How to wallpaper like a pro

How to wallpaper like a pro

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Of all the DIY skills, this is one of the best tasks to learn. As well as saving a fortune not having to call in the experts, you’ll also achieve a great sense of satisfaction when you’ve transformed a room and can tell your admirers “I did this myself!” So, once you’ve picked the paper you like and assembled all the equipment and accessories you’ll need – and we’ll explain exactly what – we’ll show you how to measure and cut the wallpaper correctly, add glue (either to the paper or the wall), and how to hang it so you end up with a professional-looking result. Let’s crack on!

Prepare your walls before you start

Time spent getting the room ready will reward you with excellent results. We’ll go through some of the things you will need to consider before you begin your project. And if you need help to inspire you to create a particular look, we have plenty of articles in our Ideas Hub for you to get some style inspiration, like our guide on Instagram interior trends for 2023, as well as hints and tips on redecoration advice on how to achieve a style that will stand the test of time. 

Checking the batch numbers

If you’ve chosen a pattern or a bold shade, it’s important to make sure that the wallpaper you’ve bought has come from the same batch, so the colour matches. Check the label to see if the numbers are the same. This applies whether you’ve bought the traditional type of paper or ‘paste the wall’. As the name suggests, it’s an easier method than pasting the paper, and could save you a third of your time.

Checking you have all the tools for the job

See our list below so you can grab all the basics you’ll need and be prepared. It’s worth drawing a vertical line down the very centre of the wall you’ll be papering so you can put up the pattern symmetrically.

Removing all the old paper

Yes, it’s obvious, but this will be the first step in uncovering what the wall beneath looks like. And that may have an impact of what you do next, for instance…

Giving the walls a smooth finish

Do you need to fill in holes or get rid of bumps? Are there stains or marks that you wouldn’t like to show through onto your new wallpaper? Would it be useful to put up lining paper first?

Checking where you have pictures on the walls

If you want to return your frames to their original position, some people recommend poking a used matchstick into the hole where the picture was hung, then papering over it. Once you’re ready to rehang it, you can run your hand along, find the hole, then reuse it.

Tools of the trade

We’ve assembled the essentials you’ll need to wallpaper like a pro:

  • Dust sheet or covering for your flooring
  • Ladder
  • Spirit level
  • Wallpaper
  • Paste
  • Pasting brush or roller
  • Wallpaper smoother
  • Knife or scissors
  • Pencil and ruler

Hang wallpaper like a pro

If you follow our simple nine steps, you should end up with walls you’re proud of. If you’re short, you may need some help with reaching the ceiling, and it’s always best to get someone else to check the stability of your ladder. We’ve assumed you’ve laid down the dust sheet to protect your floor, painted your skirting boards, if you need to, moved the furniture or covered it, and you’ll make every effort to keep yourself safe.

  1. Open the windows to ensure you have good air circulation, then mix up the glue according to the package instructions.
  2. Using your brush or roller, paste the paper and fold it loosely so you can carry it to the wall.
  3. Climb up the ladder with care.
  4. If you’re applying ‘paste the wall’ wallpaper, then obviously paste the wall instead!
  5. Apply the first sheet of the roll to the centre of the wall following that vertical line you drew.
  6. Using a wallpaper smoother, gently brush the paper from the centre to its edges to remove any air bubbles or wrinkles.
  7. Once the paper is fixed on the wall, snip off any excess using the ruler, knife or scissors.
  8. Apply the next piece, taking time to match up the pattern exactly. As you work your way around the room following these steps, you may need to think about leaving gaps for electrical sockets, window frames and adjusting to fit awkward corners. Use your pencil and ruler to mark the place, then cut the paper at a 45-degree angle. You can smooth out any joins afterwards.
  9. If you’re papering behind radiators or around pipes, leave enough length so you can match up the pattern first, then snip it to fit.


Tapi can offer you the finishing touch with a perfect new floor

And now you’ve got the wallpaper of your dreams, it’s time to look down to what some people call ‘the fifth wall’ – your floor. At Tapi we’re bursting with ideas of how to transform your home, especially finding a floor you’ll adore, one that will match with your new décor – check out our guide on how to match your flooring with your décor for more advice, or discover this year's top wallpaper trends! Pop in store to talk to our friendly experts who offer free, no-obligation quotes and advice. They know so much about carpets, laminates, and vinyl we call them floorologists!

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Published: 18-05-2023