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How To Hang Wallpapers And Preparation!
A simple and not so expensive way to do household repairs is to renovate the room with new wallpaper.
I think almost every person that have some practical skill can hang wallpaper! It is just a question of patience, creativity and a willingness to try! To hang wallpaper is not a skill we are born with, it is a skill we can learn. I have learned by trying and making errors and by reading books and such. But no one has taught me how to hang wallpaper, I have just learned while practicing.
I recently redecorated two room in my house with new wallpaper and some paint and it made all the difference to rooms that before looked really dull and worn. Redecorate a room with wallpapers is like getting a brand new room even if you put back in your old furniture when you are finished, and it is a fast way too!
But, as it is with almost everything in life there are some part of the redecoration that isn't so fun! The preparations before we can hang the new wallpaper! This is the part of wallpapering that I find a bit boring and it is important to do it right from the beginning in order to shorten the time spent on preparations of the walls.
The way to do it, is to do it well and think before you start!
Wallpapering tools that you need:
- Smaller bucket and sponge
- Different sizes of plastic applicator or trowel
- Wallpaper table
- Screwdrivers, hammers
- Putty knife
- Wallpaper paste
- Bubble level
- Wallpapering brush
- Paint wash
- Element color
- Woodwork colour
- Roof color
- A damp towel
Lets get started:
Measure the room and choose wallpaper!
The first step is to take measurements of the room size and calculate how much wallpaper and color you need. If you haven't decided which wallpaper you want to use, just measure the height of the walls and the room´s length and width. Take the measurements to the wallpaper store and they will help you if you can´t calculate how much you need to buy.
There are different ways to calculate how much wallpaper you need, and it all depends on your demand for accuracy. You can do very thorough calculations in order to buy the exact amount wallpaper rolls. But I believe in the art of not making things too complicated and make a general calculation that so far has worked just fine. I usually come very close! The way I go about it is to calculate how much wallpaper I need by measuring the room with a folding rule. Use the most common width of wallpaper where you live, and measure direct on the walls in the room. Most wallpapers here have the width of 53 cm and I use that measure and slowly working my way along the walls making marks using a folding ruler. By doing so I have the amounts of wallpaper lengths that is needed. The only thing you need then is the hight of the walls and then you multiply with the number of wallpaper lengths. If you know you are going to use wallpaper without patterns you can do some count off for doorways and windows but I advice you to have some marginals and don't count off for windows and doors at all, because you might need it. And if you are going to use wallpaper with patterns you better not, because the wallpaper waste generated by pattern will match the wallpaper you can count off for doors and windows. If you haven't decided about wallpaper patterns or not, you better take both calculations with you to the store.
But even if you calculate how much wallpaper you need by yourself I suggest you go to the wallpaper store and select your wallpaper before you start to prepare the room anyway, since not every store have all their wallpapers in store. In that way you can prepare the room while the wallpaper is ordered.
In my case I had two room, two smaller rooms upstairs that hadn't been used so much before. There is also a large opening between the rooms which makes them both visible at the same time. To avoid a messy result it is best to take that into consideration and choose wallpapers that goes well together and/or complement each other.
Here are some guidelines for you to think about when you choose color and patterns of your wallpaper.
A dark wall on the wall furthest away makes the room looks smaller.
Dark colors on the opposite walls makes the room seem narrower.
Horizontal stripes on the wallpaper makes the roof lower and the room seem smaller.
Vertical stripes on the wall makes the distance to the roof to seem a bit higher and the room bigger.
Lowering the roof. If you want the roof to look a bit lower, you can continue with the roof color a bit down on the wall.
Rough walls and large patterns give the impression that the room seems smaller and a room filled with big patterns can make the room feel like it is squeezin
Things to consider about wallpaper patterns
You also need to consider the size of the wallpaper pattern. A big pattern will look much better at a distance so you should only use big wallpaper patterns if you have a room that allows a long viewing distance. If the room is too small you will have to move your head and your vision to be able to see the whole pattern and that can make the patterns seem a bit overwhelming.
Other things to consider is how you are going to use the room, since big patterns in a smaller room also can make it feel more homely and warm. And if that is what you want to achieve you can choose big patterns also in a small room, but try to adjust the pattern size to the room. It is the size of the room that should decide the size of the pattern on the wallpaper.
Small patterns can be suitable in small rooms because then you come closer to the pattern and you can actually see the pattern that in a big room has a tendency to be invisible and only look like a blur.
How to prepare your wall for wallpaper
Prepare the walls!
Remove the old wallpaper.
I use spatulas of different sizes to remove the wallpaper, layer by layer. To make it easier you can use a steam, or plain water on a sponge as I prefer. Apply water on the wall with the sponge and leave on for 5 minute. Then it is quite easy to remove the wallpaper. If there are many layers of wallpaper on the wall you may need to repeat the procedure. Make sure you take away all loose hanging wallpaper or wallpaper over air bubbles. Be extra thorough around wallpaper edges and corners.
You do not need to remove all layers of wallpaper. In an old house like mine, there where 4 or 5 layers so I had to take away three layers before the walls felt smooth and even.
The material of the wall is very important!
How to continue with the preparation work, will depend on the wall material in the room you work with!
If you have gypsum board walls you may continue with filling joints, holes and other imperfections with putty. After the putty has dried, you need to grind the walls. Sometimes you need to repeat the procedure with putty and you may also need to grind the walls more times to get a good and even result.
If you, like me, have a soft and porous board, then you are in much bigger trouble!
You really have two options: either remove these soft boards completely or prepare them!
I chose to keep them because I think it is a heavier job to take them out and replace them with new wall material.
The problem with porous wall material is that they absorb all types of fluid. If the wall surface contain both plaster, wallpaper and areas with no wallpaper the wall will absorb uneven and the wall will not look good when you are finished. To prevent this, you first need to glue the walls with wallpaper glue, ore paint the walls. I used glue. Brush on a big amount of glue on the walls and let it dry.
I recommend that you always pre glue walls unless you wallpaper a wall for the first time. It will prevent different materials to absorb uneven and the final appearance will be better.
If the wall for some reason is very uneven and if you like me dislike plastering and grinding plastered walls several times you can use an easy cover wallpaper to get an even wall surface. They are a bit thicker than normal wallpaper and cover the holes, the cracks and other imperfections very good, but it will nor cover up for higher bumps or severly uneven walls.
I glue the walls one more time on top of the easy cover wallpaper as a precaution when I use the easy cover wallpaper. The cover wallpaper are thick and it is easier to get a smoother result if they are little saturated with glue. I want the glue to attach the wallpaper on the walls, not risking the glue to be absorbed into the wall material!
Another important aspect is the wallpaper quality! I always make sure I choose a wallpaper of good quality and preferably the type where you add the glue directly on the wall instead of glue the wallpaper on a tapestry table. It makes it so much easier and a lot less messy!
Good quality wallpaper is also more stabile which makes it easier to get nice cuts. It is almost impossible to get a bad result if the wallpaper is of good quality. It really is worth it, even if the cost is higher. Consider how many years you will have to look at that wall and feel irritated because of walls with a bad result.
My message is therefor: make sure you do your best with the preparations of the wall! Poor preparations will directly show and be visible on the walls otherwise.
Other things to consider!
It is a good idea to improve the woodwork in the room and maybe also the roof with some new color because it will improve the result if you do!
When all the reparations are done you can continue with the fun part! It is time to hang the new wallpaper!