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1. Move Furniture

You finally have the new wallpaper in your hands,

and you can already see the finished product in your mind's eye.

All you need now is a fairy to grant you just one wish: to click your fingers and for the room to be adorned with the new wallpaper! Unfortunately fairies are in short supply lately, but consider this guide as the next best thing.

 

This is a clear step-by-step plan that should put your mind more at ease. The first step would be to start with moving your furniture (or any other obstacles) out of the way of the area you want to apply the wallpaper to. Ideally, the space you’re working in should be empty as this provides the most room to manoeuvre. If, however, this isn't possible, you can move smaller pieces of furniture to other rooms and move the larger objects (like a couch or an armchair) to the middle of the room and then cover them with a protective sheet. This method is also suitable if you just want to work on one wall.

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2. Inspect the Wall

You need to inspect the wall very thoroughly.

Can you see distinct colour differences or light/dark areas? Such irregularities can be the result of multiple treatments of the wall.

The surface needs to be clean, even, firm, dry and smooth.

Start by checking the cleanliness and evenness of the colour of the wall (i.e. look out for smudges and stains). Then check the firmness of the wall by applying pressure (i.e. by pressing your thumbnail against the wall and if small particles come off or a dent forms, then the surface is not firm enough for wallpaper). Check for dampness on the wall, as well as any signs of mould such as dark patches and mildew spots. Check the smoothness of the wall and be on the lookout for small holes or cracks. If the surface is slightly rough or textured then this may cause the wallpaper to lift and peel off. You can find a variety of products in DIY shops, which would help prepare the surface and even it out.

 

If after inspection you discover any of the abovementioned imperfections, then continue to the next step. If, however, your wall is in great condition then you can skip the next step and simply move on to Step 4.

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3. Fix the Wall

In order to get your wall to a great condition, you need to use filler to smooth over any cracks and small holes.

Ready mixed fillers or powder fillers (to be mixed with water) can be found at any DIY shop.

Each variety has its pros and cons, so you should make your decision based on the specific condition of your wall.

After you have filled the small holes and cracks and the wall is completely dry, then the surface needs to be primed in order to provide the ideal base for wallpaper application.

 

Depending on the condition of your wall, you will have to use either deep primer or thinned wallpaper paste. Water-based solvent-free primer is a better solution as it doesn't seal the surface (also in terms of the environment). Solvent-free primer can be colourless (unpigmented) or coloured (pigmented) and is available in canisters or buckets. It is to be applied with a paint-roller with a flexible telescopic handle.

 

After applying the primer or repainting the wall (and the wall's condition has been resolved) then you're ready to move onto the next process.

4. Gather the Equipment

The wall is now ready and it's now time to gather the tools you will need to apply the wallpaper. The following is a list of tools and utensils that might come in handy during the wallpaper application process, but it doesn't necessarily mean you will need them all.

Depending on your own requirements and methods, you could, for instance, choose a pasting brush instead of a paste roller.

Here is the list of the equipment that might be useful throughout the wallpaper application process: 

 

A Table (or other flat surface) to cut the wallpaper on | Wool / Rope | Measuring Tape | Sufficient Wallpaper Paste | a Ruler / L-ruler | a Plastering Spatula | a Paste Roller | a Pencil | a Cutting Knife | a Spirit Level | a Paint Brush | a Bucket.

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5. Measure the Wall

After all the prep work, you can finally get started on the actual wallpaper application!

So take a deep breath and look forward to the end result!

To make sure it all goes without a hitch, you have to measure the wall once more.

You already did that to determine the number of wallpaper rolls we need, but as the old saying goes: Better safe than sorry.

 

Use your folding ruler (alternatively, you can use a measuring tape, wool or even rope) to measure the height and width of the wall at various points. This can then be used as a reference when cutting the wallpaper. The highest part of your wall is the height measurement you should use for cutting the wallpaper. To be on the safe side, add 5 cm to the top and bottom end so you can deal with potential differences in the height of the wall, if necessary.

6. Find the Middle

After you've measured the height and width of the wall, then you need to figure out where the wall's middle section is vertically.

