How to Install
1. Before Wallpapering
Materials and tools you'll need
- Wallpaper (Here’s help on how to measure your walls)
- Paste. We suggest a good quality starch-based, ready-mixed paste. The amount needed is approximately 3 litres of mixed paste per 25 metre roll. (This equates to 12.5m2 or 5 x 2.4 metre drops of wallpaper)
- Roller and tray - to hold the paste
- Paste brush - for hard to reach places
- Spirit level or plumb line - to ensure the wallpaper is straight
- Soft cloth or sponge - for cleaning walls and skirting
- Smoothing brush or plastic smoother
- Greylead pencil - not pen or marker
- Steel ruler - to make a straight clean cut across the top and bottom
- Stanley knife
- Tape measure
- Bucket of water
- Dust sheet or floor protection
Prepare the walls
Preparing the walls properly will make sure the wallpaper sticks and doesn’t peel or pull away after hanging. And also helps prevent the wallpaper damaging the wall if it’s removed. If you hang wallpaper on walls that haven’t been properly prepared, the wallpaper may be bumpy, the edges might not line up, and the walls probably will suck all the moisture out of the wallpaper and paste. This will mean the paper shrinks and you’ll end up with gaps between hung lengths. Not great!
Different surfaces for hanging
Wallpaper can be applied to a lot of different surfaces, which each may require a slightly different approach, please check beforehand what surface you’re working with. We’ve listed a range of specific surfaces and the recommended approach here. Each method assumes a standard paper backed wallcovering will be used.
Remove existing wallpaper
Most wallpapers have a protective waterproof coating that makes them washable, but it can make the removal process more involved.
To break down the coating, scratch the surface with a wire brush or decorator’s tool to soften the adhesive beneath and make it a little easier to remove. Following the scouring process, apply a steam stripper to the wall. Once the paper is soaked, scrape it off with a stripping knife. Finally, wash down the entire wall with clean water.
If you’re removing vinyl wallcoverings, these are made up of a backing sheet with a PVC layer laid over the top. This top layer can be peeled off (start from the bottom). The exposed backing layer can then easily be removed by wetting and scraping it - it will either come off in a complete length or in large sections.
Clean and repair the walls
It’s essential that the walls are clean, even, dry and smooth. This means removing old wallpaper, flaking paint, dust, dirt, grease, oil and all stains (you know, things like blood, sweat and tears).
Any moldy areas must be treated with a mold remediation solution prior to applying any stain-killing primer. For especially difficult stains you might need an oil-based primer. If this is the case, it’s best to then cover these treated areas with an acrylic primer (see removing oil above - it’s all coming full circle).
All cracks, holes and irregularities should be filled. And scrape powdery or flaky areas and smooth down rough surfaces with sandpaper.
Once all of your cleaning and repairs are complete, make sure to give it plenty of time to dry and seal properly.
Size, prime and line the walls
If you want to go the extra mile, see our instructions to size, prime and line your walls.
2. Check the wallpaper
- Correct number of rolls
- Correct style
- Wallpaper is undamaged
- Colour is consistent across all of the rolls
- Dye lot - indicated as a number marked at the very beginning of the roll. It’s important to note this in case you need to order more. Paper can absorb ink differently across dye lots, so it may appear visibly different even though the style and manufacturer is the same.
- Match points are the same, on the label included with your rolls
- Straight match: The wallpaper matches edge to edge with the next drop to form the pattern repeat.
- Random match: The wallpaper can be matched edge to edge at any point.
- Half Drop: The wallpaper is lowered on the second drop to create a diagonal effect pattern repeat.
Really really really Important Information!
Checking the wallpaper before hanging the your, the buyer’s, responsibility.
Please carefully read our Terms & Conditions of Sale and Returns and Exchange Policy, as we assume no liability, will not accept any returns or refunds, once you’ve cut or pasted the wallpaper.
3. Hanging the wallpaper
Happy wallpapering day! You should now have all of your materials together, and the walls are prepped and dried.
