Tag Archives: wallpapering tips

Wallpapering Corners

In a perfect world, rooms would have corners that were truly square and truly vertical, and it would be possible to hang a wall covering all around the room in a continuous operation, simply turning the lengths that ran into the room corners straight on to the adjoining walls. In reality, corners are seldom square or true, and, if the covering were hung in this way, lengths would be vertical on the first wall but could be running well off the vertical by the time they returned to the starting point. This would be visually disastrous, with vertical pattern elements out of alignment are corners, and sloping horizontal pattern features.

The way to avoid these problems is to complete each wall with a cut-down strip that only just turns on to the next wall. Then hang the remainder of the strip with its machine-cur edge against a newly drawn vertical line on the second wall, so that you can trim its other edge to follow the internal angle precisely. Any slight discontinuity of pattern will not be noticeable except to the very closest scrutiny, and the remaining lengths on the second wall will be hung truly vertically. The same applies to paperhanging around external corners


1. Hang the last full length before the corner of the room, then measure the distance to the corner front the edge of the length and add about 12 mm or 1/2 in.

2. Use a pencil and straightedge to mark a strip of the required width, measured from the relevant edge (here, the left one), and cut it from the length.

3. Paste the strip and hang it in the usual way, allowing the hand-cut edge to lap onto the adjoining wall. Trim the top and bottom edges as usual.

4. Brush the tongue into the internal angle. If it will not lie flat because the corner is out of true, make small release cuts in the edge and brush it flat.

5. Measure the width of the remaining strip, subtract 12 mm/1/2 in. and mark a fresh Vertical line on the adjoining wall at this distance from the corner

6. Hang the strip to the marked line, brushing the wall covering into the angle so that it just turns on to the surface of
.the first wall.

7. Use the back of the scissors blades to mark the line of the corner on the wall covering, then cut along the line and smooth the cut edge back into the angle. Use special overlap adhesive when using washables and vinyl on all lap joints.


1. Plan the starting point so that lengths turn external corners by about 2.5 cm/1 in. Brush the paper on to the next wall, making small cuts so that it lies flat.

2. Carefully tear off a narrow strip of the wall covering along the turned edge to leave a ‘feathered’ edge that will not show through the next length.

3. Mark a vertical line on the next wall surface, at a distance from the corner equal to the width of the wall covering plus about 6mm or 1/4 in.

4. Hang the next full length to the marked line, with its other edge overlapping the feathered edge of the strip turned from the previous wall

5. Brush this length into position, trim it at the top and bottom as before, and run a seam roller down the overlap(do trot do this on embossed or textured wall coverings).Again, use a special overlap adhesive with washable and vinyl coverings.

Wallpapering Tips

The first length of wall covering must be hung correctly if the decoration of the rest of the room is to go according to plan. The first thing to do, therefore, is to decide on exactly where to hang this. The usual starting point is close to the door, just less than the wall-covering’s width away from the frame, so that the inevitable pattern discontinuity that will occur on returning to the starting point can be concealed on the short join above the door. If you are using a wall covering with a large design motif in a room which has a chimney breast (fireplace projection), it is preferable to start paperhanging on the chimney breast itself so that the design can he centre don it. When papering only part of a room, the starting point should be just less than the width of the wall covering from one corner of the room, to allow the edge of the covering to be trimmed accurately into the corner angle.

Next, use a roll of wall covering as a yardstick and mark off successive widths around the room walls with a pencil to check that there will not be any joins on external corners such as the sides of window reveals. If these occur, move the starting point along by about 5 cm/2 in and then re-check the positions of the joins all round.

Finally, mark a true vertical line on the wall at the chosen starting point, using a pencil and a plumb bob and line. Failure to do this could result in the pattern starting to run seriously out of alignment as you hang successive lengths, with disastrous results.

Paperhanging on flat, uninterrupted walls is quite straightforward, calling only for the basic positioning and trimming techniques. Turning corners is only slightly more difficult. The trouble is that rooms also contain doors and windows, as well as wall-mounted fittings and fixtures such as light switches and socket outlets (receptacles). Papering around these obstacles can be fairly tricky, but there are procedures for dealing with them successfully.