Applying wallpaper starts from the middle, especially when it comes to large patterns, the middle of the most prominent wall is the best place to start the wallpaper application process.

It's all connected to our visual perception.

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7. Section the Wall

Once you have located the middle of the wall, then it's time to use a measuring tape / ruler to divide the wall into sections of 0.5 m (50 cm). Start doing this from the middle and work your way outwards. The wallpaper is 0.5 m (50 cm) in width10 m in height and has a 2 cm overlap on each side.

8. The Sectioned Wall

This is what the wall should look like once you’ve completed this.

This will make it easier for you to determine how many rolls you'll need in order to cover the entire wall.

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9. Calculate the Number of Rolls

The number of wallpaper rolls needed is determined by the wall height and width. The following image illustrates how even though the walls can have the same width, the height changes and this affects how much of the wall can get covered by one roll of wallpaper.

 

If you want to know roughly how many strips of wallpaper you can cut off a roll, then you need to divide the length of the roll by the height of the wall (+ half a pattern repeat). The "pattern repeat" is the height of the repetitive pattern. The higher the pattern, the larger the pattern repeats.

The pattern repeat will be stated in the wallpaper label, e.g. 54 cm.

10. Roll Table

Here’s a quick guide on how many wallpaper rolls you will need for your project.

It would be advisable to get an extra roll (or two) for patch work and to account for any errors that may occur. This could also be handy for anyone around you who needs help with calculating the rolls for their wallpaper.

Sharing is caring, so post this for anyone who needs help and don't forget to tag us on socials.

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11. Determine the Pattern

At this point it makes sense to emphasise two issues that are important for the optical effect of patterned wallpapers. These tips are based on years of experience with accurately applying wallpaper and we would like to share them with you.

 

Before cutting the patterned wallpaper, you should first determine the start of the pattern in order to avoid cutting into the pattern or ending up with half a pattern repeat, as this would be detrimental to the overall effect. It would be ideal to have a complete image of the basic pattern or a complete pattern repeat to begin with.

12. Free Match

Arrow and Number 0 = Free Match.

The lengths can be used without paying attention to the pattern - similarly to plain wallpapers without patterns. You simply cut all additional lengths according to the height of your wall. There are no offcuts.

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13. Straight Match

You need to factor in the pattern repeat size and offset when working with patterned wallpapers. This is important as it ensures that you can make sure the pattern fits length by length.
Arrows facing each other = Straight Match
No pattern repeat offset needed. The pattern will be at the same height for all lengths of wallpaper. Cutting additional lengths: pattern is put on pattern in order to see if the patterns are parallel at the sides/edges. If the trestle table is not wide enough to do this, the lengths should be put side by side on the floor to determine the beginning of the pattern.
With this method, there should only be a very small amount of offcuts.

14. Offset Match

Two offset arrows = Offset Match.

The pattern will be moved by about half a pattern repeat for the next length of wallpaper.

For instance: if the pattern repeat is 50 cm, the offset will be 25 cm. This means that every other length is identical, i.e. length 1, 3, 5, etc. But length number 2 and 4 have 1/2 pattern repeat offset.

 

When cutting, this means: You can cut length 3 and 5 according to the first length (by placing pattern on pattern). For length number 2 and 4, you can check the offset by placing length 1 and 2 / length 3 and 4 next to each other on the table or floor. In order to reduce waste through offcuts (fairly high for this method), you should use a new roll for length number 2.

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15. Overlapping

All our wallpapers have a 2 cm overlap on each side.
This means that the wallpaper cannot be joined directly at the edges or the pattern's illusion will get disrupted. The wallpaper needs to overlap the next panel to match the pattern. If you don't wish to have an overlap on the wall you can try double cutting the seams. This is a  technique used to obtain perfectly fitted seams. This is done by overlapping one panel of wallpaper over the other until the image or patterns are perfectly matched. Then a sharp blade is used to cut through both layers. The excess edges are then removed.

