Prep the Room

Watch the video below on how to prep the room.

Prepping a Room for Wallpaper 01:15

Here's how to prepare a room before removing wallpaper.

Step 1

Hanging the First Sheet

Draw a vertical pencil line on the wall surface at your chosen starting point. Check and recheck this line using a level (Image 1). Pick up the "book" of folded paper and unfold the top section. Position it against the guide line (Image 2). When you are happy that the paper is level, brush it down from the top and crease it into the junction (Image 3). At the same time, ensure that the vertical edge of the paper is precisely aligned with the pencil guide line. Unfold the book and work your way down the wall to the floor or baseboard. Be careful not to crease or tear the paper. Keep checking that the sheet is vertical (Image 4).

Use the brush to smooth the paper over the wall and remove any bubbles. Work from the center of the paper to the edges (Image 5). At floor level, use the brush to crease the paper into the junction between the wall and baseboard (Image 6).

Step 2

Trim and Join the Next Length

Brush back up the paper to ensure good adhesion. Pay particular attention to the edges and to removing air bubbles (Image 1). Trim at the top and bottom of the length using whichever method you prefer (Image 2). If you use scissors, mark the crease with a pencil line. Brush the trimmed edges tight against the ceiling and baseboard (Image 3). Use a clean, damp sponge to wipe away any excess paste from wallpaper surface (Image 4). Do the same for the ceiling and baseboard.

Step 3

Align Seams

Make sure that the pattern is matched at eye level; this keeps any pattern drop (or misalignments) at a high or low level (Image 1). Butt the edges together tightly, checking the seam as you work your way down (Image 2). Clean the seam with a wet sponge to remove any excess paste; do not apply too much pressure as this creates a shiny seam when the paper is dry. Finish off by gently running a seam roller up and down the seam (Image 3).

Step 4

How to Paper the Side of a Window Recess

When you reach a window, hang the next length of paper so that it overlaps the recess. Make horizontal cuts in the paper and bend the resulting flap into the recess (Image 1). If the paper doesn’t reach the window, it will be necessary to insert a further length. Using a utility knife, finely trim the paper so that it fits perfectly around the sill (Image 2). After cutting the ends, brush the flap into place and crease the paper into the corner (Image 3). Trim the edge so that the paper is flush with the window frame.

Step 5

How to Paper the Top of a Window Recess

Paste a short piece of paper on top of the existing sheet to create a flap to fold into the window recess (Image 1). Make sure that the patterns on the two sheets match. After cutting the flap, use a cutting edge and a knife to cut a diagonal line through both sheets of paper from the corner of the recess to the edge of the top sheet (Image 2).

Remove both pieces of paper, then peel away the bottom sheet and place the top piece onto the wall (Image 3). As always, make sure that the pattern fits perfectly with the edge sheet. Fold the remaining flap of the new sheet into the window recess. Brush out any bubbles and trim any ends with the knife (Image 4). Hang a whole length so that it overlaps the other end of the window. Create flaps and fold them into the recess as before. Fill in between the window sill and the floor. Trim the first and fourth lengths neatly around the sill.

Step 6

How to Paper the Side of a Door

When you get to a door, apply a sheet as normal. Cut out a rough area of the door with scissors, leaving plenty of excess paper (Image 1). Cut diagonally through the excess paper over the door to the corner of the casing (Image 2). Crease the top and side flaps into place, leaving the excess around the casing. Trim the excess paper from the top of the door frame, using a utility or trimming knife (Image 3). Continue trimming the paper down the side of the door frame (Image 4). Use the edge of the casing as a guide. Smooth the paper around the casing with the brush (Image 5).

Step 7

How to Paper Above of a Door

Hang a short length of paper above the door. When perfectly aligned, trim it against the ceiling and casing (Image 1). On reaching the other side of the door, use the same technique for the opposite edge, except do not trim along the vertical edge of the casing until the next full length of paper is hung. In this way it is easier to maintain the precise vertical position of the lengths and to trim accurately along the casing edge (Image 2).

Step 8

Negotiate the Final Seam

Measure from the edge of the first length into the corner and add 3/4-inch (Image 1). Transfer this measurement to a length of pasted paper and cut along it. Take the measured strip and hang it against the first strip you hung, matching the pattern carefully. Brush the other edge into and around the internal corner (Image 2). Carefully trim into the corner to remove the excess paper, and the top and bottom of the length (Image 3). Smooth the ends when finished, adding extra paste if necessary. The final edges may not match perfectly, but is hardly noticeable in the corner (Image 4). Sponge any remaining paste off the paper to finish.

