Since moving in to our new build I have fallen in love with wallpaper. The builders did such a fab job of painting the rooms that I was reluctant to paint over them, and I don’t think you can beat a crisp white finish. However, I am happy to inject a splash of character using wallpaper to create a feature wall.
I’ve tended to go for wallpapers that have a white background so they kind-of blend in to the adjoining walls. In our lounge I used Woods and Pears behind the fireplace. In our downstairs loo I chose a fuschia pink flamingo print. (I’ve since discovered that our friends use this as a way to persuade their little girl to go for a wee… “Come and look at the ‘mingos’ Ruby!”).
In our bedroom I went for a soft grey palm print. I don’t think I’d want to see such a crazy print whilst lying in bed – if there’s one place you need to be able to relax it’s the bedroom – but behind the headboard it works fine. And I have just used the cutest sleepy animal faces wallpaper in the nursery in preparation for baby boy’s arrival. I will reveal more over on Rock My Family soon…
Each of the feature walls have taken less than a day per wall and it’s a relatively easy task. I managed to wallpaper our bedroom with a broken finger and the nursery at seven months pregnant which goes to show that pretty much anyone can do it.
Now I can’t profess to being some wallpaper wizard however Rich’s dad has showed me the ropes and he has papered a fair few walls in his time. So hopefully these tips will come in handy for anyone who’s considering giving wallpaper a whirl…
Stuff You’ll Need
Wallpaper paste (I usually go for B&Q’s bog standard adhesive) and pasting brush
Wallpaper hanging brush
3-in-1 wallpaper hanging tool (this one is excellent)
Scissors or craft knife
And the wallpaper itself. Obvs.
Preparation is Key
1. Clear as much furniture from the room as possible. You need to be able to have a long stretch of floor to lay the paper onto.
2. Give the wall a good scrub down and sand away any lumps and bumps. I’ve also used a PVA/water mix on the walls the night before before wallpapering to ensure that the wall is extra sticky. Probably not necessary but good to do if you have time.
3. Measure the width of the wallpaper and draw a vertical pencil line down the wall to give you a rough guide of where it will need to be hung.
4. Slap on the wallpaper paste.
5. Measure the height of your wall and cut your first strip. I try to allow for about 10cm extra at the top and the bottom of the strip so it’s easy to cut off this excess paper in a clean line once it’s been hung.
Go For It!
Start at a corner – I find starting at the top left hand corner of a wall works best. It’s really important to get the first strip lined up properly as it will make hanging subsequent strips so much easier. As you’re applying the paper to the wall use a brush or the 3-in-1 tool to smooth it out and push any excess paste out from the edges. Once you’re happy the first strip is on straight, cut off the leftover paper at the top and the bottom so that the paper fits nicely between the ceiling and the skirting board. And now you’re ready to start on your subsequent strips – see #3 above.
Save All Scraps
This is one thing that really irks me when I’m in the process of wallpapering as I am such a neat freak that I would much rather be scrunching up the unused scraps and putting them straight in the bin. However if it hadn’t have been for Rich’s dad stressing that we needed to keep every single leftover scrap when we papered the lounge then my purse would be £78 lighter, because when we got near the end of the wall we were about five inches short. If it hadn’t have been for using the leftovers to fill in this gap I would have had to shell out for a whole new roll, of which mere inches would have been used. This would have seriously p*ssed me off!
And the same goes for when the job’s finished. Put all leftover usable scraps of wallpaper in the loft – you never know when a toddler will get Sharpie-happy on those walls and you need to re-wallpaper the smallest section.
Do let me know the wallpapers you’ve used in your house, or if you’ve seen any irresistible ones recently. I am currently trying to persuade Rich that we need Secret Garden (the wallpaper in the header image) up our stairs…how incredible does it look in this house tour?!