How to

Tips and tricks for hanging wallpaper

If your last experience hanging wallpaper was back in the 60s, 70s or 80s, you’ll be pleased to hear that things have progressed. Gone are the days when wallpapering a room required faffing about pasting strips of wallpaper laid out on a trestle table before dangling soggy paper against the wall. The latest paste-the-wall designs are much easier to hang than their flower power predecessors and even better, the Resene Wallpaper Collection is full of trend-forward modern designs.

If you’re a bit hesitant to give it a go, Resene Wallpaper Professional Ingel Janssen shares his five top tricks to get terrific wallpaper results.

Prints are your pal

Wallpaper can add texture and personality to your spaces and Resene ColorShops have many wallpaper sample books for you to browse for inspiration. If you’re finding it hard to narrow down your choices, consider the following:

  • The room are you decorating and  the mood you wish to evoke in that space
  • The scale of the wallpaper pattern and the size of the room.
  • The colour(s) in the wallpaper design and colours used elsewhere in the room.
  • The theme of the print.
  • Placement in the room, e.g., will it be used on a feature wall or used on all four walls?

Resene wallpaper can create a mood, and certain types of designs like leafy green botanicals or delicate florals might suit a space designed for relaxation such as bedrooms. A quirky playful print or dark design might be a fun option for a powder room with no natural light sources. Large, oversized wallpaper patterns can add drama to space but are best suited to larger rooms with high ceilings and feature walls, and small prints are suited to little rooms. Samples of many wallpapers are available for ordering from your local Resene ColorShop to allow you to try a design out in your home or if no samples are available, most wallpaper books can be borrowed overnight by arrangement.

Resene Wallpaper Collection 291253.
Resene Wallpaper Collection 1907-140-04.
Resene Wallpaper Collection 2109-157-03.

Decode the codes

Each design in the Resene Wallpaper Collection has its own codes, which indicate if the wallpaper is a non-woven paste-the-wall design, whether it’s washable – a great option for children’s rooms – and the pattern repeat. This lets you know how far the pattern goes down the wall before it repeats itself. A pattern repeat could be as small as 10cm or as large as 60cm, and this will give you an idea of the scale of the pattern as well as how many rolls you might need. On average, one wallpaper roll will provide three ‘drops’ on the wall, but it depends on the pattern repeat and the size of your wall.

Seal the deal

Like most DIY jobs, prepping well is key to a good finish. Clean painted walls with Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner and fill any gaps with a plaster filler before sanding. Seal with Resene Sureseal to prevent the wallpaper paste from being absorbed into the plaster.

Measure your walls before heading to your local Resene ColorShop, and the friendly team will help you figure out how many wallpaper rolls you'll need.
Wallpaper labels contain useful information, including the type of wallpaper, the batch number and the pattern repeat.
Smooth out any bubbles using a rubber press seam roller. This wall features Resene Wallpaper Collection E307302.

Size it up

Wallpaper size is a decorator’s secret weapon. Apply a coat of wallpaper size to your walls before applying the wallpaper paste, this will make it easier for you to apply the wallpaper and line up the pattern.

Hang tight

Before you start hanging, use a plumbline to mark a straight line with a pencil and then hold the wallpaper roll up to the wall to mark the width of the wallpaper in several places down the wall. Then measure the distance of the wall from the ceiling scotia to the skirting board and allow at least 10cm of overhang at both ends, this will make it easier to manoeuvre the wallpaper as you hang it. To hang the wallpaper, apply a thick coat of wallpaper paste to the wall (the readymade pastes are an easy option for beginners). Line up your first strip of wallpaper, and press it into the wall using a rubber press roller or wallpaper brush. Push out any bubbles or creases as you go. When you reach the bottom use a straight edge tool to cut off the excess.

With Ingel’s tips and tricks in mind, check out his Paper like a Pro episode below for a step-by-step guide on how to hang paste-the-wall wallpaper.

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