Top tips for successful papering

DIY decorating feels many with dread.

Sunday, 20th November 2011, 10:14 am

Papering walls has been a mainstay of slapstick comedy for years and still features frequently in pantomime.

But it’s not as difficult as it seems if you stick to a few simple rules.

l When buying wallpaper, make sure all the rolls have the same batch number because there may be slight differences between batches. To allow for mistakes and wastage, buy extra rolls, especially if it’s a discontinued or discounted line, or a patterned wallpaper.

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l You get more wastage with patterned wallpaper because of having to match up the pattern. It’s important to plan where you want the pattern to fall, especially if it’s a large one. The first length should be hung in the centre of a focal point, such as a chimney breast. Work outwards from this length, and the pattern should fall in an aesthetically pleasing way.

l One of the best ways to use wallpaper is to confine it to a feature wall – alcoves, chimney breasts, walls behind beds, etc, usually work well. If you’re papering more than one wall, make sure you choose a design which will not overpower the room, especially if the wallpaper is patterned and the room’s small.

l Paste-the-wall wallpapers are a good choice for novices because, as the name says, you paste the wall rather than the paper. This means you don’t have to wait for the paste to soak in and you don’t have to handle long lengths of soggy paper.

l Clear the room as much as possible before starting to wallpaper. This will make the job quicker because you’ll be able to get to the walls (and judge how the pattern’s falling, if you’re using a patterned wallpaper) more easily. If you can’t clear it, move the furniture away from the walls.