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Hanging wallpaper can make a big impact on your room depending on the colour and the design. As walls and corners aren’t often straight, don’t rely on them as a guide when you hang paper. Check out our other guides to hanging wallpaper.

Tools & materials required

Where to start Wallpapering

Ideally begin at the corner and hang your first length of paper on a wall with no doors or windows. That way, you can hang a full length from the ceiling to the top of the skirting-board.

Choose a wall to the right of the window if you’re right-handed or to the left if you’re left-handed. Also, it’s best to work away from the window, so the paper edges don’t cast a shadow if they overlap slightly. And try to avoid having to hang narrow strips against a window or door. If necessary, cut the first length in half vertically along the edge that’ll overlap the corner.

Last but not least, if your wallpaper has a large pattern, it’s a good idea to hang the first length over a fireplace or other focal point. Then work away from it in both directions to make the design central and symmetrical. Complete this area before papering the rest of your room.

 How to hang the first length of the wallpaper

It makes sense to take your time when hanging wallpaper. Be particularly careful with the first length – it’s important to get that one straight.

  1. Top tip – Wall plug markers

    Unscrew all your wall fixings before you start papering, but leave the wall plugs in place. Mark the position of each one by pushing a matchstick (with the head broken off) into the plug, leaving it slightly proud.

    As you hang your paper, bring it over the marked position and press the paper onto the matchstick to pierce the paper.

    Then smooth the paper with a paperhanging brush. When the paper is quite dry, remove the matchstick and replace the fitting.

    Top tip – Keeping your scissors clean

    Occasionally dip your wallpaper scissors into a jar of clean, warm water to loosen the build-up of paste.

    Step 1

    To position your first length of wallpaper, use a plumb line or spirit level to draw a line from ceiling to skirting board, 480mm out from the corner. This allows a 50mm overlap onto the window wall.

    Step 2

    Place your first pasted length at the top of the wall with its right-hand edge running down the vertical line. It’s easier if you can keep the left-hand edge of the paper off the wall.

    Try to leave about 50mm of excess paper above the top of the wall for trimming. Hold the paper at both sides and make sure you don’t let the lower paper drop suddenly as it could tear or stretch.

    Step 3

    After you’ve lined-up the right-hand edge, smooth the paper down with a paper-hanging brush. Work from the centre of the paper out to the edges, checking there are no bubbles and that the edge stays bang on the pencil mark.

    Step 4

    With the first length in place, crease the top and bottom of the paper against the ceiling and skirting board junctions. Gently pull the paper away from the wall and cut along the creases with wallpaper scissors. Then brush the trimmed edges back into place.

    Step 5

    Fit the next length against the previous one, matching the pattern at eye level. When you’ve got two or three pieces in place, run the seam roller lightly down the joins. But be careful not to press down too heavily on textured paper or you’ll flatten the pattern.


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