Redecorating is always an exciting endeavour to undertake and there’s nothing more fun than seeing a new room take shape. They say that a change is as good as a rest and this is certainly true for living spaces as much as it is for life itself so if you are feeling a little bit disenchanted with your house at the moment, it could well be time for a bit of a makeover.
A really quick way to change the look and feel of a space is to order luxury wallpaper samples online and see what you can achieve in this regard. It might seem like a big job but wallpapering really does come together very quickly indeed and before you know it, it will feel like you’ve moved to a completely new house!
And you can even hire someone to come and do all the hard work for you if you’re too busy or doubt your skills and experience to get the job done properly yourself.
But, as with anything, if you’re new to the wonderful world of wallpaper it can feel a little overwhelming trying to work out what looks you like, what colours would work well and how much paper you should order. So to help make the task ahead of you a little easier, we’ve come up with a handy wallpapering guide that should take some of the stress out of it. Enjoy!
Before you start wallpaper shopping
Of course, you want to start looking through all the different wallpaper designs out there as soon as you can… that’s the fun part, after all. But you’ll find it all a lot easier if you consider the practicalities first.
So before you start whipping out the credit card and ordering all those beautiful wallpaper samples, you should give some thought to the room you’re planning on decorating as this will inform some decisions you need to make. If you want to redo the bathroom, for example, you’ll need to make sure that you’re choosing paper that has been made to withstand moisture and lots of splashing around.
If you’re redecorating the hallway in the near future, meanwhile, you might find it best to buy wallpaper that is able to handle lots of traffic passing through. The last thing you want is to buy beautiful paper that looks stunning but which will show marks up easily or even tear if someone brushes against it too heavily.
Once you know what you’re looking for in this regard, your next step is to look at the walls themselves. The walls need to be clean, free from cracks and be even throughout, so if you need to give them some tender loving care, do it before you start wallpapering. Of course, you can use lining paper to achieve a smooth finish before you apply the wallpaper itself, but it might be a good idea to ensure your walls are in good condition first anyway.
Familiarise yourself with the different materials
We’re spoiled for choice these days when it comes to wallpaper designs, materials and styles, so give yourself enough time to research your options. This way, you know you’re going to end up with a product that you love and which you will continue to love for years to come.
Vinyl wallpaper, for example, is printed on vinyl material, a very durable option that can be scrubbed down - so perfect for nurseries and children’s rooms, or perhaps the kitchen where marks are likely to be made. Grasscloth wallpaper, meanwhile, is made from natural materials and while it looks beautiful it can be harder to clean than other options out there.
How much paper do you need?
It’s vital that you take proper measurements of the room you want to wallpaper so you know how much to buy. Remember that different batches of wallpaper can be slightly different, so if you do run out because you’ve not bought enough you may find that the next batch is slightly varied in colour. This may not be noticeable once the room is decorated, but is it worth running the risk?
You need to multiply the height of your room by the widths in order to work out the total length of the wallpaper you need. Then divide this number by the length of the roll in order to find out how many rolls you’ll need to buy.
But you’d be wise to buy a few extra just in case, because you never quite know what’s going to happen - especially if you’re doing the wallpapering yourself. Having enough left over to cover any mistakes is wise.
How to apply wallpaper
If you’re keen to do the wallpapering work yourself, remember that success is all about preparation. Make sure that the surface you’re working on is clean and properly prepared, and always read the manufacturer’s recommendations for the kind of paper you’re working with as this will help you figure out what adhesive and paste you’ll need, as well as whether the walls need to be lined or not.
If there is already paper on the walls, this will need to be stripped before you can start hanging your new rolls of wallpaper. Make sure that old bits of paste and residue are also removed so the surface is flat. You don’t want to find little holes in your new luxury paper after you’ve hung it - that would be most irritating indeed!
Tapping the walls before you start to hang the paper is also advised. If you find you’re dealing with drywall (which will sound hollow when you tap it), make sure you don’t use too much liquid when removing old bits of paper. Tape all sockets over with plastic and that you switch off the circuit breakers for the room you’re working in, just in case liquid drips down into the sockets as you go.
Once the walls are ready, you can start cutting up your paper to fit the room you’re in. Measure the height of the wall but add 10cm or so to it as you’ll need to trim the paper once it’s hung. Use the first strip you make as a guide for the second.
Those of you wallpapering for the first time might want to consider this when buying your paper, as something with a pattern will need to be lined up correctly - and this could make the job a lot harder if you’ve never done it before.
Some kinds of wallpaper won’t need soaking on a pasting table, something else to consider at the purchasing stage. With these rolls, you just need to cover part of the wall with adhesive using a paint roller and then start hanging from the top corner of the wall right down to the bottom, smoothing out any bubbles gently using your wallpaper brush. Once hung, simply trim the excess off the bottom of the roll.
Anyone out there planning to hang wallpaper in the traditional way should begin by following the manufacturer’s advice for mixing up their paste. Place your wallpaper strips face down on your pasting table, then use your brush and work in upwards and outwards movements to apply your paste.
Check the instructions as it may bee that you need to give the paste time to soak into the paper a little. If your ceilings are tall and you’re working with long pieces of paper, you can fold it gently into a concertina in order to make it easier to hang.
You can help yourself in hanging paper straight by drawing a vertical line (in pencil) down the wall you’re working on. This means that your pattern will stay straight - very important for the look and feel of the room.
Take your first piece of paper and press the top half of the length against the top of the wall, leaving enough to trim at the ceiling. Smooth the length using your papering brush - and make sure that it matches up with the vertical line you’ve drawn.
Remove any air bubbles that you see and then use the end of your brush to tap where the paper meets the ceiling and skirting board. Then take your second strip of paper, position it next to the first and smooth it into place as you did before.
Discover some of the top trends in wallpaper design on the House Beautiful website now.