Modern Wallpaper in South Africa
Wow, Modern Wallpaper is sooo much easier than it used to be! Advances in materials and printing technology have enabled so many different types of wallpaper: from stronger Coated Paper Standard Wallpaper all the way to Sticky Back Vinyl Removable Wallpaper (even Peel & Stick Wallpaper!). We even have 3D Paintable Wallpaper or Bling your space with Shiny and Embellished Modern Wallpaper in South Africa.
Modern Wallpaper is not like your Ouma’s Wallpaper…
Wallpaper is now Easy to Install
Installation is where wallpaper companies have really spent their time developing – the easier the better and we wholeheartedly agree. The only catch is that the ease of wallpaper installation is directly proportionate to the cost of the wallpaper. In the majority of cases, you can easily tell how easy it is going to be by the price of the wallpaper. So, the difference between the types of wallpaper we offer is the method of applying the wallpaper – whether its using paste on the paper, paste on the wall, activating the paste with water or no paste whatsoever!
Here are the types of wallpaper we sell and how to install them:
1.) Even our Standard Wallpaper is easier than it ever was. The paper does not tear as easily and many clients comment that is was much stronger than they expected it to be. Our Standard Wallpaper requires Wallpaper Paste (50g per roll) that we sell on the wallpaper page. The method of installation is called paste the paper and you literally apply the paste to the back of the wallpaper before hanging. This method requires a process called “booking” which is a way to activate the paste while letting the paper rest before hanging the strip. Its a little messy, it takes a bit of time but it looks amazing when done.
2.) Our Soak and Stick Wallpaper range is a pre-pasted wallpaper, which means it already has adhesive on the back of the paper. All you do is activate the glue by dipping the wallpaper into a tray of water. The paper also requires the “booking” and resting process after the paper has been soaked in water. It is less messy and you don’t need to buy extra paste – but you will need a tray and the booking does take time.
3.) If you really want modern wallpaper, then our Easy Premium Wallpaper is the way to go. This wallpaper has a vinyl coating which helps protect the wallpaper, makes it washable, makes it suitable for steamy areas like bathrooms and kitchens and cuts your installation time in half! When using Paste-the-Wall wallpaper, the paste (50g per roll) is applied directly to the wall before hanging each strip. This wallpaper is made with a special backing that does not expand when wet and you just paste the wall and hang the dry wallpaper – so no “booking” required!
4.) We now also offer Tailor Made Wallpaper that is printed in South Africa with our eco-friendly inks – so you can choose your size and material! This Custom Mural is available in 3 material choices:
The Sticky-Back Vinyl is almost like a peel and stick wallpaper, it vinyl plastic based (rather than coated paper) so it is durable and wonderfully easy to install and remove.
Our Soak & Stick PVC Free Wallpaper is eco-friendly, long lasting and is low VOC so perfect for kids rooms and nurseries.
We also a Textured Paper Backed Vinyl Wallpaper if your walls are a little rough, it is part of our Easy Premium Range.
Each Manufacturer has product specific wallpaper installation instructions inside the package you receive. See below for some installation advice and answers.
How Removable is your Wallpaper?
Removing our wallpaper mostly depends on which type of wallpaper you choose. In almost all the cases: the quicker it is to put up, the easier it is to remove! Most modern wallpapers come off pretty easily but it also depends on the wall quality underneath and how long the wallpaper has been there.
1.) Our Standard Wallpaper comes off using wet removal (i.e. some soaking, then stripping and possible quick scrubbing).
2.) Soak & Stick Wallpaper is strippable – it is a easier peel, soak and scrape off the wall than standard wallpaper.
SureStrip is a special type of Soak & Stick Wallpaper and is Ultra Removable, it comes off in complete sheets and leaves no residue whatsoever (they claim it can take less than a hour to remove a whole room!).
3.) The Easy Premium Wallpaper should peel off easily when it’s time to change, there’s no need for steaming or soaking. Simply lift a corner at the base of the wall and peel upwards!
4.) Sticky Back Vinyl Wallpaper is the easiest to remove. Just like the super easy installation – simply peel and remove in one quick step! It can take as little as 15 minutes to remove a whole wall of wallpaper.
Why you should Order More Wallpaper than you need…
Why do I have to over order, isn’t it a waste? How much to over order mostly depends on the type of wallpaper and the pattern matching. Keep in mind that wallpaper is printed in batches (printed/dye lots/loads of rolls at once) and each batch can have slight colour differences. So, using the idea of “ordering more later” may result in colour variances. We suggest instead to order a little more than you need all together to ensure the colour is the same. Then, if there is left over wallpaper, you can use it as cupboard liners; the backing of book shelves or even extra decor items like pasting it onto canvases or adding them as frame backgrounds etc.
Please always check with us by email before ordering additional product online. This is so we can request the same batch number on your behalf. Each batch has different colour variation so this is NB or the colours won’t match. We do not, however, guarantee that additional product will be of the same batch number and we do not offer refund or exchange on incorrect quantities when the same batch number is not available.
Standard Wallpaper, Soak & Stick Wallpaper and Easy Premium Wallpaper all come in rolls whereas our Sticky Back Vinyl Wallpaper comes in rectangles to fit your wall. For wallpaper that comes in rolls, please use this handy Wallpaper Chart (which takes that wastage into account) to see how much you need to order. Each roll covers up to up to 5.2m² but we suggest being more conservative with your measurements as there can be a 10% wastage:
All our Wallpaper Rolls are Imported from UK and USA
You are assured of excellent quality and the latest in design trends at an affordable price! The drawbacks of imported wallpaper is that sometimes we cannot get the same batch number as you previously ordered. Sometimes we are also out of stock or product is stuck in customs – but we try our best to keep our website up to date. The other consideration is that overseas manufacturers have stricter guarantees on their products than we do on our locally manufactured wall art. Please read our guarantee page and follow the instructions/responsibility that is enclosed in your package.
