A. Measure out the first length of wallpaper carefully, adding on 75-100mm for trimming top and bottom, ensuring a full motif starts at the top of the wall.
B. Subsequent lengths will need trim waste adding plus the pattern repeat, to ensure that it will be long enough to pattern match the previous length from top to bottom.
C. Check that the pattern is the correct way up, never assume that it comes off the roll the correct way up. Hang the first length vertically to the plumb line drawn on the wall. Holding at the top, gently open the paper and allow it to fall down the wall.
D. Position the top half and smooth it gently down the centre with a good quality paperhanger’s brush, working out towards the edges as you go.
E. Ensure that any air bubbles are fully brushed out. If this proves difficult, then gently pull the paper away from the wall and brush it down again.
F. Open the bottom fold and continue to smooth the paper down to the skirting.
G. Brush the paper tight into the top of the skirting and wall join before gently running a pencil along it to create a line for cutting. Carefully pull the wallpaper away from the wall and cut along the line with a pair of long decorators shears or scissors.
Another option is to brush the paper into the skirting and wall join, then holding the paper tight against the wall using a long ‘steel’, such as a wide width scraper or steel ruler. Trim the paper by firmly drawing a sharp trimming blade (keeping it a shallow angle) along the edge of the steel. (It is important that the blade is kept at a shallow angle to reduce the risk of tearing.)
TIP: Always cut paper into the angle between the wall and the skirting (or ceiling), with the aid of something to hold the paper tight against the wall. Otherwise the paper may snag and tear, resulting in a poor finish.
H Dilute off any surplus paste that contaminates the face of the paper, skirting board and ceiling with a damp soft sponge. Do not rub with a dry cloth, as this will smear the adhesive into the paper.
I Precisely position subsequent lengths using butt-joins. Do not overlap unless instructed to do so for double cutting purposes. See opposite for double cutting procedure.
Hanging into corners
As previously mentioned, corners are rarely, if ever, truly vertical. Never attempt to hang papers around them. Always hang them into two parts, decorating first into the corner before going onto the next wall and decorating back into the same corner.
A. To do this, first measure the distance in 2 or 3 places, from the last drop into the corner. Add 5-10mm to the longest of the distances measured and cut the length dry to that width.
B. Paste in the normal way and hang the paper. Fold the excess around the corner and brush tight in using a paperhangers brush.
C. On the next wall, measure the width of the piece cut off from the last drop and make a new vertical plumb line at that width for the corner.
D. Using the plumb line as a vertical guide, paste and hang the cut-off piece back into the corner, slightly overlapping the piece turned around from the previous wall.
E. Use an overlap or border adhesive for overlapping into the corners. This is particularly important when hanging vinyls.
F. On thick or heavily embossed papers it may be necessary to overlap and double cut. See below.
G. On external corners, particularly if using heavily embossed papers, double cutting may also be required.
Double cutting is often a good way of achieving a perfect, invisible butt-join. It is particularly useful when using thick or heavily embossed papers where an overlap would clearly show.
A. To achieve this it is necessary, having overlapped the papers, to use a sharp trimming knife and metal straight edge. Holding the straight edge down the middle of the overlap and pressing just hard enough to go through both layers of paper, draw the trimming knife from top to bottom.
B. Remove the outer trimmed excess, then lift the top layer clear and remove the underneath trimmed excess. Brush the two layers flat to the wall. Wipe off excess adhesive that will be on the face of one edge with a clean damp sponge.
Light switches and plug sockets
There are three ways of cutting around sockets. Full removal guarantees the best result, though some decorators prefer to save time through part or even non-removal.
In all cases the electricity will require turning off at the mains.
Full removal of switch plate
Remove the screws from the switch, undo the wires from the back and completely remove the plate, ensuring that the procedure for putting them back has been recorded. Then hang the paper over the hole and identify its location. Gently trim or cut around the inside of the hole leaving approximately 5-6 mm overlapping inside. Allow the paper to dry for a little while and then put the light switch back on.
Part removal of switch plate
Undo the switch plate screws just enough for the plate to be pulled away from the wall by about 5-10mm, without completely removing it.
Hang the paper over the top of the switchplate and identify (by gently creasing the paper around it) the switch location. Make a small hole in the middle of where the switch is and cut diagonally out towards the corners, using single clean cuts.
Cut past the corner of the switch by about 5-10 mm. This will allow the switch to be pulled through without tearing the paper. Once pulled through, trim the flapsleaving about 5-6 mm for tucking under the switch plate. Brush the flaps under the plate and re-tighten the screws.
Non-removal of switch plate
Leaving the switch plate in situ, hang the paper over the top and identify its position by gently creasing. Make a small hole in the middle of where the switch will go and cut diagonally out towards the corners using single clean cuts.
Cut past the switch by about 5-10 mm and then brush the paper down tight in against the angle between the plate and wall. (The flaps will stick up.)
Using a steel blade, such as a 4 inch scraper, hold the paper into the join where the switch and wall meet. Trim off the excess using a sharp trimming knife.
Hanging into recessed windows
Hanging into a recessed window is not as daunting as it may at first seem, so long as you accept that almost inevitably there is going to be some patching in. The important thing about patching in is that you identify, before starting, the place it will be best hidden. With conventional curtains this may be on the side wall recess, whereas if you’re using a deep valance or swags, it may be more appropriate to put it on the underside of the top recess.
To paper around a recess window follow these steps:
Hang the length that will go into the recess and cut horizontal cuts, top and bottom, to allow the spare piece to be brushed into the recess.
Butt join the next piece above the window and turn under the recess and trim-up.
Butt join the next piece below the window and trim. Continue with this sequence until the other side of the window is reached.
Hanging the final length for the other side of the window is as piece 1.
Cut the fill in pieces, slightly over-sized, to allow for underlapping the paper already hung. Firstly, peel back the edges of the full drops and then paste, position and trim the pieces, ensuring that any pattern match is accounted for, before brushing back down the edges of the full drops. If need be, use double cut technique as illustrated above.