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  • Sophie Harpley

Hang your wallpaper in 7 steps

You've finally found the perfect wallpaper for a specific room in your home, and you can already envision the transformation. However, when it comes to actually hanging the wallpaper, where do you begin?


Here’s how to hang wallpaper in 7 simple steps. You’ll soon be hanging wallpaper like a pro.



Tulip Wave wallpaper in Sky

All Sophie Harpley Studio wallpapers are paste-to-wall and easy to install, whether you hire a decorator or choose to hang them yourself. If you go the DIY route, here’s what you will need… To prepare your walls for wallpaper: - Wall Filler - Sandpaper Tools you’ll need for installing wallpaper:

~ Sharp knife or wallpaper scissors

~ Wallpaper paste ~ Bucket ~ A step ladder ~ Spirit level ~ Tape measure ~ Paint brush or roller and roller tray ~ Wallpaper brush or smoother ~ Seam roller ~ Clean damp cloth



SS23 Sophie Harpley Wallpaper collection

1. Know your wallpaper


Before you get started, it's important to know what type of wallpaper you're working with. There are two main types: paste-to-wall wallpaper and paste-to-paper wallpaper.


All our wallpapers are paste-to-wall, meaning you paste the wall and not the paper. As you might imagine, the paste-to-paper method can be time-consuming and messy!


Paste-to-wall wallpaper like ours, offers a convenient and efficient way to elevate your space. With this type of wallpaper, you can apply your adhesive directly to the wall, simplifying the whole process. Paste-to-wall wallpaper not only saves time, but also allows for easy adjustments and repositioning during installation. This ensures a perfect alignment and an impeccable finish.

2. Prepare your walls with love If you want your wallpaper to look absolutely perfect, you'll first need to put in the effort to prep your walls meticulously. The true artistry of wallpaper hanging really does lie in the preparation. Your chosen wallpaper deserves the perfect foundation, and dedicating a little care at this stage will enhance your finished results.


The aim is to begin with smooth, flat clean and dry walls. So start by addressing any cracks or imperfections and remove any old wallpaper of course. If your walls are in particular need of some love, it might be worth having them re-plastered before applying any wallpaper.


If there are just a few imperfections on the wall, take the time to fill in any blemishes using a high-quality filler to achieve a seamless finish. After the filler has dried, gently sand the wall until it is perfectly smooth.


For wallpapering directly on to fresh plaster, we recommend using the technique of "sizing." Dilute a paste solution and apply it generously to the walls, allowing it to penetrate the porous plaster. As this solution dries, it forms a protective shield that guards against the unwanted absorption of adhesive during the wallpapering process. Looking to get perfectly neat edges? You can make wallpapering mistakes less noticeable by painting the edges of the walls the same colour as the wallpaper before hanging - that way any imperfections will be hidden. Clever!

All our wallpapers mention a good match for the background colour in their descriptions.

3. Measure your room Before you start, it is important to take the time to carefully calculate the amount you need for a room. We recommend adding 20% to what you think you need to account for any additional wallpaper required for trims or pattern matching. For help calculating the amount of wallpaper you require, try our handy wallpaper calculator.

4. Choose a starting point. Take into consideration the lighting conditions in the room as you begin your wallpapering project. If you're covering the entire room, it's recommended to start in an area with plenty of natural light and go from there. However, if you're creating a feature wall, the lighting becomes less crucial in the decision-making process.


The first length, or "drop," of wallpaper is the most important as it sets the foundation for aligning with all of the other lengths you’ll hang. You definitely want to make sure that the first drop of wallpaper is perfectly straight. Otherwise, you might end up with an uneven appearance that gets worse as you continue. By taking the time to align the first drop neatly, the rest of the wallpaper should easily fall into place.


To start, measure 50cm from the left-hand corner of the wall you're going to decorate and mark it with a pencil. To draw a straight vertical line, use this mark as a reference point. You can use either a plumb-bob or a spirit level to create a plumb line. This line will serve as a guide when hanging the first drop, ensuring it hangs straight down.


The width of a wallpaper roll is approx 52cm. This means that the last drop you hang will fit neatly into the corner. If the wall has any irregularities, you can trim that final drop in the corner, and any imperfections will be less noticeable. If your wall or room has a focal point and you’d like the pattern to be centralised to, for example, a fireplace or a window, you’ll need to start level with the middle of the focal point and work out from either side.



Oxford Meadow wallpaper

5. Prepare your paste Preparing your wallpaper paste properly is an essential step in bringing your wallpaper visions to life. Make sure you measure out the right amount of wallpaper paste. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer and be as precise about it as you possibly can. Gently pour in some cold water and stir it well until you get a smooth, lump-free mixture. Let the paste sit for the recommended time mentioned on the package, and you’re good to go.

6. Apply the first drop Now that your walls are prepped and your paste is ready, let's dive in. When it comes to paste-the-wall products, just unroll the wallpaper and stick it straight on. If you need to reach the ceiling or coving, grab a ladder and make sure to leave a bit of extra material, about 2-3cm, at the top. When putting up the wallpaper, simply brush it into position, starting from the top and working your way down to the skirting board. Be sure to press it firmly (but not too hard) against the wall for a smooth finish.


Make sure the wallpaper is positioned correctly and aligned vertically. Once you're happy with the positioning, use a smoothing brush to press down the paper from the middle to the edges. Remove any extra paper at the top and bottom using a knife or wallpaper scissors.

7. Hang the rest of the wallpaper Now let's move to the right of the first "drop" and generously apply paste to the wall again, making sure to go a few centimetres wider than the wallpaper's width. There’s no need to get too close to the first wallpaper drop while doing this.


And it’s time to hang the second drop. Pay close attention to how the paper lines up and how the design seamlessly connects along the edges. To start, unroll the paper from the top and gently brush it against the wall as you go along and work downwards. The paper should easily slide into place once it's on the paste.


As you reach the bottom of the wall, carefully check for pattern matches and ensure there are no gaps. If you come across bubbles or slight mismatches, simply loosen the paper and brush it back down. You'll be amazed at how forgiving paste-the-wall wallpaper can be! If everything matches, you're almost there.


Once you're satisfied with the positioning, grab a smoothing brush and start pressing down the paper from the middle to the edges, just like before. Keep doing this until you've covered the entire wall. A few tips;

1. When smoothing out your wallpaper, be careful not to push too hard. Otherwise, you run the risk of squeezing out the paste and stretching the paper. 2. Wipe down as you go, using a clean damp sponge. It is much easier to remove any excess paste before it has set. 3. To prevent wallpaper from curling up at the edges, make sure to use a roller and really press down on every seam.


Lastly, if you’re unsure how to wallpaper around a window, socket, corner or fireplace, read our blog post all about how to wallpaper tricky spaces. Congratulations! You're done. Now, take a step back with a cup of tea and admire your beautifully wallpapered walls. We’d love to see your newly transformed home too, please tag @sophieharpleystudio on Instagram!



Geraniums wallpaper


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