To trim the overlap you will need a straightedge and a wallpaper cutting knife.
Make a clean, straight, vertical cut through both of the layers at the centre of the overlaps. You may need to frequently change blades (just snap off old blades).
Then peel away the waste on the top layer and lift the overlap and peel away the waste on the bottom layer. Smooth both layers back down, wiping away any surplus adhesive. The result will be a nearly invisible seam between the panels. The nice thing too is that the razor line itself doesn't need to be perfect. Just keep your eye on the middle of the overlap and keep going, slowly.
NB: Do not do this while the wallpaper is wet.

16. Cut the Wallpaper

You need to make sure the trestle table is up and the wallpaper roll is ready, along with a pencil, a cutting knife or a large pair of scissors.

For wallpapers with very delicate or high-quality materials, we recommend wearing cotton gloves during cutting.

Now, we can start cutting the first strip (or length). Put the wallpaper on the table, with the pattern facing up, and roll it out. The previously determined measurements can be marked on the table beforehand - or you can simply measure the roll and mark the paper itself. You can also use the wool / rope to help with the measurement.

 

Remember to add 5 cm at the top and bottom of the strip and check the pattern start, if it doesn't match the start of the roll then the cutting line will need to be adapted (again, plus 5 cm) first.

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17. Mix the Paste

Let's now prepare the paste.

Please refer to the instructions on the packaging to determine the exact mixing ratio of water and powder. The instructions will also provide information regarding the type of wallpaper used, the required amount of water, the range (e.g. square metres) you can wallpaper with the paste and the amount of wallpaper you will need.

 

If possible, use a special wallpaper paste bucket with volume markings as it will make the process easier. The mixing bucket or container must be clean and free of rust. It's best to use a receptacle that will hold more than the amount needed, to avoid "overflowing".

18. Apply the Paste

Stir the paste once more and dip the pasting brush in the bucket, making sure you don't "overload" it to avoid dripping/overflow. Start from the middle and brush out towards the edges so that it evenly covers the surface (including the edges).

Make sure that the paste is applied evenly and generously (without overdoing it).

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19. Hang the Wallpaper

It is important to be patient and very precise when hanging the first length of wallpaper, because it determines the outcome of the rest of the project. For instance, you need to pay proper attention to the marking line. Peel off the back of the wallpaper in sections, as the back is sticky and might stick to something unexpectedly. Once the first length is in place, you can use it as a reference point for all remaining lengths.You can hang the lengths of wallpaper immediately after pasting the wall. You shouldn’t wait too long as the paste will dry and you will have to repeat this process.
 
Carefully drape the folded strip of wallpaper over your arm and climb up the ladder. Align the length with the plumb line and don't forget to factor in the calculated overlap of 5 cm at the top of the wall. Gently stick the length to the wall and roll the folded half down towards the bottom. Now use a clean, dry wallpaper brush to smooth it out from the middle towards the sides.

20. Smooth the Wallpaper

Now comes the most important part of hanging wallpapers. You need to now smooth the length of wallpaper out on the wall with a wallpaper roller. Please do this carefully and don't use too much force - you don't want the wallpaper to move or slide. You will find a choice of rollers made from rubber, sponge rubber or foamed material in every good DIY shop.

 

Choose a wallpaper roller that suits the surface of your wallpaper (e.g. if you are working with very delicate surfaces, choose a wallpaper roller with sponge rubber or foamed material). Move the roller from the bottom up and from the middle to the outside edges to allow air to escape. A wallpaper roller is more effective than a brush when it comes to hanging non-woven wallpapers, where the paste has been applied to the wall itself.

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21. Cut Any Excess Wallpaper

Using a ruler, wallpaper cutting guide or spatula, press the upper and lower edge down and then carefully trim the overlapping paper with a cutter knife.

 

If the wallpaper is still very damp, sharp scissors should be used as the cutter knife could damage the wallpaper and make the whole process harder. Once again, use your wallpaper cutting guide or spatula to press the corners down. Gently pull the length away to place the scissors directly into the fold crease and trim off the excess at the top and bottom, then brush the length back into place. You might have to use a brush or seam roller. Work efficiently but don't rush it - this process is only possible if the wallpaper is still damp.