Doors and window frames fitted flush with the internal wall surface present few problems; all that is necessary here is 10 trim the wall coveting so that it finishes flush with the edge of the architrave (trim) or casing. Where the window or door is recessed, however, you will need to do some careful patching-in of extra pieces in order to cover all the surfaces of the reveal. It is also important in this case to select the correct starting point, to avoid joins between lengths falling on the external corners of such reveals; always check this point before beginning paper-hanging, and adjust the starting point by about 5 cm/2 in if it will occur.

Paperhanging around electrical fittings (fixtures) is fairly easy. Always turn off the power supply to the accessory first. The idea is to make diagonal cuts over the faceplate, cutaway most of the resulting triangular tongues and tuck what remains behind the loosened faceplate. Do nor do this with vinyl (Oils, which can conduct electricity; instead, simply trim the covering flush with the edges of the accessory faceplate. In the USA, it is possible to remove wall plates and socket outlets separately without disconnecting the wall receptacles or switches, which makes the task of paperhanging around them much simpler.

Other paperhanging techniques

As well as the traditional method of pasting the wall covering on a pasting table and then hanging it, you may sometimes also need to use 2 other techniques. The first is hanging ready-pasted wall coverings, which are growing in popularity, and the second is hanging specialty wall coverings.

Hanging ready-pasted wall coverings could not be easier. The back of the wall covering usually a washable or vinyl type— is coated during manufacture with an even layer of dried paste. To activate this, simply cut the length that you need, roll it up with the top of the length on the outside of the roll, and immerse it in water. Special soaking troughs are sold by most wall-covering suppliers, and are intended to be placed next to the skirting (baseboard) beneath the point at which the length is to be hung. Fill the trough with cold (not hot) water, immerse the length and then draw it upwards on to the wall so that all the excess water drains back into the soaking trough. Hang and trios the covering in the usual way.

Many specialty wall coverings are designed to be hung by pasting the wall itself, rather than the covering, which some people find easier. Some types of coverings also have untrimmed edges, which need to he cut after overlapping adjoining lengths, but this is simple to do.


1. At your chosen starting point, use a plumb bob and line to mark a vertical line on the wall surface. Join up the pencil marks using a straightedge.

2. Fetch the first length of pasted wall covering, having left it to soak for the time recommended on the label. Carry it draped over your arm.

3. Unfold the upper flap and press the top edge of the length against the wall. Slide it across the well until the edge lines up with your marked line. Use a paperhanging brush (or a sponge for washables and vinyls)to smooth the covering into place, working from the middle outwards

4. Use a pencil or the curved back of paperhanging-scissors blades to mark thetrittuning line at ceiling level. Do the same at floor level.

5. Peel the end of the length away from the wall so that you can trim the excess using scissors. Brush the end hack into place. Repeat at the bottom.

6. Hang the near drop with the lengths exactly edge to edge. Brush the wall covering into the wall/ceiling angle and into the internal angle.

7. On the wall coverings, run a scant roller down the joins to ensure that they stick securely. Never use a steam roller on embossed or relief wall coverings, as this will affect the pattern.


1. Place the trough next to the wall, fill it with cold water and immerse the rolled-up length in it, with the top end outermost, for the recommended time.

2. At the end of the soaking time, grasp the top end of the length and draw it upwards so that the excess water runs off and back into the trough.

3. Slide the nip of the length into position on the wall, aligning it with a marked line or butting it up against its neighbour. Take care not to step in the trough.

4. Use a sponge rather than a paperhanging brush to smooth the length into place on the wall — this will help to absorb excess water from the surface.


1. On reaching a flush door or a window frame, hang the previous length as normal. Then hang the next length to overlap the door or window frame.

2. Cut away the unwanted wall covering to within about 2.5 cm/i in of the edge of the architrave (trim) or window casing, and discard the waste strip.

3. Press the covering against the frame so that its corner is visible, and make a diagonal cut from the waste edge of the paper to the mark.

