Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A Guide to Wallpapering

Whether you are wallpapering an entire room or just a feature wall, here are a few pointers.

It is quite straightforward to calculate how much wallpaper is required.
  1. Measure the height of room, either from ceiling to skirting, or picture rail to skirting.
  2. Add on the pattern repeat.
  3. Now measure right round the room. Check the width of the paper, most are generally 52 cm but some specialist papers will be wider width. Divide the width of the room by the width of the paper.  Now you know how many drops are required, ie pieces of wallpaper.
  4. Look at the wallpaper roll length. If you have measured 2.9 metres from ceiling to floor and need 31 drops, and your paper is 10 metre roll length- how many 2.90 pieces can you get from roll? In this case it is only 3 full pieces. 31 divided by 3 = 10.33333. So here you need 11 rolls. Don't forget to add the pattern repeat on if there is one! Allow at least the full repeat to drop.
If your walls are uneven, wallpaper alone won’t generally disguise that. There are various grades of lining paper which should be hung width-way around room as opposed to vertically. These will even out minor imperfections.

Again, if you find your walls- especially a fireplace wall- run out, avoid stripes or very regular patterns as these will emphasise irregular walls.

Although some wallpaper can come pre-pasted, I would always recommend using an extra adhesive if your walls are prone to damp- or you live close to the seaside. You really do not want all your hard work to come peeling off so easily!
If it is a specialist paper, do follow manufacturer’s instructions and purchase the recommended adhesive. Every good decorator will tell you it is worth it in the long run.

Allowing enough wallpaper to compensate for pattern repeat will allow your decorator to pattern match around your room. But, as usual, there are always exceptions to the rule. Very expensive handblock printed papers, like Farrow and Ball, may not pattern match – nor will natural Seagrass materials.
Also advise your decorator if the wallpaper is wider width as many decorators use a standard pasting machine which may often not accommodate wider paper.

Common mistakes made by either not chalking or overlapping the paper can result in a slight spread when paper dries on wall, and a light line showing the seam of paper becomes visible! There is nothing worse than buying a really expensive paper with a dark background and seeing every join.

Lastly, check if the wallpaper is reverse rolled, if not pointed out to your decorator this could result in the paper being hung upside down! I lost count of the times a decorator would bring a roll of paper in to ask me which way up the pattern is supposed to run. 

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