Updated: Aug 7, 2019
I’m still riding the high of successfully hanging not one, not two, but THREE sets of wallpaper in different rooms in our house. Admittedly, The Husband was responsible for 80% of our success, but I’m so impressed that, considering it was our first time, we managed to do a pretty darn good job. I thought I’d share our experience as novice wallpaper-ers, in case anyone else is feeling the same as me and desperately wanting the depth and drama that wallpaper brings to a home, but not having the spare cash to pay someone else to do it for them. I’m not going to tell you step-by-step what to do (this video is a great guide ( https://www.diy.com/ideas-advice/how-to-hang-paste-the-wall-wallpaper/PROD_npcart_100513.art ), but rather just tell you what we did wrong and what we learnt as we went along!
My number one takeaway is BUY PASTE-THE-WALL PAPER. Don’t even bother with paste-the-paper, not matter how much you may want that particular print – for a first time DIY wallpaper job, its not worth it!
All The Gear And No Idea
While we did this on a serious budget, using old paint rollers and trays rather than buying new ones, I did have to purchase a couple of things that turned out to be essential pieces of kit. First of all, our best buy by far was the Foldable Paste Table from B&Q (£9.98), which was a tip off from insta-friend @mydreamhome_usplus6. We couldn’t believe the cheap price tag and will be using it as a work bench for future DIY projects. I also picked up the Harris Blue Paper Hanging Kit (£8.72), we didn’t need the stripping but the kit also contains a paperhanging brush, seam roller and trimming knife. I’d recommend also getting the Harris Cutting Guide (£6.70), but you could just use a ruler or plank of wood. Finally, we bought Bartoline Wallpaper Adhesive from Homebase (£1.50). This is brilliant as you can use it for either paste-the-paper or paste-the-wall, there is a chart on the packet that tells you how much water to mix for each option. My advice if you have multiple rooms you want to wallpaper is to get lots of small packets of this stuff, as we had lots leftover and it’s a pain to dispose of a bucket of glue!
Mixing It Up
We just used an old mop bucket to mix our paste in. Add the specified amount of cold water and then pour in your paste powder. Mix vigorously for 30 seconds, leave for 3 minutes and then thoroughly mix again. The initial mixing vigorously part is important, as is your mixing implement. I’d find something very firm and long, so you can make sure there are no clumps of glue at the bottom. The first time we used an old roll from inside wrapping paper, idiotic move as it got soaked and collapsed, resulting in many lumps of glue in our paste mix that we had to sieve out! We used the end of an old paintbrush after that.
Hold the paper up to the wall (this is a two-man job) and get your partner to roll it down and mark about 10cm longer than you need. Take the paper to your paste table and use the scalpel to cut it. The hardest part of wallpapering is trimming the excess paper once it is up. Try not to be too heavy-handed with the scalpel and this is where the Harris Cutting Guide would have come in handy (we didn’t buy one but I will for next time).
Start from the left hand side of the wall and work across, B&Q’s wallpapering video said to start from the middle but NO that is a bad idea, as you then have two sides you have to match up rather than just one! Use a roller to put glue on the wall as evenly as you can. If you find when you hold the wallpaper up that you’ve missed any bits, just use your finger to dab some extra glue behind!
This is the most difficult part of the entire process. It was so frustrating how much wallpaper was wasted because it seemed like every strip we put up, the adjacent pattern didn’t start till halfway down the next roll! Its easier the line up with larger, more distinct patterns, however also more noticeable when it goes a bit skew-whiff.
The fun part! As you do this, the edges between the different sheets of wallpaper will seem to disappear as if by magic! You may have to press quite hard but be aware of the angle you are rollering at, as sometimes the edges of the roller can make marks on the paper. It’s much easier to get a neat finish with textured paper, so something to think about when choosing your print.
I hope this has given you a better idea of whats involved in wallpapering, if you are considering doing it yourself then GO FOR IT, I’d love to hear all about your experiences in the comments below, or tag me at @lydias_layton_life on Instagram!