Wallpapering Tips for Beginners

Portrait of a tired and sad woman sitting on the floor with rolls of Wallpaper in her hands.

Turn that frown upside down with our favourite wallpapering tips!

Top Tips for Wallpapering

1. Use WallpaperBuddy™ 

WallpaperBuddy™ makes wallpapering easy! It will help you wallpaper with efficiency, saving you time and money. See WallpaperBuddy™ in action here.

2. What Quality Wallpaper Should I Choose? 

The price of wallpapers can range from inexpensive all the way up to ‘are you serious’? So keeping your budget in mind, it is good to remember that better quality wallpapers will typically last longer and be easier to work with during the installation process. Having said this, many people like to change their wallpaper every few years, and so an inexpensive wallpaper might be the best option (especially in bedrooms for young children).

3. Create Space

Room ready to be decorated, no furniture

Having space to work in will help you to work efficiently and reduce the possibility of making mistakes. It is also safer too!

We would recommend:

  1. Move smaller pieces of furniture in to other rooms
  2. Move large objects into the middle of the room and cover with protective sheets.
  3. Clear your walls (television, paintings and photographs etc.). If you plan to put them back in the same position, mark where the drill-holes are. Tip: Place a toothpick or matchstick in each hole to mark the location. This will also prevent you from accidentally filling in the holes (with Polyfilla or Spackle), when preparing your walls for your new paper.
  4. Protect your furniture and flooring

Cover your furniture and floor with canvas drop cloths or plastic sheets. Dropping tools and moving ladders can easily damage an unprotected floor.

4. Prep the Walls

As with most things in life, good preparation is very important. Wallpaper likes flat, smooth surfaces, and so it is important to repair any damage on the walls, filling any cracks or holes and  sanding smooth afterwards. After sanding, remember to clean the walls with sugar soap or warm water with a little dish detergent. Adhesive needs a clean surface for a good bond.

man sanding a wall

5. Size the Walls

Applying a coat of Size or Primer is worth the effort and small expense. This practical step adds a barrier between your plaster and wallpaper paste, preventing the paste from being absorbed into the plaster. This helps the paper to stick better.

assorted wallpapering tools

 6. Have your Tools Ready

Again, preparation. Having your tools ready and in one area of the room, helps promote efficiency and calmness, as you won’t be searching for misplaced items when needed.

Tools Needed for Wallpapering

7. What Do You Mean My Walls Aren’t Straight?

In an ideal world, walls are flat and perfectly straight. That’s not where you or I live. It is important to allow for non-straight walls by cutting the wallpaper longer than the height of the wall. Typically, an extra 50mm of paper for the top of the wall and an extra 50mm at the bottom. This excess paper will be trimmed off after you have applied the paper to the wall.

8. Brush or Roller?

If your paper requires pasting of either the paper or the wall, you can use either a Pasting brush or a roller. Many people find it quicker and easier to use a roller. A short nap paint roller (3/8-inch to 1/2-inch nap) will ensure a thin, even coat of adhesive is applied.

9. Large And Small Scissors

Don’t rely on household scissors for cutting wallpaper to length. Wallpaper scissors are designed specifically for the task of cutting long straight edges through thick paper. They are not very expensive and are definitely worth the small expense. A pair of short sharp scissors are easier to use when cutting around the tricky bits, pipes, mantlepiece, etc.

10. Replace your Knife Blade Regularly

Most people choose a knife with a snap off blade for trimming the paper when it is applied to the wall. Snap off the blade edge often. Trying to cut wetted wallpaper with a dull knife edge can cause the paper to tear.

utility knife

11. Follow the Manufacturers Recommendations

When it comes to choosing a  wallpaper paste, or the amount of time for ‘booking’ your paper, always follow the manufacturers recommendations.

12. Take Your Time

You want your home to look beautiful, don’t be in a rush to complete the process or skip any of the recommended steps, take your time, the end result will be worth it.

We hope you found this article helpful, and we would appreciate it very much if you shared it with someone else you feel might benefit from it.


Did you find this interesting? Try these:

Tips for Choosing Wallpaper

Where to Start When Decorating