With a vast range of designs and colours available, wallpaper can breathe new life into any room. While paint has its place, it is hard to replicate the texture and pattern afforded by a high-quality wallpaper. Using wallpaper also has the added benefit of concealing any imperfections in the walls.

Hanging wallpaper perfectly to ensure that seams and patterns line up can be a notoriously tricky task. However, there are some techniques that can help homeowners to achieve a superior finish, as our professional decorators at Scott Anson Painters and Decorators Ltd. can attest!

Preparing the Walls

Much like painting, the walls should be prepared beforehand. They should be clean, dry and smooth, with any old pieces of wallpaper and fixtures removed. If the walls have recently been plastered, it is recommended to apply wall sealer. In addition, using lining paper will prevent the wallpaper from shrinking and showing unsightly gaps.

Once the walls are ready, it is a good idea to cover the floors and any pieces of furniture that cannot be removed from the room.

DIYers should also ensure that the rolls of wallpaper all have the same batch number. Rolls can differ slightly from one batch to another, ruining the overall look.

Hanging the Wallpaper Correctly

It is recommended to hang the wallpaper in one direction around the room for consistency. However carefully it is hung, the seam between the first and last sections will never match up perfectly. For this reason, the best place to start the process is behind a door; this will ensure that the last section is above the door and less visible. Although this is advised, it is completely up to you where you start.

When cutting sheets of wallpaper, it’s important to allow for shrinkage, with a two-inch space at the top and bottom. Each cut sheet should be laid facedown on the table and covered in a thin layer of wallpaper paste. The sheet should then be folded carefully in half without putting a crease in it, then set aside to allow the paste to soak in. This process is called ‘booking’ and the length of time required may differ according to the type of wallpaper.

The embedded infographic takes a closer look at the global wallpaper market.

DIYers should use a level to draw a straight, vertical line around ¼ of an inch past the point where the wallpaper should end. This allows for the paper to overlap slightly.

When the sheet is applied, it’s crucial to smooth out any air bubbles. The excess at the top and bottom should be trimmed carefully with a knife and the seams flattened with a clean roller. Continuing this process around the room will help to achieve a quality finish.