Introduction to Wallpaper Installation
Embracing the art of wallpaper installation can transform your living space, giving it a new and refreshing look. Whether you wish to capture a specific theme or simply aim to introduce a distinct color scheme, wallpaper installation is an excellent choice. This part of the article will walk you through everything you need to know about putting wallpaper up.
Why Choose Wallpaper?
Wallpaper offers a range of designs, textures, and colors that are often unavailable with paint. It also adds an additional layer of insulation, helps to hide any unevenness or defects on the wall, and is long lasting if correctly installed and taken care of.
The Basics of Wallpaper Installation
Wallpaper installation might seem daunting at first, but with the right tools and preparation, it's a task that can be accomplished with relative ease. There are three main steps: preparation of the surface, cutting and applying the wallpaper, and finally, smoothing and trimming it to fit perfectly.
Preparation of the Surface
The first step involves preparing the wall. This may involve scraping off old wallpaper, filling up any holes or cracks, and cleaning the surface thoroughly. This step is crucial for the effective adhesion of the wallpaper and its durability.
Cutting and Applying the Wallpaper
After the walls are prepared, measure and cut the wallpaper according to the height and width of your walls. While applying it, ensure that it lines up with the design accordingly, keeping the pattern consistent is vital for aesthetic purposes.
Smoothing and Trimming Wallpaper
The last step involves smoothing out any bubbles that may have formed during application, using a smoothing tool or a wallpaper brush. Finally, trim the excess wallpaper from the top and bottom for a neat finish.
Necessary Tools for Wallpaper Installation
Before starting the wallpaper installation process, gather the essential tools. These include a measuring tape, pencil, wallpaper paste, wallpaper smoother, utility knife, and a level for vertical alignment.
With the right approach and attention to detail, wallpaper installation can fundamentally upgrade your living space. Remember, patience and meticulousness go a long way while undertaking this project. Don’t rush the process and always ensure to prepare adequately to achieve the best result.
Types of Wallpaper and their Applications
The most common type of wallpaper is the traditional or classic wallpaper. It is made of paper or vinyl and is typically applied with a paste. This type is perfect for bedrooms, dining rooms, and living areas due to its wide variety of patterns and colours. However, traditional wallpaper is not suitable for areas with high humidity or moisture like bathrooms and kitchens, as it may peel over time.
Vinyl wallpaper is a popular choice due to its durability and easy maintenance. It can resist moisture, making it suitable for bathrooms, kitchens, and utility rooms. Vinyl wallpaper comes in two forms: the paper-backed vinyl, which is more flexible and the solid vinyl that is very durable and can be scrubbed clean. So, it's an ideal choice for houses with children or pets.
Non-woven wallpaper is made from a blend of natural and synthetic fibres, making it breathable and washable. It is also easy to install and remove, making it a great option for renters or those who love to change their interiors frequently. Another advantage is its resistance to mould and mildew.
Foiled wallpaper provides a shiny metallic finish that reflects light to make the room brighter. It's a great choice for small spaces or rooms with low light. However, foiled wallpaper is not as durable as the others and should be avoided in rooms with high traffic or moisture.
Flock wallpaper is known for its velvet or felt-like patterns raised on the paper's surface, which offers a sense of luxury and texture. This type of wallpaper is perfect for bedrooms and formal dining rooms. It can, however, be challenging to clean and is more expensive than other types.
As the name suggests, textured wallpaper offers a tactile surface that can add depth and interest to your walls. It's an excellent choice for hiding wall imperfections. It can also be painted to match any colour scheme, making it a versatile choice for any room.
Bamboo wallpaper, a more eco-friendly choice, gives a natural, warm, and relaxed feel to the room. This type is suitable for bedrooms and living rooms, but it should not be used in high-moisture areas as it can warp or discolour.
Mural or Photographic Wallpaper
Mural or photographic wallpaper is a dramatic choice that turns your wall into a piece of art. It's an excellent option for personalizing your space or creating a feature wall.
