From this article, you will learn how to paste and hang the first piece of wallpaper when you start decorating a room. It’s important to get it right – the rest of the job depends on it. Before you start, put the pasting table on top of a dustsheet on the floor and have all your wallpapering tools ready to use nearby.
(It’s always a good idea to have all your tools to hand before starting any DIY job.)
Tools and equipment
To wallpaper a room you need the following tools:
- Wallpaper paste
- One or two buckets
- Large flat work surface or pasting table
- Tape measure
- Plumb line or spirit level
- Step ladder
- Pasting brush
- Utility knife
- Seam roller
- Large scissors
- Wallpaper brush
Before you paste the first strip of wallpaper, use a plumb line or spirit level and pencil to mark a vertical guideline on the wall. This line should be approximately 1/2″ (12mm) away from the edge of the first strip of wallpaper as shown in fig 1 below.
I always have two buckets or trays; one for the wallpaper paste and the other half-filled with warm water and a clean cloth for wiping down the pasting table after each strip of wallpaper has been pasted, thus ensuring no paste is left behind to stick to the next strip of wallpaper.
Read the wallpaper paste manufacturers instructions as it normally requires a short standing time when mixed, and different quantities of water are added to suit the wallpaper being used.
Cut the first strip of wallpaper to length remembering to add 6″ (150mm) for trimming and place it face down on the pasting table.
Check the wallpaper has the correct orientation, or in other words start to paste each strip of wallpaper from the top edge, apply the paste from the centre of the paper in a herringbone fashion making sure all the paper is covered.
The strip of wallpaper will more than likely be longer than the pasting table so when you have pasted as far along the table as you can you need to fold the pasted paper back on itself like a concertina (see fig 2).
Wipe away any paste on the table and slide the strip of wallpaper along the table and paste the remainder until the whole length has been pasted.
Set this strip down to one side and allow the paste to soak in – each roll of wallpaper usually has instructions with regard to soaking times and while it is soaking you can wipe down the table ready for the next strip of wallpaper.
(Wallpaper expands a little when pasted so the soaking time allows for this to occur before it is hung on the wall).
When the wallpaper has had adequate time to soak it is ready to hang.
Starting at the top of the wall, unravel the first part of your ‘concertina’ of wallpaper and stick it to the wall, all the time checking the edge is inline with your plumb line.
The first 2 – 3ft (600 – 900mm) of wallpaper can just be ‘tacked on’ to make it easier for you to line it up.
When you are sure the wallpaper edge is inline with the plumb line it can be brushed flat onto the wall using the wallpaper brush.
Now unravel each section of the ‘concertina’ of wallpaper brushing it flat as you go until you reach the bottom.
Go back over it brushing out any trapped air bubbles, again in a herringbone fashion from the centre, checking all the edges are stuck down.
Trimming the wallpaper
Now you are ready to trim the top and bottom of the strip of wallpaper.
Brush the wallpaper into the top edge as well as you can then using the back edge of your wallpaper scissors, run them along the edge (not pressing too hard as the wallpaper may tear).
Now pull down towards you the excess wallpaper and the scissors should have left an impression which will give you a guide line for trimming the wallpaper.
Once this is cut, brush the wallpaper back.
Repeat this to trim the bottom edge to the top of the skirting board.
Wipe away any paste that will probably be on the ceiling and skirting board using your cloth and warm water.
Video: How to hang wallpaper