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21. The Edge of the Wall

Hang the paper just like you did with the previous lengths. Press it into the corner with a wide wallpapering spatula (alternatively, use a long ruler). Press the overlap onto the next wall. You always need to factor in an overlap as hardly any inner corners are totally straight, and if you were to put the length up flush to the corner, it could cause unsightly gaps. 

 

If you are covering more than one wall with wallpaper we would advice you to take a pre-cut wallaper length, align the pattern and put it up at the top of the interior corner. Cover the overlap of the last wall with the current length of wallpaper. Make sure you align the length with the plumb line in order to achieve a straight line. By putting the new length over the overlap of the previous length, you optically compensate for uneven corners. The overlap will not show through thin wallpapers, and this technique will not have an adverse optical effect on the general end result. If not the next step will show you how to cut the access material.

22. Cut Off Any Excess Wallpaper

Using a ruler, wallpaper cutting guide or spatula, press the upper and lower edge down and then carefully trim the overlapping paper with a cutter knife.
 
If the wallpaper is still very damp, sharp scissors should be used as the cutter knife could damage the wallpaper and make the whole process harder. Once again, use your wallpaper cutting guide or spatula to press the corners down. Gently pull the length away to place the scissors directly into the fold crease and trim off the excess at the top and bottom, then brush the length back into place. You might have to use a brush or seam roller. Work efficiently but don't rush it - this process is only possible if the wallpaper is still damp.

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23. The Finish Line

Now you can sit back and enjoy your wallpaper. Please give the wallpaper 24hrs to dry thoroughly. Spillages can be cleaned with soapy water. Don’t despair when blisters appear during wallpapering! These bubbles can have a number of reasons. Often, they are caused by surplus wallpaper paste or air bubbles under the paper, but you can usually get rid off them very easily. Individual bigger blisters can be dealt with by moving them to the side with a clean, dry, soft cloth, or clean fingers. Excessive amounts of paste that escape from the edges of the wallpaper can be removed with a slightly damp, clean cloth. 

 

Using a wallpaper syringe (or a bottle of wallpaper paste with a pointed nozzle) you can remove blisters by applying paste underneath the bubble. Paste nozzles (or “syringes”) are special wallpapering tools - they don’t look much different from medical syringes, but they are not sterile. They are designed to easily apply the gel-like paste. You can buy them in any good wallpaper or DIY shop. Make sure you get a high-quality model with a hollow needle made of metal. You can also get these syringes with a plastic nozzle, but they are unsuitable for thicker wallpapers. 

 

For large bubbles, you should use a cutter knife. Cut the blister in the shape of a cross. Now apply some paste to the back of the wallpaper and leave it to soak. After the soaking time, press the corners down. Most blisters and bubbles disappear after the wallpaper has had time to dry, so don’t worry too much. After all, you now know all the tips and tricks as to how to get rid of them, just in case.

24. Wallpaper Care

DO’S with Wallpaper Care:

• When cleaning, the wiping direction should be from bottom to top to protect the baseboard and prevent streaking.

• Wiping should be in direction of the vertical seams.

• Dry dust can be wiped off using a dry cloth.

• Spot clean by wiping off fingertips and other smudge stains around light switches.

• The stubborn dirt stains can be wiped off using  a clean damp cloth.

• Finish one section at a time. Let it dry and then work on the next.

 

DONT’S with Wallpaper Care:

•Do not use abrasive cleaners as they may ruin the wallpaper surface.

• Do not use abrasive materials.

• Do not use active solvent based cleaning agents, chemical based ingredients, lacquer thinners and nail polish remover.

• Avoid products that contain bleach as they will damage the wallpaper print and finish.

• Do not use hard scrubbers on the wallpapers as they may mar the surface.

 

Additional Tips:

Do not over-wet the wallpaper. Take care to keep water from soaking into Wallpaper seams. Remove stains as soon as possible. Use rubber gloves to protect your hands as you clean. With these basic care tips, your wallpaper will look pristine and last for decades hoisting your space’s style and energy quotient.

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