Our Tailor-Made Wallpaper is Designed and Produced in South Africa
All our Sticky Back Vinyl Wallpapers are designed and produced in South Africa! We love adding South African quirks to the designs and the production of the wallpapers (and all our wall decals as well) involves an intensive manual labour component, which supports South Africans.
Tailor-Made and Sticky Back Vinyl Wallpaper FAQ's
There are a few reasons why it costs so much more than our imported rolls of wallpaper:
Firstly, our rolls of wallpaper are imported and they are printed in batches of thousands, sometimes even hundreds of thousands at a time. They are mass produced and even with the transport and import duties, the cost per unit is still low due to economies of scale.
We don’t call it Tailor-Made Wallpaper for nothing – it is literally custom print wallpaper especially for you. You can choose your material and size plus in certain instances, we can change the colours for you as well!
Secondly, the cost of wallpaper is usually directly linked to how easy it is to install and remove. We print all our custom wallpaper murals in South Africa using Eco-friendly inks. Our Matt-Laminated Vinyl Wallpaper is super easy and requires no extra tools (other than your free wallpapering tool) and it can be removed in a matter of minutes without residue. Although the PVC Free Wallpaper is a little harder to install, it is a very high quality wallpaper as the VOC emissions are very low. Even our textured wallpaper option is part of our Easy Premium Range but we mostly offer it in case you have rough walls.
Lastly, we supply the Tailor-Made Wallpaper in panels that are the exact size of your ceiling – rather than in a roll that you have to cut and pattern match. Also, the actual material of our matt-laminated wallpaper is plastic based so it is much stronger and easier to work with than any other wallpaper. No more TLC and worrying about tearing, you just follow the easy instructions and plak!
The size and number of panels supplied will vary depending on your space. We try our best to not waste any material and our machine prints 1.25m wide so we try to give you as many panels that are 1.25m wide by your Mural Height choice (e.g. 2.4m – 3.2m). It is not an exact science but our machine helps us work it all out!
Wallpaper Advice and FAQ’s from Graham & Brown
These answers below are for imported Wallpaper that is supplied in Rolls, which is: STANDARD WALLPAPER, SOAK & STICK WALLPAPER AND EASY PREMIUM WALLPAPER.
The success of hanging your wallpaper and ease of removing are totally dependant on how well you prepare your walls!
PREPARING YOUR WALLS
Wall Preparation is really NB
You can wallpaper over just about any surface such as drywall, concrete, panelling, masonry, new and old plaster, and even tile or laminate with any of our wallpapers other than our Matt Laminated Sticky Back Wallpaper (which essentially is a sticker and will never stick to rough surfaces).
For uneven, newly repaired, or slick surfaces, you will need to apply lining paper (contact us if you would like to order Lining Paper)which provides a smooth surface for the wallpaper to adhere without blemishes. Surfaces lining paper is designed to cover include brick, wood panelling, laminate, ceramic tile, cement block, stucco, textured, and damaged walls. Wall liners are frequently installed by cross lining them horizontally (see below on how to cross line).
Textured walls and ceilings are generally not suitable for wallpaper. A subtle or very light orange peel or knockdown surface may be acceptable providing there are no sharp protrusions and you use wallpaper paste. Run your hand over the surface. Are there any sharp areas or peaks? Wallpaper gets very wet during application. Sharp areas can cut or tear the paper. There are a few products on the market which may be suitable for use. These include the heavy weight paintables and vinyls. Do not use or rely on standard wallpaper or pre-pasted products. You will need to apply a heavy coat of high quality paste for these applications.
Walls almost always need some surface preparation before you can start painting. Even brand-new plaster needs sealing. You should fill any cracks and holes and make sure all surfaces are clean, smooth and dry. You can paint over emulsion-painted surfaces that are in good condition, but make certain you strip back or sand off any peeling paint.
Always wear a dust mask while you’re sanding. With old paint, there can be an extra risk of breathing in poisonous lead dust. If you’re in any doubt, use a simple lead testing kit. If there is lead, use a specially formulated liquid sander instead. It’s also a good idea to put on some safety goggles to protect your eyes.
Also remember to wear protective goggles and masks when cutting or sawing metal. Clear away all metal dust and small pieces before starting work again.
The difference between a good and bad paint job usually depends on how carefully you prepare the surface.
No paint can properly mask grubby or uneven surfaces, so make sure you remove any dirt, grease and loose or flaking material, fill any holes and repair defects. There may even be areas that need touching up on new surfaces.
Washing your surface
You should always wash a previously painted surface before painting over it. The less dirt or grease on a surface, the better your final paint job will look. Grease, nicotine stains, children’s drawings and finger marks can all be taken off with sugar soap. Some sugar soaps come in a dissolvable powder or premixed liquid form.
Ensure you wear safety goggles and gloves when using sugar soap as it can irritate your skin.