4. Use a paperhanging brush to press the tongues of paper well into the angles between the wall and the door architrave or window casing.

5. Carefully peel hack the tongues and cut along the marked lines with paperhanging scissors. Brush the trimmed edges back into position.


1. On reaching a recessed door or window frame, hang the previous length as normal. Then hang the next length, allowing it to overlap the recess.

2. Carefully make a horizontal cut into the overlapping edge, level with the underside of the reveal, to allow the central portion of the length to cover the side wall.

3. On a recessed window, make a similar cut lower down the length, level with the top surface of the window sill. Trim it to fit round the end of the sill.

4. Cut a patch CO fit on the underside of the reveal, hip, enough to turn on to the adjoining wall and frame surfaces. Press it well into the internal angles.

5. Tear along the edges of the patch that will be covered when you brush the piece above the reveal and the tongue covering its side wall into place.

6. Trim the edges of the patch and tongue to meet the frame neatly. Hang full widths when you reach the other side of the reveal, and repeat steps 1-6.


Always turn off the power supply before you begin. Make diagonal cuts in the paper towards the corners, trim off the triangles and tuck the edges behind the loosened faceplate.

Wallpapering Ceilings

Many people regard the papering of ceilings with horror. In reality they are easier to deal with than walls because they are flat, do not have any awkward angles (except in rooms with sloping ceilings and dormer windows), and have few obstacles attached to them apart from the occasional light fitting(fixture), which can in any case usually be removed quite easily.

The only thing that takes getting used to when papering ceilings is working on an upside-down surface. The basic technique is no different from working on walls. The wall covering is simply positioned, brushed into place and then trimmed where it meets adjoining surfaces.

The most important thing to plan carefully is access equipment that will safely allow a complete length to be hung across the room. Nothing is more dangerous than attempting to step off of the chair; proper access is a must. The best solution is to use scaffold boards or lengths of staging, supported by stepladders, trestles or home-made supports to create a flat, level walkway spanning the room from wall to wall at a height that allows the ceiling to be reached comfortably. It will take only a few seconds to reposition after hanging each length, ready for the next.
This is also a job where an additional pair of hands will be a big help, at least before gaining the knack of supporting a concertina of pasted wall covering with one hand while:.-rushing it into position with the other— this can be done only with practice.

The first length should he hung to a guideline on the ceiling. The best way of marking this is with a chalked line against the ceiling at both ends snapped against it.


1. Paste the wall covering in the usual way, but fold it up concertina-fashion with the starting end of the length folded over on itself. Lining (liner) paper has been used here.

2. Hang the first length to a chalked line just less than the width of the call covering from the side wall. Support the folds on a spare roll of wall covering from the side wall. Support the folds on a spare roll of wall covering.

3. Trim the overlaps at the ends and along the side wall. Then hang the second length in the same way, butted up against the edge of the first length.

4. On meeting a pendant light fitting (fixture) pierce the wall covering over its centre and make a series of radial cuts outwards front the pierced point.

5. With the power turned off at the unscrew the cover and trim the tongues off, flush with the base of the fitting. Replace the cover.

6 Where the ceiling runs into an alcove, CIA the wall covering in line with the sidewall of the recess and brush it into place.’


The shape of an arch makes it impossible to get a pattern match along the curved join. It is best to choose a wall covering with a small design motif and a random pattern, to use different but complementary designs for the face walls and the arch surface, or to use lining (liner) paper inside the arch and paint it a plain colour.

To paper an arched recess, cover the face and hack walls first turning cut tongues of wall covering onto the arched surface. Then cover the arch surface as described below.

To paper a through archway, hang the wall covering on the two face walls and trim out the waste to leave an overlap of about 25 mm in all around. Make cuts in the edge so that the tongues can be turned on to the arch surface. Then cut a strip of wall covering a traction narrower than the width of the arch surface and long enough to cover it in one piece, and brush this into place. Work from the bottom of one side upwards to the top of the arch, and then down the other side. Always use special overlap adhesive with washables and vinyls.