Before you get started

To work out how much wallpaper you need, divide your wall area by the area of one roll, which should be on the packaging.

Height of room x wall width = number of square metres

Square metres ÷ single roll area = how much you need

Add 10% for cutting waste (15% for large repeat-pattern papers). Most rolls are around 50cm x 10m in length, which equates to 5 square metres.

Check the wallpaper manufacturer's label to see if you will need wallpaper paste to hang the paper. If it is ready-pasted, you only require a wallpaper trough. In some cases you may not need either item as the wallpaper can be selfadhesive off the roll. The starting point is important to establish a balanced pattern. Start near a corner, or, for large pattern papers, centralise the pattern on a chimney breast or centre of a feature wall, for example.

Wallpaper can be applied to any sound, flat wall surface, but some manufacturers may specify lining the wall with lining paper first. Apply as wallpaper, but with no pattern to match!

You should not wallpaper over another wallpaper unless it is stuck down perfectly. Some wallpapers are peelable, allowing you to peel the top layer off, leaving the backing layer to act as a lining paper for the new wallpaper. Again, this is only an option if it is firmly stuck down. Any old, peeling wallpaper surface should be removed before repapering by using a wallpaper stripper.

Hang wallpaper


Paint the wall surface with 5:1 PVA solution (five parts water to one part PVA) and allow it to dry.


At the starting point, use a spirit level and pencil to draw a precisely vertical line on the wall surface.


Measure height requirement for first length and add 20cm to this figure. Mark length on paper and cut off.


Mix wallpaper paste in a bucket as directed for paste-the-paper or paste-the-wall wallpaper.


Apply paste to wallpaper ensuring even coverage. For ready-pasted paper, roll up the length and soak in water.


Loosely fold the length of pasted paper into a concertina, as shown. Allow the paper to bend, but not crease.


Let paste soak into paper. Normally around five minutes will do, but follow manufacturers' guidelines.


Move the wallpaper off the pasting table and wipe excess paste off the table using a clean damp sponge


Unfold the pasted length and offer it up to the pencil line. Position anylarge patterns to show the main design to best effect.


Smooth and align paper with pencil guideline. Brush from centre of length out towards the edges and from top of length to bottom.


At the top of the wall, crease the paper into the junction at the wall and ceiling. With the paper sharply creased, trim along the crease at the junction using a retractable knife.Or, pull the paper back and cut with scissors.


Remove any excess paste from the paper, ceiling and wall surface, with a clean damp sponge. Repeat step 11 at skirting board level to ensure a neatly trimmed edge along the top of the skirting board. Again, sponge away excess paste.


Measure further lengths by matching the pattern dry next to the previous length. In this way you will minimise any offcut wastage.


Cut, paste and add further lengths, taking care to match pattern at eye level. Tightly butt join lengths. Regularly sponge off excess paste.


At a door, allow paper to flop over corner of architrave. Cut to corner of architrave at wall surface level.


Crease the paper along both edges of the architrave. Trim in the usual way using a retractable knife or scissors.


At a socket or switch, first turn off the mains electrical supply at the consumer unit. Then loosen screws and plate.


Flop paper over fitting. From centre of fitting, make four cuts towards corners, but stop each cut 2-4mm from corner.


Trim off flaps and manoeuvre fitting through hole. Loosen retaining screws a little more if this helps.


Smooth paper. Do not allow paste behind fitting. Use a dry cloth to remove excess paste. Retighten screws.


When you reach objects such as radiators, allow lengths to flop loosely over the corner of the radiator.


Trim back the paper but leave at least a 10cm excess overlapping the front and side of the radiator.


Use a radiator roller to push the paper behind the radiator, carefully smoothing it down without creases.


At external corners fold paper around corner and pattern match a new length over top of first.


Maintain vertical with a spirit level. Slice through both sheets with a retractable knife against a steel rule for a firm edge.


Carefully pull back the overlap and remove the two strips of excess paper left as a result of the cut.


Smooth the paper back in place with a sponge to create a neat butt join along both straight trimmed edges.


At an internal corner, allow length to fold around the corner, then trim back to 1cm from the corner along length.


Crease trimmed length into corner. Use spirit level to ensure you start the next wall maintaining vertical.


Use overlap adhesive along corner. Remove excess with a clean sponge. Continue papering to finish the room.