How NOT to hang wallpaper!!!
OK, this is not what my initial idea for this post was. I was supposed to be giving you very handy tips on how to hang wallpaper. All the useful tips were suppose to be based on my very successful first ever attempt at wallpapering. Well… that DID NOT happen! What did happened was a lot of mistakes, ripped paper and tears. But somehow I still managed to pull this off and had a smile on my face at the end. So wiping tears from my cheeks, but still damn chuffed with myself, I started to wonder… Am I still in a position to give you any advice on how to hang wallpaper on the wall??? Well, of course I am! But maybe slightly tweaked. Because at the end, what’s a better way to learn things than on mistakes (and if they’re someone else’s mistakes that’s even better!)
So, let’s cut to the chase. Here’s you comprehensive guide to
How NOT to hang wallpaper!
1.Don’t do it alone! You need an extra pair of hands if you want to do it right. Unfortunately when I only mentioned about wallpapering I heard “No! We’re not having a wallpaper in our house! I don’t like it!” so I had to be little sneaky and did it while Mr Everything Has To Be White was gone ( I have to mention at this point, that is not out of ordinary in our house. Rob has this impossibility to imagine things before they’re completed. And so I make sure he only sees them when they’re completed! Although he did ask me last time if I had any plans for the bedroom. He said he wanted to prepare himself. Well, I guess the massive tin of ready-made paste might gave him a clue…)
2. Don’t just assume the wallpaper sample you’ve been so eagerly sticking all over the wall with a blue tag (you’ve been doing it, right?) is exactly the same shade as the one you have actually bought. Even worst don’t think all the rolls you’ve bought are the same. Check the batch codes before you start! I had a suspicious feeling that the wallpaper I got was slightly later shade than the sample I was so excited about. I only compared the sample against already wallpapered wall… Luckily, I still liked the effect, but it can save you from tearing your hair out if you’re trying to match the wallpaper to the colour of your walls.
3.Don’t try to be a smart ass! If you think you can hang wallpaper without the necessary tools – you’re wrong! And if they say you need a table – you need a table! I was a smart ass and did it all on the floor. NOT A GOOD IDEA! Especially the glue part! I had an oil tablecloth laid on the floor which made me think that I’m the king of the world, I’ve got it all figured out! Not such a king when you inevitably stamp onto the glue which by then is all over your floor. And you find yourself in a sticky situation. Literally! Ask your DIY eager friends. Surely someone has a wallpapering table you could borrow. If not, you can buy one for a tenner from Wilkinson.
4.For the same reason (minus the sticky floor) don’t start without a plumb line. Luckily that’s where I was prepared, but only after a chat with my lovely neighbour (who’s a life time decorator) made me realised how unprepared I was! The plumb line assures the straight line where you need to start wallpapering. It should be the side from the window (it’s the most likely to be the straightest wall in the house). But don’t start in the corner. Start from the other side of your first strip of wallpaper – that’s where you want to hang your plumb line. (Need a plumb line? Buy one on Ebay through my site or click here) My neighbour also lend me a special brush for smoothing a wallpaper on the wall (which actually turned out to be a very handy tool and I would strongly advise you to buy it).
5.NEVER, EVER try to climb a mountain made out of lots of different stools (or the exact same stools for that matter). Bring in the ladder! And if for some reason you only want to follow one rule, then follow this one! If you don’t have a ladder and you’re not 2 metres tall – don’t even bother starting! Not because it can’t be done. Because it’s just dangerous. Full stop.
6.When you finally realise you have to bring in the ladder don’t bang it on the ceiling lights, or walls, or you kids. (Yep! All three can be done easily. Sorry kids! And walls. And ceiling lights.)
7.Don’t just estimate how much wallpaper you need! Measure the length of the wallpaper you need and add ten or more centimetres to your first length. With every next strip of wallpaper you will need to add even more because of the pattern that you will surely want to match (you did not forget about that, right?) It should say on the instruction that comes with your wallpaper what is the pattern repeat but I would still advise you to check by matching before cutting. And then make sure that you don’t cut at the wrong side. Like I did and ended up with one strip of wallpaper being too short (luckily this bit is behind the bed so I may just forget to mention that to Rob and let him think how hell of a good job I did).
8.Don’t just use any rusty craft knife that you have found in the shed! Buy a new one! The old rusty knife will give you very unprofessional finish and a massive headache. The new sharp knife will give you straight lines. If I could magically turn back time and change just one thing, that is where I would go back to. But there’s no magic and I will have to live with a bit wonky, jagged lines (and try not to look up).
9.Don’t get too excited, too kooky, too confident and remember that you’re dealing with paper. It can very easily tear! It may only cost you time that you’re wasting on preparing an extra strip of wallpaper. But it could also cost you quite a lot of money (if you’re using an expensive wallpaper and that one strip means you have to buy an extra roll, ouch!).
10.Wallpapers come with little instructions on how to hang wallpaper. Finding it before you start (and not after you’ve done the whole wall!) and actually reading it can save you time!
After all this you probably wonder how it all turned out?! Well…, it didn’t turn out too bad! Actually, for a first time wallpaper hanger, it turned out pretty damn good. (Minus the few minor details, but who cares, right? By this time next year I’ll be an expert!)
Want to try to hang wallpaper for the first time but you can’t decide on the wallpaper? Check out the latest trends and the best wallpapers for every style and on every budget in my post here.