Apply this with an old (clean) paintbrush or sponge, working into the surface as if you were washing the dishes. Leave the solution for a few minutes before rinsing off with clean tap water and sponge. Not only does the sugar soap clean the surface, it also provides a better surface for the paint to adhere to. In older houses, you still sometimes find distemper. This old-fashioned emulsion is often dusty or powdery to the touch, and rubs off as you wash the surface. It’s not a good idea to paint or wallpaper over it, as neither will stick. Instead, try to wash and scrape off as much as possible, and then seal the wall with a stabilising solution.
Sanding creates a smooth, even foundation that massively improves your final finish. It also gives a slight roughness (known as a ‘key’) that helps primer or paint to adhere to. On stripped plaster, sanding can level out any repairs and remove stubborn traces of old wallpaper or paste.
When sanding the surface of the walls use a smaller grade/grit of paper. The grades of wallpaper are based around the finish you are aiming for. For example a 70 grade paper is great for quickly removing excessive debris; however it will leave a rough surface. A higher grade will give a finer finish on more delicate surfaces. For this task we would recommend a multi-purpose sandpaper such as a 70 grade, we also offer mix grade sandpaper packs which are great for a variety of different projects.
When sanding, use a sanding block and wrap the sandpaper around it, this will ensure you cover an even surface. Sand the surface in circular motions covering all areas. If you are smoothing rough surfaces, run your hand over the area to check if it’s smooth and matches the rest of the area.
When sanding wood, try to work in the direction of the grain. Work from a lower grade sandpaper and finish with a higher one. This will create a smoother finish to paint over. Sanding wood creates a lot of dust, so make sure you wear a dust mask and eye protection, have plenty of ventilation and cover anything vulnerable with dust sheets. When you’ve finished, you’ll also need to dust down the whole sanded surface from ceiling to floor, and vacuum it thoroughly. If you don’t, you risk wood particles sticking to freshly painted surfaces.
You won’t need to prime a surface that’s been painted before and is in good condition – washing and light sanding are usually enough. However, if the surface is stained with nicotine you may want to consider using a specialist primer. If the wall is freshly plastered, you will need to apply a layer of primer before you paint your final coat of colour.
On a porous surface, primer stops the top coat from being absorbed, so you need fewer coats of paint to get a good coverage. On non-porous, shiny surfaces, paint often won’t bond properly – so the primer gives it something to stick to. As different surfaces need different primers, make sure you choose the right one and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Water-based primers tend to give off less odour and are less damaging to the environment.
Choose a primer that will relate to your final colour, for example if your final coat will be a natural white, use a white primer. Similarly if your final colour will be a dark red, use a grey primer, this will help create an accurate final colour. Applying your primer layer is the same as if you were painting normal emulsion paint. Take your time applying even layer with a brush or roller. Work in sections across the surface and allow plenty of time for the paint to thoroughly dry as per the products instructions.
Priming for different surfaces
There are specific primers for different surfaces and applications:
Radiator primers – these are heat resistant which is very important
Plaster sealers – specific to newly fitted plaster board
Specific surface primers – these can include tile primers, radiator primers and PVC primers
Wallpaper hangs best when walls are clean of debris and the surface is smooth.
If your walls are painted at present, the only preparation you need is to wash the surfaces down with a solution of sugar soap or household detergent, rinse them with clean water and leave them to dry.
If your walls are already papered, you must strip off the old paper first before hanging the new.Even the paper backing left after peeling off old vinyl wallpapers must come off. Then wash the wall surface with clean water. It is important to take the time to remove old wallpaper, fill in any cracks, and repair imperfections in the walls surface. This will help the wallpaper to lay flat and avoid potential problems with the paper adhering to the wall. If it is a painted wall, you will need to smooth out the walls with sandpaper. Once all repairs have been made and your walls are smooth, you will want to clean them up.
Use a sponge and a little soap to remove dirt and grease. Rinse the wall with clean water and allow the wall to dry before proceeding. When walls are clean and smooth you are ready for the next step which depending on your project may include sizing, priming, or installing lining
If your walls are undecorated plaster or plasterboard, you need to seal the surface with a coat of size – diluted wallpaper paste – first. This ensures that you will be able to slide pasted lengths into place as you hang them.
Primer is a protectant/sealer that prevents the paste from being absorbed into a wall and allows it to grip to slick surfaces. It is highly recommended that you prime a wall before hanging wallpaper because it creates an even surface for the wallpaper to adhere to as well as makes the wallpaper removal process much easier should you ever decide to update the wallpaper.
“Sizing” a wall is thin coat of paste applied to a wall to create additional grip and make it easier to slide each strip of paper onto the wall. “Sizing” is often recommended for porous, repaired, or plastered walls. However, many combination primer/sizers are available and can be used simultaneously for a wallpapering project.
There are many advantages to using wallpaper over paint to decorate your space. For instance, wallpaper can cover up imperfect or damaged walls as well as add texture and dimension in way paint simply cannot do. Wallpaper also offers a wide range of colours and complex patterns that would be difficult to create with a paintbrush.
It is not recommended to apply new wallpaper over old wallpaper. Doing so could cause bubbling in the underlying wallpaper and old patterns showing through your new paper. It’s best to remove old wallpaper before applying new wallpaper especially when dealing with non-breathable vinyl-coated papers which could result in mould and mildew build up between the layers. Even the most stubborn wallpaper can be removed with the proper wallpaper removal solution, perforations tools, and some hard work.
Damaged drywall is common when removing old stubborn wallpaper. It is important to repair the drywall before you begin hanging your new wallpaper. You will want to remove any loose edges with a utility knife and sand the areas with a fine-grit sandpaper. After the area is sanded and wiped clean, you can apply a primer recommended for repairing drywall. Depending on the level of damage you may need to “skim coat” your walls to smooth out imperfections after removing old wallpaper.
