Preparing the Wall Surface
Just like painting, preparation of your wall surface is key to well-hung wallpaper. If you don’t take the time to prepare your surface properly, the end result will be full of lumps, bumps and imperfections. To avoid a disappointing finish, Please! follow our instructions:
- Check the wall for any lumps and bumps or holes.
- Sand or fill all holes, lumps and bumps as best as you can, keeping in mind that these imperfections will show through the wallpaper if they are not dealt with properly at this stage in the process.
- If, after this type of preparation, the wall is still too rough, you may need to employ a professional plasterer to patch the wall.
- Prime and paint the wall.
- Leave the wall to dry for about a week. This extended period of time is necessary to allow all the gasses to escape from the paint. Remember that wallpaper simply won't stick to raw plaster board. The water will dissolve and the setting plaster will turn into a sloppy mess.
Measuring for Wallpaper
My father always used to say, “Measure twice; cut once”. This applies to our wallpaper just as much as it does to a tradie on a building site. Follow our hints and tips for measuring, and your wallpaper should arrive at your place exactly the size you need to do the job:
- When you measure a wall, always measure in millimetres. Keep in mind that:
- In general, standard ceilings heights are 2,400mm, 2,700mm, 3,000mm and upwards of that in older buildings.
- Unless you can easily touch each end of the wall with your arms outstretched, the measurement will have at least 4 numbers in it (ie. 4,500 mm).
- Measure the height of the wall from the floor to the ceiling.
- Always round up to at least the next 10mm. For example, 2,453 mm should become 2,460 mm.
- Measure the width of the wall in the same way—always rounding up by at least an extra 10 mm.
- Once you’ve measured your walls, measure them again. Double check that you have the measurements exactly right! After all, we can only go on the measurements you give us.
- Once we receive your measurements, we will divide your wall length up into equal drops of approximately 500 mm to 650 mm, depending on the width of the wall. We always provide at least 50 mm extra on your measurements for waste.
One last quick tip: your wallpaper will be delivered in a plastic tube. This tube doubles as the bath to wet your wallpaper. So don’t be an eager
beaver and throw the tube away just yet!
Hanging the Wallpaper
So, the postman has been and you have your brand new wallpaper in your hot little hands, ready and raring to hang it. Follow these instructions to ensure your wall looks as wonderful as you imagined it would:
- Check the rolls, just to be sure that they haven't been damaged during transit.
- Don't throw the plastic packing tube away in which your wallpaper was delivered— it doubles as the bath to wet the wallpaper.
- Make sure you’ve undertaken all the steps above in the ‘Preparing the Wall Surface’ section of our instructions.
- Move any furniture that is likely to get in your way.
- Assemble the tools you’ll need, including a squeegee, a small step ladder and a new blade that is sharp. Having a sharp blade will make the job so much easier.
- Read the instructions that we’ve provided with your wallpaper. The instructions will tell you how wide the drops are, and are numbered from the left hand side.
- Measure the width of the first drop ( No 1. ). Use a pencil and mark that measurement, plus about 2mm, out from the internal corner where you are going to start the first drop. The extra 2 mm is so you don't cover your plumb bob marks with the first drop. Mark it up near the ceiling, that's where your plumb bob line will start.
- You will need to put a plumb line on the wall before you start. Don't even try to hang the wallpaper without it. This is the most important step in the wallpaper hanging process. The plumb line is a vertical line that runs from the ceiling to the floor, and everything relies on this line. The wallpaper drops will be hung square off this line.
- Hang a plumb bob from the ceiling towards the floor, on or close to the first mark you just put on the wall. If you don't have a plumb bob, you can use a length of string or a piece of cotton with a weight tied to the end of it. The best way to hang a plumb bob is to drive a pin or a small nail into the cornice or the wall, from which to hang it. Just ensure that the plum bob is clear of the wall and the floor. Mark the line about 100 mm below the ceiling, and the bottom one about 100 mm above the floor or the skirting boards. If the plumb bob line is sitting off the wall, get a piece of A4 paper or similar. Now, unless it has been cut, it will have square edges. Hold the edge of the paper to the wall and just touching the plumb line, and then mark the wall with a pencil. Check your measurements from your plum marks back to the corner where you intend to start, to ensure that the corner is not too much out of plumb. Make sure the first drop will cover the wall back to the internal starting point. ( the width of the No 1 drop plus 2 mm )
- Once you have your plumb line marked on the wall, sort out your drops in numerical order - we always try to roll them with the first drop on the outside of the roll, and increasing numbers as you continue unrolling.
- Put a towel on the floor under the wallpaper bath, fill the bath to about three quarters full with water.
- Put your first drop (still rolled up and the image facing towards you) into the bath, hold the end of the drop with both hands and pull it and down a few times to wet it all over. The wallpaper must be wet enough to activate the glue. If it’s too dry, it won't stick properly, and if it’s too wet you'll end up with water all over the floor. You can also spray the wall with water if you think it's too dry. Too much water won't harm the wallpaper, but it will make it softer, which makes it prone to stretching.
- Holding the wallpaper in both hands, push it up about 20 mm past the ceiling line, and line it up the plumb marks at the top and the bottom. Let the wallpaper hang straight, don't try to bend it to match up the plumb marks. Make sure the first drop is plumb and straight to your marks, the rest of the drops rely on the first one to be hung just right.
- You can cut off the excess wallpaper at the ceiling and the floor as you go, or leave it until the finish, just be sure not to leave it too long because the wallpaper will dry and it will be harder to get a clean cut. Never cut it free hand, always use a straight edge and cut up against it.
- You will need to lap the second drop 10 mm over the first drop. You can mark that 10 mm on the edge of the first drop with a pencil (never a pen or a texta) to give you a mark to work from, but keep in mind that you need to ‘pattern match’ your wallpaper to make it look like one big image.
- Put the second drop into the wallpaper bath, and repeat steps 14 through to 19. You’ll just need to slide the paper up or down until you get the image to match.
- Hang the rest of the drops in the same way.
- Stand back and admire your work.