In your wallpaper selection, understanding the types of wallpapers and their applications can go a long way in assisting you in making the best choice that will not only enhance your room's aesthetics but also last for a considerable period.
Essential Tools for Hanging Wallpaper
When it comes to hanging wallpaper, having the right tools can make all the difference between a professional-looking finish and a frustrating do-it-yourself disaster. Whether you're a complete novice or a seasoned DIY-er, these are the essential tools you'll need for a successful wallpaper-hanging project.
Pasting Tables and Brushes
A dedicated pasting table provides a clean, flat surface to apply paste to the wallpaper without making a mess. A large, high-quality pasting brush ensures even paste application, reducing the risk of bubbles and creases in the paper.
Plumb Line or Laser Level
These tools are crucial in ensuring your wallpaper hangs straight. A traditional plumb line or modern laser level can be used to mark vertical lines around your room to guide the placement of the paper.
Scissors and Trimming Knife
A sharp pair of scissors are needed to cut the wallpaper to the right length. A trimming knife with a snap-off blade is used for precision cutting along skirting boards, door frames and other edges, ensuring a perfect fit for your wallpaper.
Wallpaper Scorer and Stripper
If you're removing old wallpaper before hanging the new one, a wallpaper scorer and scraper tool are essential. They help in breaking up the old paper and making it easier to scrape off the wall.
Seam Roller and Smoothing Brush
To achieve a professional finish, a seam roller and smoothing brush are invaluable. These tools help remove air bubbles, smooth down seams and edges, and generally ensure a neat finish.
Adhesive and Paste Brush
Heavy-duty wallpaper adhesive is a must-have for any wallpaper project, along with a thick, sturdy paste brush for applying the adhesive to the back of the wallpaper.
Spatula and Wallpaper Squeegee
A spatula and wallpaper squeegee is used to smooth out wrinkles and remove excess paste that might come out from beneath the wallpaper. These are essential for a neat and tidy finish.
With these tools at your disposal, putting up wallpaper becomes an easy and rewarding job. Just remember, practice makes perfect and two are always better than one.
Preparing Your Walls for Wallpaper
Finding the perfect wallpaper is only the first step to changing the look of your room. The application process starts with properly preparing your walls. Neglecting to prepare your walls can result in your wallpaper not sticking properly and reducing the overall aesthetic appeal. This section will guide you through preparing your walls effectively.
Checking Wall Conditions
Before applying wallpaper, it's essential to check your walls for any damages. Look for cracks, peeling paint, or rough patches that may interfere with the application process. For minor imperfections, you can use a plaster patching compound to smooth everything out. If there are larger issues, consider hiring a professional to help ensure your walls are in the best possible condition. You should also remove any outlet covers or switch plates.
Cleaning the Walls
Walls can accumulate dirt and dust that might interfere with the wallpaper's adhesive qualities. Washing your walls with a mild detergent and warm water will ensure they are clean and ready for wallpapering. Always remember to rinse the walls thoroughly and let them dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Sizing Your Walls
Applying a size solution (a type of sealer) to your walls before wallpapering can make the process much easier. Size makes it easier for the wallpaper to stick properly and can be useful when it's time to remove or replace the wallpaper. It can be purchased readymade or prepared at home using a mixture of water and glue.
Applying a Wallpaper Primer
A wallpaper primer is incredibly useful, especially if you're applying wallpaper to porous surfaces like drywall or plaster. Primer helps prepare your walls to hold the wallpaper by making the surface more uniform and providing the right level of surface to promote adhesion.
Tips for Wallpaper Primer
Before purchasing a primer for your wallpaper, make sure it is PVA-based. A PVA-based primer will increase the lifespan of your wallpaper and make it easier to remove in the future. Don't forget to cover the entire wall; even a small area without primer can cause adhesion issues.
Measuring Your Walls
Measure your walls with the most accuracy possible, making sure to account for windows and doors. These measurements will guide how much wallpaper you need and where to make your cuts. The correct measurements lead to less waste and a smoother application process.