Removing old wallpaper can be challenging and even after all the paper is gone stubborn paste can remain. Old paste can interfere with the adhesion of your new paper. It is important to remove as much paste as possible before reapplying wallpaper. Most paste should come off with a sponge and hot soapy water. You can also use wet medium-grit sandpaper to remove any paste residue.
Fill in cracks and holes with plaster or another appropriate filler. Use a table knife to help you work the filler into the crack then use the flat side of the knife blade to smooth the surface of the repair. Once the repair is dry, use sandpaper to lightly smooth the surface. Remove any dust from the wall with a rag. Remaining dust can keep the wallpaper from adhering to the wall.
Excerpt from Graham and Brown (UK Based):
Giving your home a brand new look is exciting, but in your haste have you considered whether or not your plaster is ready to accommodate your wallpaper? If you fail to give the plaster enough time to dry, you could have major problems further down the line. That being said, plastering methods have evolved over the years, and it’s easy for homeowners to be fed false or outdated information. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to wait ages for your plaster to be ready. Read on and you’ll find out why.
The art of plastering has been around for thousands of years and it’s thought that the famous Egyptian pyramids display evidence of this decorating process.As we’ve already alluded to, things have changed and it would be foolish for homeowners to think that there’s one single generic way to hang wallpaper on new plaster. Much depends on the thickness of your plaster. In the past, you’d expect your plasterwork to be around an inch thick, so it could take weeks, if not months, to dry.
In older homes in particular, you will find that thicker plaster dries in stages and this is where many decorators come unstuck. Just because the top layer of the plaster looks and feels dry, it doesn’t mean that the layers underneath are ready to go. Moisture can continue to seep through, and you could be left with peeling or bubbled wallpaper, or even mould. This is not a good look!
However, it’s now far more common for walls to be “skimmed”, rather than coated in an inch-thick layer of plaster. If this is the case, the plaster will dry out far more quickly – maybe in a matter of days – so you can get cracking with your decorating project sooner than you may have thought. If you’ve done the plastering yourself, check the instructions on the product you’ve used to see how long it will take to dry. Don’t be tempted to speed up the process by putting your heating on high or standing next to the wall with a hair dryer. Plaster that dries at different temperatures is prone to cracking, so be patient and let it dry out naturally!
Sizing your walls
This is a quick, easy and extremely important step that many homeowners forget about. You should coat your walls in a sizing solution, which essentially acts as a barrier to ensure your wallpaper paste isn’t absorbed by the plaster.
You can easily make the watered-down paste mixture yourself (check the instructions on the packet). This seals your new plaster and allows for sufficient manoeuvrability when you come to position your wallpaper, which is particularly handy for traditional wallpapers that require you to paste each sheet before hanging.
Once you’re sure your plaster has completely dried (little signs such as condensation on your windows will help you determine when it is ready to go) and you’ve sized your walls, you can finally get down to the fun part – giving your room the perfect look.
Graham & Brown’s wallcoverings – especially from their Superfresco Easy range – are thick and made to last, making them ideal for covering up any blemishes in your walls. Superfresco Easy is designed to be as durable as possible and is also easy to apply, with users pasting the wall rather than the paper itself. This cuts your decorating time in half. It’s also far easier to remove than traditional wallpaper, which is handy if you decide to go for a new look in a few years’ time.
Don’t just assume that you cannot touch your walls for months after they have been plastered. Times have changed!
How to Install your Wallpaper
Most of the tools you will need are probably already in your toolbox with the exception of a few specialised tools. Gather the following items:
· Drop cloth
· Tape measure
· A pencil
· Putty knife or straight edge
· Sponge and bucket of clean water
· Smoothing tool (brush or plastic) – FREE with every StickyThings wallpaper order!
· Seam roller
· Utility knife/Stanley Knife
For Soak & Stick Wallpaper (pre-pasted wallpaper), you also need:
· Water tray or pre-paste activator
For Standard Wallpaper, you also need:
· 50g of Paste per roll
· Paste brush or roller
Anyone who has ever underestimated this decorating challenge will tell you how easy it is to accidentally make a little mistake that ends up making a big impact. From batch numbers to offcuts; hanging patterned wallpaper can be a little trickier than hanging paper that has a plain design, but it’s easy enough if you follow our simple guide.
At Graham & Brown, we want DIY to be accessible to all, so we’ve compiled a cheat sheet to ensure your wallpaper adorns your walls in exactly the way it was designed to.
Here are our top tips for ensuring your day of decorating goes exactly to plan.
Choose a style you’re comfortable with
If you’re a complete wallpapering novice, it might not be a good idea to choose a design that displays an intricate pattern. It may seem like common sense, but many people go ahead and choose an extremely detailed design without thinking about how hard joining up each piece will be.
Wonky wall woes
Surprisingly, your house won’t have been built as accurately as you may think. The walls you’re about to cover may slope slightly, altering what you think looks straight half way through hanging your wallpaper. This is completely normal and it’s just the way houses settle once they’ve been built and luckily for you, there’s a simple way around it!
To combat wonky walls, make sure that before you start applying the wallpaper you draw a guideline with a spirit level. This may leave space at the top and bottom of your wallpaper, but don’t worry, you can simply paint an inch wide white strip that will help to hide any ends that don’t quite match up.
