Changing the interiors in your house is one of the most satisfying ways of putting a personal stamp on your home. If you are planning an interiors refresh, wallpaper can certainly create a striking impact, especially if print and pattern are to play a part in your décor. DIY gurus Alison Winfield-Chislett and Jo Nehari talk us through their fuss free approach to wallpapering…
Laura Ashley range of wallpapers
For all DIY projects, the end results often depend on the amount of effort that goes into the preparation. What type of prep you carry out depends on the surface of your walls, let’s talk through some of the most common bases:
- Painted plaster – Wash down the walls and use a scraper to get rid of any flaky paint, filling any cracks and holes with filler, before sealing the surface of the wall with paste.
- Fresh plaster – Paint over with water-based paint and leave to dry. Allowing two weeks for lightweight plaster to dry, and up to six weeks for sand and cement to dry before papering.
- Plaster board – If unpainted then paint with a sealer and apply lining paper.
- Old wallpaper – Strip off any old wallpaper with a steam stripper, make sure to do it in sections of about a metre at a time so it doesn’t dry out. Be careful not to use too much steam or it will seep into the plaster permanently.
- Skirting boards – Use decorators caulk to fill the gaps in between the wall and the skirting boards so you can achieve a neat finish.
Hydrangea Duck Egg Floral Wallpaper
How much wallpaper do you need?
Wallpaper roughly comes in rolls of 10 metres long, by 53cm wide. To start, measure the height of walls making sure to add on an additional 150mm to allow for trimming. With the total length calculated (taking note to subtract areas of window and doors) this should indicate the total area of wallpaper required. A standard roll covers approximately 5 square metres, so dividing your total wallpaper figure by five will specify how many rolls of wallpaper will be required. If you’re using printed wallpaper, add an additional 10% to the wallpaper total to allow for wastage in matching up patterns. Take a look at Laura Ashley’s handy wallpaper chart to help point you in the right direction.
Where to begin?
Choosing a window as your starting point, make sure to measure a 25mm trim to overhang the window; this excess will then be trimmed to reveal a neat finish. Then using an off-cut from the roll, use this as a measuring guide and mark the wallpaper widths all around the room using a spirit level to see where your wallpaper will line-up.
Aviary Garden Apple Green Wallpaper
Cutting and Pasting
Firstly mix your paste in a bucket, ensuring that it’s not too sloppy. Then cut two lengths of wallpaper to get a feel for it, resist the temptation to cut all lengths until you are confident of your measurements. Next brush the paste on the wallpaper, working from the centre outwards. Let it sit for a few minutes so that it slightly absorbs the paste, this will allow the paper to settle tightly on the wall as it dries. Taking the pasted wallpaper to the wall, slide it into place using a clean brush. Make sure to leave an extra 3 inches spare at the top, this excess wallpaper will then be trimmed later to reveal a clean line.
- Be careful to wipe away any excess paste before it dries
- Don’t be tempted to take a full roll around a corner, it will only crease or create a void. Trim the paper to about 25mm wide after the corner and overlap.
- If you find air bubbles, make a small cut into the wallpaper to release the air and then smooth over with the brush.
- Did you know that you can order Laura Ashley wallpaper swatches to help you visualise your interiors? Find out how here.
If you’re looking to improve your DIY skills or in need of a place to start, Alison and Jo’s book ‘The Girl’s Guide to DIY‘ will fast become your new go-to guide for all things home improvement. Covering all the basics, from painting and decorating to using power-tools with ease, it’s jam-packed with top tips, techniques and trade secrets – our copy takes pride of place on our bookshelf!
Browse the Laura Ashley wallpaper range here.
If you have any wallpapering tips, then please be sure to leave them below in the comments box…