Before starting to apply your wallpaper, take the time to go over your walls one last time. Ensure there are no protruding nails, loose plaster, or other obstacles that may affect your wallpaper application. Remember, preparation is key to achieving the perfect wallpaper finish.
Measuring, Cutting, and Mixing Wallpaper Paste
Measuring the Wallpaper
Before you begin any wallpapering project, it is crucial to take accurate measurements of the walls. This is to ensure that you have adequate wallpaper to cover the entire surface. Start by measuring the height from the floor to the ceiling in several different spots. This is necessary because ceilings and floors are not always perfectly parallel. Use the highest measurement to ensure full coverage, allowing for a little extra.
Cutting the Wallpaper
Once you have your measurements, you can move on to cutting your wallpaper. Lay the wallpaper on a large flat surface, and make marks according to the height measurement you took earlier. Using a straight edge, connect the marks to draw a line across the paper. Use a sharp utility knife or wallpaper cutting tool to cut along this line. Repeat the process until you’ve cut enough strips to cover your wall.
If your wallpaper has a pattern, it’s important to match the pattern from strip to strip. This may require cutting the wallpaper at specific points rather than purely based on the required length.
Mixing the Wallpaper Paste
Having ready-made wallpaper paste can simplify the process, but if you're using powdered paste, you’ll need to mix it yourself. Start by pouring the paste into a large bucket then gradually add the recommended amount of water while stirring constantly. It’s crucial to achieve a lump-free, thin consistency - similar to pancake batter. Once your paste is mixed, let it sit for about 10 minutes to allow it to fully thicken before using it.
Applying the Wallpaper Paste
To apply the paste to the wallpaper, start by laying a strip face-down on a paste table or other large, flat surface. Use a pasting brush to apply a thin, even layer of paste over the entire strip, paying special attention to the edges. Once the paste is applied, fold the paper onto itself, pasted side in, and leave for a few minutes (‘booking’ the wallpaper) before hanging. This allows the paste to fully soak into the paper, making it more pliable and easier to work with.
While measuring, cutting, and mixing wallpaper paste, be sure to take appropriate safety measures. Always cut away from your body when trimming wallpaper, use gloves when mixing and applying paste and ensure your work area is well-ventilated.
Applying Wallpaper: Techniques and Tips
Applying wallpaper is not as simple as pasting and sticking. It demands careful planning, precision and the application of some techniques to get a seamless, perfect look. Here, we unravel some techniques and tips to make your wallpaper application a breeze.
Preparing the Surface
Before applying your wallpaper, it's essential to have a clean, smooth surface. Fill in any holes or bumps and sand your walls for an ideal surface. As wallpaper clings to the substance used as adhesive, ensure you remove old wallpaper or paint chips and wash your walls thoroughly to remove dirt or grease.
Applying Wallpaper Paste
The type of wallpaper you're using will dictate if you should apply paste to the wall or the paper. Some papers, known as 'paste the wall' types, are more forgiving as you can adjust the paper once you've hung it up. Others, however, require you to apply the paste direct to the paper. Be generous while applying the paste, ensuring it goes beyond the paper's edges to attach securely to the wall.
Consider the Pattern
If your wallpaper features a pattern, be mindful of how it aligns. Start at the corner of the room, but leave a slight overlap for the corner - about half an inch - as corners are rarely perfect right angles. You should also hang a plumb line for the first length to ensure the wallpaper hangs straight.
Applying the Wallpaper
Starting from the top and moving to the bottom, apply the wallpaper to the wall while smoothing out any air bubbles that might form. Use a wallpaper brush or smoothing tool for this. Don't stretch the wallpaper as you apply it - it should hang straight and loose.
Cleaning Up Your Work
Wallpaper adhesive can be quite sticky and can lead to messy stains. Therefore, it's important to have a damp sponge or cloth handy to wipe off any excess paste during the application process.
A Word on Corners & Outlets
Corners and obstacles such as electrical outlets can be tricky when applying wallpaper. Overlap your corners a bit to help hide any inconsistencies in the wall. For outlets or switches, shut off the power, remove the cover, and trim the wallpaper to fit before replacing the cover.
