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  • Sophie Harpley

Wallpaper around architecture

Now that you’ve got to grips with the basics of hanging wallpaper in our 7 step guide, you might have found yourself wondering what happens when you reach the corner? The window? The door? Or how to get around that socket in the wall?! Not to worry. Below we cover the most common features of a room and how to wallpaper them with ease. With some prep, patience and perseverance you'll have your room wallpapered to perfection!


First things first

It really is all in the preparation. Read How To Hang Your Wallpaper in 7 Steps before you begin, for advice on filling in imperfections and how to apply that all important first drop. We also have a useful Wallpaper Calculator so you can work out exactly how much wallpaper you need. Taking the time to understand the wallpapering process before starting might feel tedious, but your efforts will shine through in the results. And you do have to live with it after all!


How to wallpaper around a window Start on the right hand side. Begin by hanging the first strip of wallpaper from the top of the wall, letting it cascade in front of the window itself. Then, take your wallpaper scissors and start cutting the paper horizontally at the top and bottom of the recess. This will then give you a neat little overhanging flap of paper that you can fold into the recess. You can then give that flap a light brush with wallpaper paste and trim off any access where the paper meets the window frame, and you’ve now successfully completed the first step of wallpapering around a window - easy peasy! If your window has a super deep recess, you might need an extra sheet of paper. But if your window doesn't have a recess, just make the same horizontal cuts at the top and bottom. Then, instead of folding in the extra flap, you can simply just just trim it off for a neat finish.


Now it’s time to hang the second piece of wallpaper. Hang it directly above the window, making sure that the pattern lines up perfectly with the first piece. You can fold any excess paper into the top part of the window frame, and as in step one give it a good brush with paste. Again, neatly trim any extra paper where it meets the window.



How to wallpaper around a socket You’re just getting into your wallpaper flow, and you’ve come across a socket or light-switch slap bang in the middle of the wall. What to do? Wallpapering around a socket is actually incredibly easy. It just requires a bit of time and patience but I promise the results will be worth it.


Firstly, to stay safe you need to make sure that you turn off the electricity to the room. Then, gently remove the external parts of the plug socket or switch cover. (A basic screwdriver is all you need). Take your time and be careful when doing this, safety first!


Next, you can position the wallpaper right over the plug connector or socket like a pro. Skilfully trim off any extra wallpaper that would be hidden under the socket, and once you’re done you can pop the wall socket or switch cover back on. It’s as simple as that!


Oh, and I’d recommend waiting for at least 30 minutes before reconnecting the electricity just to make sure that any remaining traces of wallpaper paste have dried completely.


How to wallpaper around a corner


When you’re wallpapering any room, you’re going to encounter a corner. Corners can appear like simple features in a room but these can often be slightly wonky, making them awkward to paper. The first thing you need to do is to measure the distance from the edge of the previous strip of wallpaper to the corner and add around 20mm to this measurement. Then, cut a piece of wallpaper lengthwise matching this measurement, leaving some extra wiggle room at the top and bottom of the strip for a good clean fit. Take your time and gently apply paste to the wall and the corner. Next, line up the pattern of the trimmed strip and carefully make a small cut at both the top and bottom corners to help you smoothly wrap and press the strip around the corner. Use your chosen wallpapering tool (or clean fingers if you’re feeling more hands on!) to press the piece down making sure that there are no air bubbles. If it's an inside corner, take care to smooth the fold at this stage, before the paste is set. Th last thing you want is any creases.


Now pick up the other half of the wallpaper you've just cut in half. The second piece will match up perfectly on the adjoining wall. If you need to, wall grab a spirit level and make a nice straight line just like you did when hanging your first strip. Check out How To Hang Your Wallpaper in 7 Steps if you’re unsure how to do this. Continue wallpapering around the room as you were.


When you’re done, use a damp sponge to dab off any extra paste around the edges, skirting board and cornice. And voila! You’ll be left with a beautifully flawless outside corner.


How to wallpaper a ceiling


Nothing beats a bold wallpapered ceiling. It’s such a fantastic way to transform a room, and I love this look, especially in attics or rooms with beams and jaunty eaves. Wallpapered ceilings can look incredible and the more striking the patterned wallpaper, the better. So, top tips -


When putting up wallpaper on the ceiling, I recommend that you start at the window and finish on the opposite side of the room. This will mean that the wallpaper will hang away from the light and will also prevent any shadows showing on the surface. When using a patterned wallpaper, it can also be a good idea to centre it perfectly on the ceiling. Although technically the process of wallpapering a ceiling is exactly the same as wallpapering a wall, I would reiterate my suggestion to hire help at this point. Particularly if you have a very large or high ceiling. The ladder acrobatics can become a safety issue if you're not well practiced!


How to wallpaper behind a radiator


Radiators are tricky things when it comes to wallpapering. Not only can they be difficult to wallpaper around, but if you literally 'cut corners' your wallpaper is very likely to peel. For this reason I strongly recommend taking the radiator off the wall. If you’re unsure how to do this, it’s really worth calling in a professional to help. Removing the radiator before wallpapering will mean that you can easily wallpaper behind it for a clean and professional finish.

Conclusion


I hope that this post has given you the confidence to tackle those more difficult wallpaper spots. Whilst it may seem difficult at first, with the right techniques and tips, you'll find you get into a rhythm. Plus, just by taking the time to read this post and learn about the specific needs of areas like windows, sockets, corners, ceilings, and radiators you’re already on the right track! Even if you decide to hire a pro after all, at least you will have all the lingo down pat.


The main rule of thumb for a perfect finished look, is to make sure you align those patterns with care, make precise cuts, and use the right tools. Be patient and keep practicing. By the way thoose 'tricky spaces' are the ones that make the finished room look so beautiful in the end. Like a perfectly bound book. Everyone will wonder how you did it!


If you have any niggling wallpaper questions, I’m be happy to help. Just email studio@sophieharpley.co.uk and I’ll give you as much advice as I can. If you found this post useful, you might also enjoy How To Hang Your Wallpaper in 7 Steps, and our Wallpaper Calculator.





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