How much wallpaper do you need?
This is a frequently asked question that doesn’t have a straightforward answer. How much wallpaper you’ll need all depends on the size of your walls, pattern on the paper and how many windows and doors you’ll be avoiding.
Simply use the roll calculator found on every product page to see how many rolls you need.
Working out how much wallpaper you need is important, as you’ll want to ensure you’re getting the exact same batch. Getting half way through your decorating only to realise you need more paper is more than a little frustrating.
Paper that isn’t from the same batch may not match up with the wallpaper that’s on your walls and could also be a slightly different colour. When buying online, we ensure your batch numbers are all the same, but many people don’t think to double-check when buying wallpaper in store.
Where to start?
Your first sheet should be four inches longer than necessary to assist in lining up the pattern. When applying the first sheet you should take your time to smooth out any bubbles and bumps that could impact the finishing look.
Cut into the excess paper with a sharp knife to ensure a clean cut. It’s best to do this once the paper is dry as the drag of the knife along damp paper could cause rips and tears.
What to do with excess paper
Ooops! You’ve ordered a little extra paper or simply have quite a few offcuts from navigating windows and doors. That’s ok, there are plenty of ways you can use wallpaper away from the walls. Lining cupboards and framing extra cut-offs are amongst the hundreds of ways you can make use of any leftovers.
Hanging wallpaper can make a big impact on your room depending on the colour and the design. As walls and corners aren’t often straight, don’t rely on them as a guide when you hang paper.
Where to start wallpapering
Ideally begin at the corner and hang your first length of paper on a wall with no doors or windows. That way, you can hang a full length from the ceiling to the top of the skirting-board.
Choose a wall to the right of the window if you’re right-handed or to the left if you’re left-handed. Also, it’s best to work away from the window, so the paper edges don’t cast a shadow if they overlap slightly. And try to avoid having to hang narrow strips against a window or door. If necessary, cut the first length in half vertically along the edge that’ll overlap the corner.
Last but not least, if your wallpaper has a large pattern, it’s a good idea to hang the first length over a fireplace or other focal point. Then work away from it in both directions to make the design central and symmetrical. Complete this area before papering the rest of your room.
How to hang the first length of wallpaper
It makes sense to take your time when hanging wallpaper. Be particularly careful with the first length – it’s important to get that one straight.
Top tip – Wall plug markers
Unscrew all your wall fixings before you start papering, but leave the wall plugs in place. Mark the position of each one by pushing a matchstick (with the head broken off) into the plug, leaving it slightly proud.
As you hang your paper, bring it over the marked position and press the paper onto the matchstick to pierce the paper.
Then smooth the paper with a paperhanging brush. When the paper is quite dry, remove the matchstick and replace the fitting.
Top tip – Keeping your scissors clean
Occasionally dip your wallpaper scissors into a jar of clean, warm water to loosen the build-up of paste.
To position your first length of wallpaper, use a plumb line or spirit level to draw a line from ceiling to skirting board, 480mm out from the corner. This allows a 50mm overlap onto the window wall.
Place your first pasted length at the top of the wall with its right-hand edge running down the vertical line. It’s easier if you can keep the left-hand edge of the paper off the wall.
Try to leave about 50mm of excess paper above the top of the wall for trimming. Hold the paper at both sides and make sure you don’t let the lower paper drop suddenly as it could tear or stretch.
After you’ve lined-up the right-hand edge, smooth the paper down with a paper-hanging brush. Work from the centre of the paper out to the edges, checking there are no bubbles and that the edge stays bang on the pencil mark.
With the first length in place, crease the top and bottom of the paper against the ceiling and skirting board junctions. Gently pull the paper away from the wall and cut along the creases with wallpaper scissors. Then brush the trimmed edges back into place.
Fit the next length against the previous one, matching the pattern at eye level. When you’ve got two or three pieces in place, run the seam roller lightly down the joins. But be careful not to press down too heavily on textured paper or you’ll flatten the pattern.
How to wallpaper in internal corners
When you’re papering in corners, it’s much easier to cut a length of paper vertically and position the join at the corner, especially when your wall is slightly crooked or your corner isn’t completely square. Measure and cut the paper so that it reaches slightly beyond the corner. If the off-cut of paper is half a width or more, then use it as the next length. If it’s even smaller, start with a new length.
Top tip – Uneven walls
If the lines and angles of your walls are uneven, it may be better to choose a plain paper or one with a small, frequently repeated pattern. In particular you should avoid striped papers as these can make irregularities very obvious. Alternatively, you can wallpaper a single feature wall.
Measure the distance between the edge of the last length you’ve hung and the corner at the top, bottom and middle of the wall. Use the widest measurement and allow an extra 25mm for turning onto the next wall. Cut a length of paper to this width.
Then paste and hang the cut length and fit the paper to the edge of the previous strip, aligning the pattern at eye level. Allow the extra 25mm to stick lightly to the next wall, and use a paper-hanging brush to smooth the paper into the internal corner.
Make sure the paper’s firmly pressed against the wall by running the seam roller along its edge. Wipe any excess paste from the roller before it dries. If you spot any creases, tear the paper and overlap the pieces so they lie flat – a tear will show less than if you cut the paper (although it’s better to cut vinyl paper).
Hang the plumb line on the next wall at a distance from the corner that’s either the width of the full paper roll or your offcut (whichever you’re using). Make some pencil marks behind the vertical line at intervals down the wall. This will give you a completely vertical edge for starting the next wall.