Once your wallpaper is up and dried, trim any excess along the baseboards using a sharp utility knife. Remember to keep the wallpaper taut for a clean cut.
Whether you're redecorating a single room or an entire house, applying wallpaper can dramatically change the look and feel of a space. By following these tips and techniques, you can ensure the process is smooth and the results are stunning.
Handling Wallpaper Corners and Complex Areas
Applying wallpaper in corners and complex areas can be tricky but it can be achieved following some simple tips and practices. It's all about careful preparation, precision cutting, and patience. Thus, we will go over tips and methods for these particular situations that you might encounter in a wallpapering project.
Aligning Wallpaper in Corners
When aligning wallpaper in corners, it's important to remember that most corners in homes are not exactly 90 degrees. Therefore, instead of cutting the wallpaper at the exact corner, it's recommended to let the wallpaper overlap into the adjoining wall. Measure the distance from the last piece to the corner, add half an inch, and then cut the strip of wallpaper to this width.
Application of Wallpaper in Corners
Then, apply the wallpaper strip as usual, making sure to press it into the corner. However, do not try to force all of the wallpaper into the corner as overworking can cause tears. The excess half inch of wallpaper should now be overlapping onto the adjoining wall. This gives room to adjust and ensures a more seamless finish.
Handling Internal and External Corners
The internal corner should be handled with care and precision. Instead of forcing the paper into the seam, a relief cut, a small slit at the top and bottom of the wallpaper, will help it sit better. For external corners the wallpaper should pass the corner and then cut a new piece that overlaps the previous one by 1/8 of an inch. This will help to hide any discrepancies due to irregularities in the wall.
Wallpapering Around Windows and Doors
When wallpapering around windows and doors, the key is to apply the wallpaper above the door or window first, allowing it to overhang. Then make diagonal cuts in the paper at the corners and trim off the excess. Also use a seam roller to seal the wallpaper into the edge of the door or window frame, this ensures a neat finish.
Tackling Other Complex Areas
For outlets, light switches and other installations it's best to turn off the electricity first and remove the coverings. Then hang the wallpaper as you would normally, trim the excess and finally cut out the area where the fixture is. After the wallpaper is dry, you can replace the cover.
Patience and Precision
Applying wallpaper around corners and complex areas might be challenging but remember that patience and precision are your best friends in these cases. Always take your time, measure twice and cut once for the best results.
Maintaining and Cleaning Your Wallpaper
Proper upkeep of your wallpaper is integral to maintaining its beauty and longevity. Here are methods you can employ to clean and maintain your wallpaper.
On a daily or weekly basis, lightly dust your wallpaper using a microfiber cloth or a feather duster to prevent dust accumulation. Be sure to clean from top to bottom to avoid streaking and ensure all dust is captured.
Identifying the Wallpaper Type
Identify the type of your wallpaper, as cleaning methods differ according to the type. Vinyl wallpaper, for instance, is quite robust and can withstand gentle washing, while traditional paper wallpaper will need a more delicate touch.
You can typically clean washable wallpapers using a sponge and a solution of warm water and mild soap or dish detergent. Always test your cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area first to check it doesn't cause discolouration. Rinse the area with water and blot dry with a clean towel.
For non-washable wallpapers, use a specialty wallpaper dough or dry sponge, which you can purchase in any home improvement stores. Simply roll the product across the surface to pick up dust and grime. Again, test it on a small area first.
Removing Stains and Marks
Stains and marks can be removed using an eraser or a mild soap solution. Ensure that you pat the area dry after cleaning it to prevent water stains.
If your wallpaper gets torn or ripped, don't worry. Small areas can typically be repaired using wallpaper paste and a small piece of leftover wallpaper. For larger damages, it might be necessary to replace a whole strip of wallpaper.
If your wallpaper is heavily soiled or damaged, consider hiring a professional cleaning service. They have the necessary tools and expertise to restore your wallpaper to its original glory without causing further damage.
Remember, proper care and maintenance will ensure your wallpaper continues to add charm and character to your space for many years.