To wallpaper (click for more wallpapering tips) a ceiling you will need ideally some form of platform to stand on.
You should be able to work wallpapering the ceiling without the worry of whether the platform is strong enough to withstand your weight or that it won’t topple over whilst you are on it.
Two pairs of trestles with a rigid walk board are ideal for the task, but you can still use step-ladders, preferably with an assistant using another set of step-ladders to ‘take the weight’ of the wallpaper while you move along brushing the wallpaper flat against the ceiling.
Either way, take great care you don’t lose your footing or lean out too far as even a fall from a relatively low height could result in an avoidable trip to the local A & E department.
How to wallpaper a ceiling
Start from what you consider to be the straightest edge on the ceiling.
Cut to length and paste the first strip of wallpaper (read: pasting and hanging that first piece of wallpaper), folding it into the concertina shape allowing 6″ (150mm) for trimming to length.
Once the wallpaper has had adequate time to soak, start to stick it on the ceiling brushing it flat with your wallpaper brush (you could try using a 21″ (565mm) piece of old broom handle to support the wallpaper as an easier alternative to the flat of your hand). Continue straight across the ceiling until the whole length of wallpaper is stuck down flat, then go back over the strip brushing out any trapped air bubbles.
Trim to length and brush into the edges.
If you are wallpapering the ceiling with a patterned paper, put a pencil mark on the wallpaper pattern on the strip already on the ceiling, say 12″ (300mm) from the ‘start end’ and then put a pencil mark on the next strip where the pattern matches up.
If you do this you will spend less time trying to match the pattern up whilst holding the soaked wallpaper up against the ceiling and therefore reduce fatigue on your arms.
This second strip of wallpaper should again be brushed flat and the edge should be butt up to the previous strip, making sure all the edge of the wallpaper is stuck down properly.
If the last strip of wallpaper on the ceiling is only narrow in width, then cut the whole length of the strip down to the required width plus 2″ (50mm), this will stop the weight of the soaked wallpaper from pulling it away from the ceiling before you have time to trim it to size.