Hang the next length with its right-hand edge aligned with the pencil marks and overlap the paper turned from the previous wall. If your paper is patterned, match the two pieces as closely as you can and use border adhesive along the overlapping strip.
How to wallpaper in external corners
You’ll often find that walls and corners aren’t completely straight or at perfect right-angles. If this is the case, you should position an overlapping join at an external corner.
Start by measuring from the edge of the last full width to the corner, and allow an extra 25mm for the turn onto the next wall. Cut a length of wallpaper to this width. Then hang it as far as the corner and bend the excess paper around the corner onto the next wall.
Use a plumb line to get a vertical start on the next wall and lay the paper over the overlapping section of the previous length. Then stick it with border adhesive, which is much better than walLpaper paste for sticking paper to paper.
A mismatched pattern is more obvious on an external corner, so you’d be better doing this with small repeated patterns or plain wallpaper. The overlap will also show up more if you’re using textured or flock papers.
Your first strip should measure the height of your wall plus 10cms. This will leave 5cms at the top and bottom for trimming. Mark the end of the first strip with a pencil and straightedge. Then use a sharp utility knife in one continuous cut across the paper. You’ll need to consider your pattern repeat before you cut the rest of your strips to ensure your design matches vertically and horizontally.
For instance, in a straight design match you will want to cut each strip the same length beginning at the same point in the pattern.
For an offset design match, you should roll out the paper side by side with the first strip to match up the patterns and cut paper accordingly.
(See below for more information on Design Match).
Wallpaper seams should not overlap but instead should be “butted” together. The two edges of the wallpaper should be touching but not overlapping. A seam roller is a tool that can be used to seal the wallpaper seams and help smooth any edges that have lifted. Do not roll the seams too aggressively or you will push out all the adhesive.
Unsightly wallpaper seams can be avoided by following the proper procedures for “booking” and smoothing wallpaper. “Booking” helps wallpaper to evenly absorb the moisture that activates the adhesive so you don’t have to worry about wallpaper shrinking up while it sets. A wallpaper smoothing tool should be used after you hang each strip. This will help the seams line up and smooth out the paper. A seam roller can also help seal and set wallpaper seams. It is important to know if you choose a grass cloth or natural fibre wallpaper, that seams will show because the natural fibres do not create perfect seams. This is actually a style choice and one reason why coverings like grass cloth are popular with decorators who are looking to create a natural and textured look in their space.
Once the wallpaper is hung, you will trim the excess paper from the top and bottom for an exact fit. Use a putty knife to guide a sharp blade in a long, continuous cut across the excess paper around the ceilings and baseboards.
Small tears in your wallpaper are repairable! Wallpaper scraps can be used as a patch. Begin by removing any rough edges around the tear with a utility knife. Then cut a piece of wallpaper slightly bigger than the area you are trying to repair, make sure the pattern matches exactly, and cover the torn area with the patch. Use your knife to cut out a shape through the patch piece and the wallpaper underneath. The shape should be larger than the torn area. Now remove the underneath wallpaper that was cut out by your new shape. Apply paste to or activate the adhesive on the patch and fit it into the shape cut out of the wallpaper. Wipe away excess adhesive and smooth the wallpaper surface.
When you reach a door/window frame, allow the paper to hang over the door or window while you smooth the paper until it meets the door/window frame. Once the area is smoothed, cut off the paper that hangs over the door/window, leaving only a few inches for trimming. You will want to make a diagonal cut in the paper at the corner of the door/window frame, allowing the paper to lay flat at the edge of the frame. Smooth the paper down around the corner. Use your putty knife and a sharp blade to trim the excess paper around the door/window frame.
An extra Tutorial on How to wallpaper around windows and doors
This tutorial is so easy, you can do this all by yourself. Wallpapering the architrave of your home takes patience and time, but here’s our easy 4-step guide to make it a little easier for you.
- Begin hanging your drop of wallpaper.
- Once you reach the corner of the architrave, tuck the wallpaper inwards slightly to create a dip. Don’t press on too hard as you may risk ripping the paper, particularly if it is wet.
- When you have smoothed the top down and eased away any air bubbles, you can easily cut away the excess, leaving a slight flap to run over. This extra wallpaper will help you to line up your next drop. Keeping your wallpaper straight on an architrave is notoriously difficult, but allowing the paper to run over slightly gives you a guide. Alternatively you could use a spirit level to create an accurate line to work with.
- Continue hanging your wallpaper as normal and you will find that once you have reached the other end of your window, aligning your pattern correctly will be much easier.
Although it may take a little extra care and attention, once the job is finished you’ll have that beaming ‘I made this’ feeling. All your efforts will certainly pay off once you can relax in your freshly-designed room.
Wallpapering around plug sockets and light switches may be tricky, but we’ve got a 5-step process that will give you a flawless finish.
- Turn off your electricity. We’ll be removing the light switch cover to tuck spare paper underneath and it is imperative that you follow appropriate safety measures.
- Hang your wallpaper as normal and gently lay the paper across the wall until you meet your light switch/socket. Let the paper hover over the socket and cut an X shape across the switch, but leave a cm gap before each corner of your switch.
- Cut off the extra flaps of wallpaper, leaving a border around your switch. Using smaller scissors, continue the original cuts to the corner. This should leave you with smaller flaps that you can peel back to reveal the full socket.
- Double check that your electricity supply is switched off and unscrew the switch setting. You don’t need to unscrew the switch all the way, just open it enough to slot the smaller paper flaps underneath.
