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What is the best way to wallpaper a room?

It’s a wall with a fireplace, and we’ve measured up to know that if you start in the middle it’ll create thin bits at the edges that will look ugly. Do I start at one end and work through? Should I hide the filler bits on the fireplace sides? It’s a repeat palm print wallpaper. Decent advice for 10 points gratefully received.

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26 Responses to “What is the best way to wallpaper a room?”

  1. nicemanvery said:

    Work it so you’v either got a drop centered in the middle , or a joint !!

  2. BIG D said:

    Buy the services of a professional.
    Lot quicker
    Less pain
    More cost
    Speedier solution

  3. LYNDA M said:

    always start from left to right,you cant go wrong,that way you dont see any seems where the paper joins,good luck.

  4. lilabner said:

    Measure out from a corner the width of your paper and use a chalk line to make a straight edge down the wall, align to that, corner being your first hanging, then start to hang. Use a razor blade or a little V shaped corner cutter with a blade to get excess off of the corner. Be sure and press and get rid of all bubbles and then roll the edges–if big bubbles prick them with a pin. Source — ha in idiot years hanging roll after roll of paper for myself and for others.

  5. Tomahawk said:

    Buy or rent a centrifuge.

    Put the wallpaper, paste, brush, ladder etc inside, switch it on and just go nuts.

    (you may want to put a dust sheet over the fireplace.

  6. Stephen L said:

    This is how the professionals do it. Ideally, you work outwards from a drop centered on the fireplace, towards the corners. Only if this leaves very small strips at the corners, work from a seam.

    Do not try to flap a whole drop around the corners. Measure from the edge of the last whole drop to the corner – and don’t expect it to be the same top and bottom – houses aren’t perfectly square! Allow a minimum of 5mm to flap around. Then hang the other part of the cut drop, joining the cut edge to the other cut edge.

    At the internal corners, cut the first drop to overlap around onto the other wall, again by a minimum of 5mm. Then hang the remaining part of the drop, using a plumb line to re-establish the vertical on the machined edge and also overlapping the corner slightly. Then trim this edge into the corner. You will lose a little bit of pattern, but it won’t notice.

    I hope this makes sense – it is easier to demonstrate than describe!

  7. LJAY2000 said:

    Professionals start from the least visible corner of the room. If you have a paper with a repeat pattern the mismatch will happen where it is the least obvious. I need a better description of your fire place. Is it floor to ceiling? or does it have a mantle with wall above it? It may affect where to start.

  8. johncob said:

    Heres some tips…….., you wont need to ‘hide’ fillers…..
    First, How much paper? Check if the paper has a ‘pattern repeat’, if it has, when you measure your drop, ensure that you divide the Drop by the Pattern Repeat (say that comes to 6.5) and go to the next highest (7 repeats) 7* the Pattern Repeat is then the length of the drop, so you can work out ‘How many Drops per roll.’ From this, and knowing how many drops you need to go round the room, you will know how many rolls, then add one roll for later repairs. I never allow/subtract for windows etc, just to be safe
    Ensure that you buy all the same ‘Batch Number’, otherwise they may not match. For your first encounter, look for a smooth or sheen finish Vinyl paper, its a lot easier to handle. If the joining edge is on a vertical stripe, so much the better, it will hide the joints.
    Prepare your walls. Fill all the old nail holes etc, re-finish any old cracks, fill any wall to ceiling/ skirting gaps. Gently sand the walls, this will ensure you have no ‘little bits’ sticking out, as these will surely show up when you have finished. I use a power flat sander, little 1/3 sheet with medium aluminium oxide paper. Then run a vacuum brush over the walls to be double sure. If you have large areas of fresh plaster, seal then with a quick coat of say ceiling emulsion, gives a nice surface which will not suck the adhesive.
    Decide where to start. Good point would be about 2 inches less than a full width from a corner.
    12 inch paint roller
    4 inch or so paint brush
    Pasting table
    Edge roller
    Sharp (very sharp) Stanley Knife
    Flat plastic spatula. Get some thin plastic/Perspex, in the form of a triangle base 8 inches, top 12 inches, cut off the bottom 4 inches (like a rectangle with sloping in short sides) round off the corners, and ‘soften’ the edges…no rough sharp bits!
    Tape Measure
    Straight edge.
    Plumb Line
    Big bucket for paste