Step 9

Papering Around External Corners

There are many other areas where precise measuring, cutting and trimming are required. In most cases, it is simply a further application of the principles demonstrated on those pages. In others, however, some special techniques are needed; the most common of these are illustrated here. As always, remember to turn off the electricity before working around lights and switches, and drain radiators if removing them from the wall.

Hang the paper so that it bends around the corner (Image 1). Slice the bottom to make two separate flaps, then brush the paper flat.

Hang a second sheet around the corner. Make sure it is vertical. Check that the pattern fits, then brush the second sheet flat (Image 2). Overlap the first sheet.

Use a straight edge (a metal ruler is ideal) to cut through both layers of the overlap (Image 3).

Pull back the overlap and remove the paper below. Then remove the excess from the top sheet. Smooth to reveal a precise butt joint (Image 4).

Trim the top and bottom of both sheets in the usual way. Remove any excess paste from the paper surface. Use a roller to secure the seam (Image 5). You are now ready to hang the next sheet.

Step 10

Papering Around Internal Corners

It is much easier to paper an internal corner with two vertical strips than with one. Start by folding a sheet into the corner (Image 1).

Brush the sheet flat, then slice the paper 3/4 in (20 mm) to the right of the corner to create two separate sheets (Image 2).

Move the right-hand sheet to one side, then trim the top and bottom of the left-hand sheet. Move the right-hand sheet back across and trim (Image 3).

Check that the paper is at the right level by comparing points of the pattern with adjacent lengths (Image 4).

Step 11

Working Around Radiators

Radiators can always be removed before papering, but it is also possible to simply work around them. Begin by securing the wallpaper as usual, pasting it to an inch or so above the radiator. Then allow the bottom section of the length to flap over the radiator surface (Image 1).

Cut the paper so that it will hang down slightly behind the radiator (Image 2).

Use a roller to push the paper behind the radiator (Image 3).

Step 12



Photo by: DK - Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Home Improvement, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Working Around Outlets and Switch Plates

Turn off the power. Hang paper over the switch plate (or remove the plate while hanging). Mark the position of the corners of the plate.

Cut two diagonal slits from corner to corner, creating four triangular flaps. Fold the flaps out from the wall and cut along the folds.

Loosen the switch plate by removing its retaining screws. Rotate the plate and feed it diagonally through the hole in the paper.

Smooth the paper under the switch plate. Reattach the plate and remove any paste with a sponge. Leave the electricity off until dry.

Step 13

Working Around Ceiling Lights

Turn off the power, then remove the light fixture and leave the wires hanging. Brush the paper across the ceiling to the wires (Image 1).

Make a hole in the paper where the wires stick out of the ceiling. Draw the wires through the paper. Continue smoothing down the length of paper (Image 2).

Finish hanging the paper, then reattach the fixtures. Screw the base back into the ceiling, making holes in the paper where necessary (Image 3).

Once the wires and base are secure, screw the final fittings into place. Leave the electricity off until the paper is completely dry (Image 4).

Step 14

Applying Borders Around a Room

Draw a pencil guide line on the wall at the height you wish the border to hang. Apply the border to the wall with a paperhanging brush (Image 1).

Overlap around corners (Image 2). Move the next length into place, making sure the pattern matches. Trim overlap precisely in corner.

Step 15

Applying Borders Around a Feature

Borders are often used to frame mirrors and other features. To make a frame, they need to be joined at right angles. Use a level to make sure the strips are horizontal and vertical. Try to cross the pasted strips through the middle of a motif to get an approximate pattern match (Image 1).

After placing the borders, use a straight edge and a trimming knife to cut through the overlap at 45 degrees (Image 2).

Remove the excess paper from the end of each strip. You may need to lift the border to remove the paper from underneath (Image 3).

Having removed the excess paper, flatten the borders against the wall and clean the final surface with a wet sponge (Image 4).

Step 16

Papering Around Stairwells

The most important consideration when papering a stairwell is to build a safe working platform. The design can be varied, depending on your needs. Pad the tops of the ladders to prevent damaging the wall. You will need someone to help you when hanging long sheets.