- Screw the switch back in place and you’ll be able to enjoy a seamless finish. Many decorators choose to leave the paper flaps along the side of the switch, which is a good alternative for sockets that cannot be removed.
Bubbles and creases are caused by air bubbles underneath the paper and can be the result of uneven smoothing. This can be avoided by smoothing down the centre of the strip first and then smooth outward. Bubbles that form during hanging can be fixed by lifting the paper up around the bubble and smoothing it back down. If the bubble is not discovered until the wallpaper is dry, it will be difficult to fix without causing a crease in the paper. Bubbles may also be caused by a weak bond with the wall. Avoid this by allowing adequate time for “booking” in the preparation stages. “Booking” the paper activates the adhesive so the paper sticks to the wall evenly.
Booking refers to how the wallpaper should “rest” while the glue activates. Booking allows the paste to penetrate the wallpaper while keeping the paste from drying out before hanging it. Once the glue has been activated on pre-pasted strips or spread on un-pasted ones, you should lay the strip pattern-side down on a flat surface. Gently fold the ends of the strip back towards the centre so the pasted sides are touching. Do not allow the folds to crease or you may leave a permanent mark. Follow the manufacturers recommended time for booking before hanging the strip. You do not need to “book” the wallpaper when using the Paste-the-Wall (Easy Premium Wallpaper) method.
Time for drying can depend on the type of wallpaper and the condition of the room. The average time for drying is somewhere between 24-48 hours. However, some wallpapers can take up to two weeks before the adhesive is completely dry and set. If you are waiting for wallpaper to dry before painting or adding a border, it is recommended to wait at least 36-48 hours before starting either of these processes.
Most commercially available wallpaper pastes will work for the majority of wallpaper projects. However, some heavy grade wallpapers might require a stronger adhesive.
We sell Paste in 50g packets or 200g packets, you will need one packet for every 3 rolls for our Standard Wallpaper and Easy Premium Wallpaper.
Lining paper can be hung in two directions, vertically and horizontally. When hanging lining paper, you want to avoid prominent seams by making sure the joints of the lining paper and the wallpaper don’t coincide. You can hang the lining paper vertically if the width of your lining paper is different than the width of your wallpaper. Vertical lining paper can be hung as regular wallpaper. If you choose to hang the lining paper horizontally, a method called ‘cross lining’, you can be absolutely sure that your vertical seams won’t align.
Cross lining is the process of hanging lining paper horizontally before wallpapering. Cross lining creates a smooth and professional finish once the top wallpaper is applied. The horizontal application helps avoid prominent vertical seams and increases bonding strength.
It’s easy to overlook the ceiling when you decorate, but the truth is that a beautifully patterned wall above you can create a mesmerising interior impact. Wallpapering your ceiling is much easier than you may think, so there’s no excuse for neglecting it.
Our handy tips make it a simple process, even for novices. Here’s our top tips for getting it right first time.
Turn off your electricity
You’re going to be removing light fittings to make wallpapering around them much easier, so don’t forget to put your own safety first.
Make sure you’ve got plenty of sandpaper at the ready. Ceilings can be notorious for uneven finishes, especially if you’ve had to revamp a textured plaster finish. Our Superfresco Easy range does help to hide any bumps you may have, but it’s still worth making the ceiling as smooth as you can.
Create a pathway
Mark out the width of each wallpaper drop, minus two inches for overlap. Use a light pencil outline to highlight where each section is to be applied.
A textured ceiling doesn’t have to look old-fashioned. The beauty and ease of applying our wallpaper means you can create whatever look you want, without the time consuming chore of re-plastering your ceiling.
When using the Paste-the-Wall or Paste-the-Paper methods, it is common to find excess paste on your ceilings and baseboards. This can be easily removed with a wet sponge and clean water.
Damp is a common issue that plagues homes everywhere. Water can sneak into your home in a variety of ways, from leaky plumbing, blocked guttering, condensation and defects in the structure. The build-up of moisture in your walls is what causes the unsightly and potentially hazardous mould, but this shouldn’t derail your interior design plans.
The first thing you should do is find out what type of damp your home is suffering from. This may be different in each case so don’t always assume that the same issue is causing each patch, as you may waste time and money on solutions that do not work.
It’s a tough job and takes time, but there are ways to remove unsightly patches.
A very common form of damp that occurs when moisture in the air touches a cold surface. It’s commonly found in areas of the home with high humidity, such as the kitchen and bathroom. However, it can also be found by energy-savvy households who may be reluctant to use their heating in winter.
You can avoid this happening by:
– Letting fresh air circulate around your home
– Improving heating levels so that there is a constant level of warmth
– Reducing the amount of moisture in the home with a dehumidifier
You can treat this by…
Condensation is generally easy to remove as it is so common. You can purchase antibacterial sprays that will remove the build-up of mould on the walls, which should be used and left to dry before applying your wallpaper of choice.
In serious cases of damp, you may need to apply a thin layer of polystyrene on your walls as an insulating layer that can be covered up at a later date.
This is the result of moisture rising from ground level up through the structure of your property. It is most common in older buildings, but can happen in more recently-built structures too, so never assume that your home is exempt.
You can avoid this happening by:
– Performing regular maintenance on gutters and drains
– Tackling the issue as soon as you see any slight signs of damp
– Getting advice from a professional every two years to monitor water ingress
You can treat this by…
If your home has already been affected by rising damp, you may need to seek the help of a professional to find out the cause. Simply treating and covering up the area will not be good enough. The mould will come back in a matter of months and you’ll end up wasting money and time on a temporary fix.