    Mark the wall where the edge of the first sheet will be (bear in mind, ‘decide where to start’) allowing your ‘not a full width’ to remain unpapered. Use your plumb line to define where the edge will be. Very important to keep vertical always. Draw line down the wall with straight edge.
    Cut your first sheet to length, you can always get it square by folding paper over itself where you need to cut and a little crease. Lay the paper face down, and using the paint roller, paste the paper (its easier than a brush, eh) You will need to fold the paper over itself (paste to paste) to be able to paste the full length.. Having done this once, fold over the last bit you pasted, re-open the first bit, paste again. This ensures you have a full coat of paste end to end, repeat to do the whole length. Now, ensure that the bottom is folded up to the middle, take hold of the top.
    Put the paper on the wall, make sure you have an overhang at the top, and your edge is on the plumb line. Smooth the paper with your hands , then unfold the bottom bit, from the back. Again, smooth the paper. Using the flat plastic spatula, ease out all the air bubbles (drag rather than push) and any excess paste, ensuring that the paper is on the plumb line. Now, the top and bottom overhangs… Push the paper hard into the corner with the long edge of the spatula, this will ensure it is fully in, then (at the top) slope the spatula down a little, press hard, use the Stanley Knife to trim the paper, over the top of the spatula. The spatula will guide the knife. The spatula will hold the paper while you cut, on the edges, cut to the middle rather than from middle to edge. Repeat for the bottom. Use the edge roller all round, to get the edges tight.
    When you hang your next sheet, ensure your pattern match and top and bottom overhangs. Ease the sheet into position, sliding it on the paste before you go in with the spatula. Carefully line up the edges to butt tightly, run the spatula over as before. Finally, use the edge roller on the joint and trim top and bottom.
    Going Round a Corner.
    When you get to a corner, you will generally find (by luck or planning) that you have maybe 8 inches too much to fit your current wall. Use a small strip the width of your paper, edge up to your previous sheet, mark how far round the corner it goes. Then, use the Plumb Line, work out which is the shortest length, come in about an inch towards the corner, and mark your wall with a vertical line from that point. Now, as before, hang your paper, butting the edges don’t worry about the bit going around the corner…. Simply, push the paper well into the corner with the spatula and cut it off in one piece. As soon as you have done this, pull the paper away from the corner, we don’t want it to stick. Take the strip you cut off, hang it on the wall, butting up to the plumb line(keeps us vertical for the next wall, eh) It should wrap round the corner, get it in well, hard down. You may need a bit of paste at this point, paste the top of the bit you just put in, and lay the first piece over it. You now have a neat corner, the ‘overhang’ is under the first piece you trimmed neatly. The corner is covered.
    Switches and Sockets
    Always SWITCH THE POWER OFF, remove the switch/socket (note the wires/where) Paper straight over, cut a cross slit, pull the wires out, reconnect (ensure wiring correct and terminals tight) Simply, now, replace the switch/socket. Restore power.
    Doors and Frames
    Depending how much will overhang, you have a choice of cutting the paper before you paste (if there is a lot) or cutting it on the wall. About 2 inches is ok. Having developed your skill cutting tops and bottoms using the spatula as a guide, simply push the paper well in with the spatula, angle it to give yourself some room, then cut from side to middle as before.

    No, I will not apologise for the length of this answer, if you have problems/queries, please call me on [email protected], even simple questions will be answered….good luck

  9. Mr T said:

    do it horizontaly no problem with corners, say it was it by the sunami,

  10. bass hunter said:

    if you dont know how to do it get someone who dose or it will be a mess forever

  11. woowoo said:

    start from centre of fire place but ping a line down centre and work either side of line

  12. Bob N said:

    get someone else to do it

  13. sam simeon said:

    Don’t do it like they did on “The Three Stooges”! LOL!

  14. gizzy said:

    the best way to do it is start over the fireplace get the middle of the fireplace and make sure that piece is in the centre of the fireplace and level mark the wall with a pencil using a level then all the room will fall in place and where ever your door is in the lounge work towards the door not away from it that way you wont see any joins and make sure you have a good thick paste fill in any holes with filler and then rub them down first take your time don’t hurry it always keep all your brushes clean and table paste free good luck i love wall papering its great i do all my own decorating my man not one bit d i y

  15. icelady said:

    I have a fireplace, just like you. But my friend starting in the middle of the wall.
    You need a good thick wall paper to hide all your lump and bumps.

  16. jimgdad said:

    The best way to decorate is, slowly with lots of careful preparation.
    Do all the painting before starting any papering.
    It may pay to line the walls with lining paper.
    Then start with a piece down the middle of the chimney breast and work away from it.

  17. bezattheswan said:

    Hi, I normally do the wallpapering myself, but if anything does prove too difficult, there is a chap called Paul Warner, he lives in the Bitterne area of Southampton, he seems to be brilliant at everything he touches, he has got to be in the phone directory, he lives somewhere by Bitterne Library
    he made a false ceiling for me once, excellent workmanship,and he was NOT dear, he really is good.
    Beryl Saunders

  18. JOJO said:

    you start with a plumb line in the middle of the fireplace and work outwards, this will give you enough paper on the corners to wrap around. good luck,

  19. luke r said:

    1 strip at a time LOL.

  20. rambo said:

    i’ve just finished my kitchen 2 hrs ago. on the fireplace you either drop the seam down the center of the firebreast(fig.1), or drop the paper down the center(fig.2)

    and if you can, always try and cut into a corner, it’s easier than trying to get the next piece to match up if the paper has been kicked out because the inside corner is not true.

    fig.i ….. l –>< -- l ............ l -->< -- l fig.2 ..... l -->< --->< -- l ............. l -->< ---><-- l

  21. VodkaChick said:

    My dad always said to start at the window and work round.

  22. yabyum11 said:

    Get a pro to do it, they will do it in a day.

  23. terrano said:

    If the wall to be papered is a different pattern from the rest then plumb the centre of the wall at the fireplace from there measure to end of wall each roll width always towards the window wall drop a plumb line down start hanging from there towards the fireplace and away from the window you must always work away from where the light comes from.

  24. curlyloxx said:

    if you haven’t done it before i think you need a professional, especially as its a patterned wallpaper going on a difficult wall.

  25. alittleminx01 said:

    i have always worked from left to right and always from a corner near to the window never from the centre of a fireplace or wall

  26. marleyspanner said:

    When papering a room it is advisable to paper away from the main source of light. When the paper is pasted it is quite pliable so do not be afraid to abuse it. I worked as a decorator for many years but in saying that when I moved into my present home I got the pro’s in to do it. I know it is expensive (about £40 per room) but if you are worried about messing it up, then the cost is worth it as long as the people you get have a good reputation. Good luck with it. Remember, you are the one who has to live with it and look at it every day.


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