Tommy’s Tips – Hanging Wall Paper

Jun 19 2015

Tommy’s Tips – Hanging Wall Paper


As a right-handed bloke, I like to start hanging wallpaper to the left of the door, and work my way from there around the room, right to left.

Alternatively you could start between two windows, or in the centre of a chimney breast if you have one, particularly if the paper has a large and impressive pattern. On entering the room the prominent focal point is where you’ve set the paper out from. Once the starting point is decided, you must first draw a vertical line on the wall with a spirit level, rotating the level as you mark!

a2Offer the end of the wallpaper to the ceiling. Allow surplus paper for trimming both top and bottom. Pre-cut enough lengths (known as “drops”) to cover at least one wall. Check you have allowed enough paper to enable a match on well-spaced repeating patterns. Rollout all the drops you’ve cut face down on the pasting table, covering the whole table surface, so no paste gets on the table or the face side of the paper. Apply the paste using a large brush, brushing from the centre to the sides.

Carefully fold the pasted drops in a concertina fashion, paste to paste and face to face. Set aside the drops to soak, and apply a coat of watery paste to the walls. This is called sizing, and makes hanging wall paper so much easier, and helps prevent the plaster from soaking up the paste on the drops!


Offer the first pasted drop up to the ceiling, manoeuvring the drop parallel to the marked vertical line, allowing for trimming. Carefully brush the paper from the centre and towards the edges pushing out any trapped air bubbles, and do this to the whole drop.


Use a thin straight edge to tuck the paper right into the ceiling joint and trim with a very sharp craft knife (the snap off blade type are very useful for this, snapping the blade off for each new cut, repeat this process at skirting level. Repeat this process with each drop ensuring the pattern matches and the edges are butted together.

eHave a damp sponge handy to clean off any excess paste to the paper, ceiling and woodwork surfaces as you go, do not leave until later, as it will dry out and be difficult to remove!

dAlso remember sometimes wall paper patterns can be handed (left/right) ensure the pattern matches accurately before hanging it.


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