Similar to rising damp, this type is caused by water in the walls but leaks travel horizontally. The effects begin to show when the moisture becomes trapped and cannot escape. You may not notice the effects in the same way, as plaster is likely to feel chalky or bubbly before mould begins to show.
You can avoid this happening by:
– Using storm-dry coating on your external walls
– You could monitor the damp levels with an electronic meter
– Applying external cladding
– Do not stand planters against the walls
– Maintain a warm temperature in your home
– Use a dehumidifier
You can treat this by…
Penetrating damp can be treated in a number of ways. From the cheap option of resealing doors and windows, to the more expensive treatments such as having your wall cavities surveyed. The best thing to do is to try and identify the root cause of the issue without diving in headfirst with the cheapest option.
Choosing a wallpaper
Once you’ve treated your damp patches, you’re in a position to select a wallpaper that fits in with your overall theme.
If you’ve done everything properly and are confident that your damp problem won’t return, then there’s no reason why you cannot choose any wall covering you desire. However, if you fear that your condensation problem could rear its head again, you’ll need to be extra savvy when redesigning your room.
Having a hard-wearing wallpaper is so much more reassuring. If you’ve simply painted over any old damp patches, the old stain could quite easily start to penetrate through, leaving your room looking patchy
REMOVING OLD WALLPAPER
Before you begin any preparation or decoration work, it’s best to clear the room as much as you can. Move any items that need to stay into the centre of the room and cover them with dust sheets. Use dust sheets to protect the floor, too.
It’s also a wise move to soak the paper on the wall with hot water, as this makes it much easier to remove. You’ll find the water soaks in more easily if you cut the paper first by scoring it with the blade of a stripping knife, or you could run an orbital scorer over the surface. But make sure your stepladder is stable when you’re tackling the higher sections.
Top tip – Wallpaper stripper solution
Specially formulated wallpaper stripper solution will help you remove the paper without steaming.
Start by running an orbital scorer over the paper, taking care not to damage the plaster behind it. Fill a bucket with hot water, adding some liquid detergent and a handful of wallpaper paste to thicken it a little.
Wet the wall with a large sponge, covering a few square metres at a time, and leave it to soak in for at least five minutes. Then slide the edge of a wide stripping knife under the paper at a seam to see if it’s ready to be stripped. It should come away in fairly large sections. If this doesn’t happen even after a long and thorough soak, you’ll need to use wallpaper stripper or a steam stripper.
Hold the stripper pad at the bottom of a length of wallpaper for a minute or so until the paper around it appears damp. Then move the pad up onto the next section while pulling off the damp paper below – loosening stubborn areas with a stripping knife. Strip each length from bottom to top, being really careful not to damage the plasterboard or plaster with the blade of your stripping knife.
WALLPAPER TYPES & RANGES
HOW MUCH WALLPAPER & PATTERN REPEAT
First, calculate the wall area by multiplying the height of the wall by the width.
Second, calculate the area of the wall you will not be papering (i.e. windows and doors) by multiplying the height by the width of each area you will not paper.
Third, subtract the unpapered area from the area of the wall. This will give you the wallpapering area.
Fourth, divide the wallpapering area by the square footage of the wallpaper you would like to purchase.
This will give you the total number of rolls needed to complete your project. However, you will need to consider extra paper for the pattern repeat and extra trimmings.
– OFFSET MATCH
When using an offset design match, also called drop match, the design expands beyond the width of one roll and therefore needs to match the strips around it both horizontally and vertically. Offset designs are the most difficult to align and require you to determine which strips
will go where before you begin. The half-drop match repeats at the ceiling line on every other strip creating a diagonal pattern sequence. Offset matches also require more wallpaper and create more waste. You would need three strips of wallpaper to repeat the vertical design.
– STRAIGHT MATCH
When using a straight design match, the wallpaper design begins and ends within the width of the roll. This makes it easy to see where the seams should line up. The match begins at the ceiling line ensuring that the design will match up on either side of the strip. This creates a horizontal pattern sequence.
– FREE MATCH
When using a free design match, also called random match, you don’t have to worry about lining up the design at the seams. This makes free match wallpaper easy to install and great for beginners. Using a free match wallpaper, such as a texture or vertical stripes, will reduce the
amount of wasted paper since you won’t have to cut away extra paper to match a design.
If your wallpaper is washable, use a sponge lightly dampened with a solution of water and a small amount of dish soap. Make sure you do not get the wallpaper too wet. It is best to have a dry cloth with you to wipe up the excess solution. Finish this washing process by rinsing the wallpaper with a lightly dampened cloth or sponge with water alone. Then immediately dry the wallpaper with a terry-cloth towel. Certain uniquely textured wallpaper cannot be washed. You can test whether your wallpaper can be washed by picking an inconspicuous spot of wallpaper and applying your solution of dish soap and water to it. If the wallpaper absorbs the water or the colours run, it is not washable. Even if your wallpaper is washable do not use abrasive cleaners like Handy Andy etc.
Please check your Washability:
– Washable: The wallpaper can be cleaned with a damp cloth and soft soapy water.
– Spongeable: The wallcovering can only withstand light, almost dry, cleaning.
– Scrubbable: The wallpaper can be washed or scrubbed with a brush and cleaning solution.
Do NOT use strong chemicals or cleaning products like Handy Andy or Spray Surface Cleaners on any Wallpaper.