top and bottom ends meeting in the middle. Make sure the side edges match up perfectly. Smooth out the paper as much as possible without wrinkling. Set the paper aside to allow the paste to soak in and the paper to “relax”. The exposure time depends on the composition of the wallpaper (more for vinyl-coated wallpaper, less for uncoated wallpaper), it is indicated on the label of the roll.
To keep the pattern of the wallpaper, try to glue in one direction around the room so that the pattern is preserved and looks even. Unfold the top piece of paper and hang it on the wall, then unfold the bottom piece and let it hang. Check the distance between the paper and the door frame or control line. Move the strip of wallpaper so that it is parallel to the door but still overlaps at least an inch or two in the corner. Then carefully tuck the paper into the corner on the ceiling. From top to bottom, smooth the entire sheet.
Use a craft knife to cut off the excess paper on the ceiling. Using a razor, make an incision above the knife to cut off the excess. Work carefully and slowly, alternate cutting and moving the knife, do not slide the razor and knife at the same time.
We stick further
Hang the strip in the corner. Overlap the next piece on the adjacent wall by 2cm. Measure to a plumb line and adjust the paper so the distance stays the same, smooth out the wallpaper. Hang up the next strip of wallpaper. Unfold the top and place it on the wall. Align the pattern as closely as possible, leaving a hair-width between the sheets.
Advice: Squeeze out air bubbles by smoothing the paper from the center outwards. Wipe the paste off the surface with a sponge.
Lightly press the top of the paper against the wall. Then roll the seam with a roller to smooth the edges. Now use your fingertips to close the seam. Unfold the bottom of the sheet and finish aligning and closing the seam. Then roll the entire seam tightly, working 7 cm from the edge. This will hold the seam in place so it doesn’t come apart when you flatten the paper.
On doors and windows, the wallpaper should overlap the molding by at least 5 cm. Using a razor, make an incision on the paper and then carefully slide the blade from the corner of the molding to the edge of the wallpaper. Use the molding as a guide. Press the cut edge firmly in the joint, cut off the excess paper flap with a clerical knife and razor. Smooth out the entire sheet.
How to fix common mistakes
If you are new to this business, you will make mistakes, but don’t panic. They can often be easily fixed. The most annoying and common mistake is accidentally cutting off too much paper while trimming the excess. Don’t worry – just go back to the strip you cut off, glue it back on, and then cut it again. Try to match the cut line as much as possible and avoid overlap. Put some paste on your finger and rub it over the junction. It will be much less noticeable when the paste dries.
Air bubbles can be avoided by smoothing the paper with a rag. If there are a lot of bubbles on the paper, carefully peel it away from the wall without removing it completely, and then smooth the bubbles towards the edge of the paper.
Peeling edges are a sign that not enough paste has been applied to the edges of the paper. Apply a little paste to your fingertip, gently lift the edge, then run your fingertip up and down the edge of the paper. Smooth the paper again with a cloth.