Let’s do this!
Cool days under 30 degrees celsius are the best for wallpapering. If it’s a hot day, turn off the air conditioner (this can create a draft), and close the curtains or blinds so heat doesn’t come into the room. Heat and sunlight can cause the glue to dry too quickly and form bubbles or shrinkage. Not ideal! You want the paste to dry as slowly as possible to ensure the paper does not expand or contract.
Get the room ready
Clear the room as much as possible - you’ll need lots of room for activities (wallpapering being the activity). And set up all of your equipment for easy access.
Measure the walls
Where to start
Start hanging your wallpaper in the most inconspicuous corner of the room, like behind the door or a large piece of furniture.
If you’re wallpapering the whole room the starting point will be where the pattern repeat may not match once the room is complete.
If the room is empty, measure out from the left-hand corner of the wall the width of the paper minus 1cm and mark it with a pencil.
Draw a straight line
There are very few walls, if any, that are truly square or absolutely vertical. Annoying, right? So, if you were to hang your wallpaper starting in a corner you’re basically guaranteed to have the design on the paper run askew. Picture it as though your wallpaper appears to be running up or down hill. Got it? Not a great look.
To overcome this you’ll need to create a true vertical line as a starting point for hanging. The best way to do this is with a spirit level (a 2m one is best). Place it on the wall and mark lightly with a pencil every 150mm from the top of the wall to the bottom so it then forms a straight, vertical line.
Alternatively you can use a plumb line. That’s where you get a piece of string with a weight on the bottom and attach it to the top of the wall with a pin or a nail so it then hangs down straight. Gravity, huh!
Once the plumb line is fixed at the top of the wall, let it swing freely until it rests. You can then mark the wall with a pencil underneath the weight and at the top where the nail is.
Continue along and mark the wall behind the string, every 300-600mm, before joining them all up with a long straight edge. You can pick a plumb line up from any hardware store.
Keep drawing straight lines
Now you’ve got the straight line thing down pat, keep doing that as you start on each new wall.
Measure out the wallpaper
Measure out the first length of wallpaper. You should add on 75-100mm to the height of your wall for trimming top and bottom once it’s fixed to the wall.
Every other length
Each subsequent length will also need an extra trim waste at the top and bottom. Make sure you add the same amount to be trimmed each time so the pattern matches up and repeats from top to bottom.
Match the patterns
If your wallpaper has a big pattern or motif, cut your first length so that when the paper is fully fixed to the wall and trimmed there will be a complete motif at the top of the wall.
If you cut through a motif at the top it will make it much more obvious that the ceiling isn’t truly straight across. And, make sure that where the patterns might not quite line up will be somewhere not so visible - like into a corner or above a door.
The first drop of wallpaper
We’re as ready as we’ll ever be (which is very prepared and ready, just quietly).
Apply the paste
Pour your paste out into the tray, using your roller or brush apply the paste to the walls generously. Use a brush to get the paste into corners and edges. You should only apply the paste one drop wide plus 10-20cm.
We get you’re excited (we’re all excited), but don’t apply paste to the whole wall - it will dry and become unusable. As you go, if the paste dries too quickly, simply re-paste the wall before hanging the next drop.
Continue to paste as you go, applying the paste just wider than the drop you’re hanging. Any excess paste on the ceiling or skirting can be gently removed with a clean wet sponge before it dries.
Now the wallpaper
Being careful not to crease the wallpaper, loosely roll your first drop so the top and back of the wallpaper are on the outside. Make sure the pattern is the correct way up, then apply your first drop to the wall, letting the wallpaper overlap 5cm at the ceiling, and 1 or 2cm at the adjoining wall.
Hold the wallpaper at the top and move it into a straight position using your plumb line as a guide.
While the paste is wet you can slide the top of wallpaper into the perfect position so it lines up on the plumb line. Unroll your drop along the plumb line, leaving about 5cm at the bottom.
