The right way to hang wallpaper

spring living room, wallpaper, muted colour palette of blossom and stone grey
How to wallpaperHouse Beautiful / Mark Scott

Choosing wallpaper is the fun part, but actually hanging it requires some skill and a great deal of prep. Interiors expert James Greenwood from Graham & Brown says: 'The preparation is a key part of the process, but once you’ve got everything in place, it’s a much quicker and simpler job than you think.'

Ready to get going? Follow this step-by-step:

1. Prep your space

Fill and sand any cracks or imperfections on your wall, then clean it with detergent or sugar soap. On fresh plaster, 'size' the wall by applying a diluted paste solution liberally and letting it dry. This will soak into the porous plaster and stop the paste from being absorbed.

2. Source your sunlight

Now you must consider the light in the room. If you are wallpapering the whole room, start where the light hits the wall and move away from there. If you’re creating a feature wall, this is less relevant.

a white desk and chair with a table lamp on it in front of a floral patterned wallpapered wall
House Beautiful / Rachel Whiting

3. Keep it straight

The first drop of wallpaper is key as all others will align to it, so it's important to ensure it’s plumb to the wall or the whole room could look wonky. From the left-hand corner of the wall, measure 50cm and make a pencil mark to give you your starting point. Using this mark, draw a straight vertical line using either a plumb-bob (a weight suspended from a string) or spirit level. This is what you will hang the first drop of wallpaper against.

4. Paste away

Apply the paste liberally to the wall, ideally with a roller as it's quicker. You can paste over the plumb line and make sure you apply it a couple of centimetres wider than the wallpaper you are about to hang. This means you can hang the second drop of wallpaper without worrying about applying paste over the first drop.

spring living room, wallpaper, muted colour palette of blossom and stone grey
House Beautiful / Mark Scott

5. Hang the wallpaper

The paper can be hung dry from the roll. Use ladders to get to the ceiling or coving and allow a little extra product (around 2-3cm) at the top. As you hang from the roll, lightly brush into place as you go down to the skirting board. Here you can lightly push the paper to the wall and cut it.

6. Repeat until finished

When you get to the bottom of the wall, check the pattern matches and there are no gaps. Repeat until you’re done. Don’t worry about taking breaks or giving up for the night. You can pick up wherever you left off – just be sure to reapply the paste.

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