Smooth onto the wall
Using the wallpaper brush or smoothing tool, work top to bottom and gently press the strip to the wall.
Remove any air pockets by smoothing out from the middle towards the sides of the wallpaper. Avoid squeezing paste out of the edges where the next drop will join.
If the edges of the wallpaper do not stick to the wall properly, you need to apply more paste in those areas. Carefully apply paste under the edge with a small brush, being careful not to stretch the wallpaper.
Clean up any excess paste
Wash off any excess paste on the ceiling, skirting and wallpaper with a damp sponge and clean water. Do not allow any paste to dry on the surface of the wallpaper as it can cause damage. Use a felt roller and smooth over the paper.
Tidy the edges
Brush the paper tight into the top of the skirting and wall join before gently running a pencil along it to create a line for cutting. Carefully pull the wallpaper away from the wall and cut along the line with a pair of long decorator’s shears or scissors.
Alternatively, brush the paper into the skirting and wall join, then hold the paper tight against the wall using a steel ruler. Trim the paper by firmly drawing a sharp trimming blade (keeping it a shallow angle) along the edge of the steel. If you’re going with this method of cutting, it’s mega important to cut the paper into the angle between the wall and skirting (or ceiling) with the help of something to hold the paper tight against the wall (like a steel ruler). This prevents the paper from snagging and tearing.
After tidying the edges, dilute any surplus paste that contaminates the face of the paper, skirting board and ceiling with a damp soft sponge. Do not rub with a dry cloth, as this will smear the adhesive into the paper.
Inspect the wallpaper
After hanging one roll, inspect the wallpaper to ensure there aren’t any faults. It’s your decision as to continue hanging the wallpaper. The supplier’s responsibility is limited to cost of replacement paper. You should keep inspecting the wallpaper every 2 to 3 lengths.
Once the first drop is in place, you’re ready to paste the next section of the wall.
Hang your second drop of wallpaper the same way as the first, matching the pattern and using the edge of the first drop as your guide. Joins should be tightly butted and never overlap. Avoid squeezing paste out of the joints.
Wash off any excess paste after hanging each drop with a clean wet cloth. And, if you need to, you can then use a seam roller for the seams.
Corners are rarely, if ever, truly vertical. Always hang wallpaper into corners in two parts - never attempt to apply wallpaper across a corner in one go. Decorate first into the corner, then go onto the next wall and decorate back into the same corner.
The first piece of wallpaper that goes into the corner should overlap the adjacent wall by 1 or 2cm, the piece that decorates back into the same corner should be lined up into the corner. Yes, that’s correct, the wallpaper will overlap in the corner.
To do this, measure the distance in 2 or 3 places between the edge of the last drop and the corner. Then, add 5-10mm, which will go around the corner over to the adjacent wall, and cut the length of wallpaper to that width with scissors.
Paste this drop of wallpaper in the normal way. Fold the excess around the corner and brush tight.
On the next wall, measure the width of the piece cut off from the last drop and make a new vertical plumb line at that width for the corner. Using the plumb line as a vertical guide, paste and hang the cut-off piece back into the corner, slightly overlapping the piece turned around from the previous wall.
If your wallpaper is a vinyl, use an overlap or border adhesive for overlapping into the corner. On thick or heavily embossed papers you may need to overlap and then double cut, especially if it’s an external corner.
See here for instructions to hang around plug sockets, light switches and windows.
Let it dry
So you’ve finished applying your wallpaper!
Always allow your wallpaper to dry naturally after hanging. Do not try to hurry the drying process by using a heater. Force drying the wallpaper will cause the joins to open during the drying process.
Keep 1 full drop for restoration in case of any future damage.
4. Maintenance & Care
All wallpapers are washable using a mild soap that does not contain detergent.
Follow cleaning by rinsing with clear clean water and a soft sponge.
Stains caused by grease and oil may not be able to be removed.
Do not scrub or use abrasive cleaning products.
Need an installer?
Send us an email with your wall measurements and location and we'll be in touch with a recommended installer.