This post is a collaboration with Wallpaper Direct. I received three rolls of wallpaper as part of the collaboration. For more information please see our Disclaimer page.
Holly’s room had been the guest room for the previous occupants. We moved in and she had swirly damask wallpaper which didn’t really fit a two year old’s bedroom, so as a temporary measure I painted it Calamine from Farrow and Ball. It worked OK for a few years but was starting to look a bit tired and basic. I was lucky enough to be able to collaborate with Wallpaper Direct, who stock an amazing range of wallpapers at really reasonable prices, to give Holly’s room a mini makeover using paste the wall wallpaper.
The first task was choosing what wallpaper to put on the feature wall in Holly’s room. She’s 7 so we didn’t want anything too babyish, but I still wanted to maintain a playful vibe. I thought a muted colour palate would work well because… well… just look at my house! We settled on a beautiful printed wallpaper called Kelda in the Scion Levande Collection which features various woodland creatures frolicking about in Spring. It. Is. Adorable.
I measured the wall and then used the handy wallpaper calculator on Wallpaper Direct’s website to work out how many rolls of paper we would need. The wallpaper arrived really quickly. It was just a case then of finding time to put it up!
I stripped off the old wallpaper using a wallpaper scraper and a water spray bottle. This was made harder by the fact that I had painted it previously, so I had to tear off the top layer then spray the underside with water. After about 45 seconds the water had soaked in and loosened the paste so I could scrape off the underside of the paper. Luckily our wall underneath was in really good condition, so required very little preparation work. I never get this lucky with a job. Ever.
Hols had to live with a skanky wall for a week or so until Mr R and I finally had a spare couple of hours together. Wallpapering is definitely not a one person job in this house! Our ceilings are high and manhandling big long lengths of wallpaper on ladders is tricky.
How to use Paste the Wall Wallpaper – A Tutorial
Once your wall is stripped and dry, clear any bits of old wallpaper off the wall and fill any little holes that may be there. Now you’re good to go!
Firstly, gather your materials and lay then out in an attractive fashion. You will need:
- Wallpaper. Of course.
- Wallpaper paste
- A bucket to mix the paste in
- A brush to apply the wallpaper paste
- Dust sheets/old yellow towel to catch any stray bits of wallpaper paste from overenthusiastic application
- Wallpaper smoother
- Seam roller
- Stanley knife
- Straight edge
- Spirit level
- Tape measure
- Pencil or two (if you’re anything like us you’ll keep losing them)
- Reluctant husband (obviously an enthusiastic one is preferred but I had to work with what I’ve got)
Make sure you’ve got enough space to roll out your roll of wallpaper to mark where to cut! We were working in Holly’s room, which isn’t the biggest, and she has accumulated so much crap we had about 4m2 to work in. I don’t think our fucking massive dolls house helps!
I began by measuring the height of the wall. Our walls are 275cm high and the pattern repeat on the wallpaper was 26cm. For ease, we cut each piece of wallpaper to 305cm to make sure we’d be able to match up the pattern when it was on the wall. I used a straight edge to draw the pencil line on so it was perfectly straight, then cut it using scissors.
I decided to start adjacent to the door, so we wouldn’t have any funny shaped pieces to deal with. We cut our first piece, then pasted the wall, starting at the top. Don’t put too much paste on, you want a thin coat so it doesn’t ooze everywhere when you put the paper on. Mr R climbed up the ladders and stuck the piece on while I checked it was straight with the spirit level. I smoothed it all down using the smoother thing, working from the centre of the paper to the edges. We then had to trim off the excess using a Stanley knife and the straight edge as a guide. Our skirting boards are a bit old and wonky but the straight edge helped us to make a neat cut. (Since we did this, I saw someone recommending using a pizza cutter to cut wallpaper!) Once we had the first piece on and vertical I obviously had to take a picture.
The next piece was a tricky one as it had a plug socket. We cut the paper and applied the paste in the same way, then picked a part of the pattern to use to line up the paper. We smoothed it down then had to trim around the plug. I pushed the paper down to the top of the plug to make a crease I could use as a guide, then did the same on either side of it. I then cut up the middle and cut out a section at a time of the excess paper to get a neat fit. I was really chuffed when it fit nicely around the plug! Better to cut these bits out a little at a time to get a neat finish.
We carried on until we got to the corner, cutting and sticking each piece and lining up the pattern. The corner piece was a bit tricky as we had to line up the pattern, we had excess paper at the top and all down the side (the roll was 52cm and the piece we needed was 32cm wide). Pick one edge to cut at a time (I did the top, then the bottom, then the long edge) and trim them all to size before smoothing into place.
We finished off over the door. Here’s a very flattering pic of me after we’d been out walking in some overgrown woods, wallpapering for two hours and with no make up on. Pure glamour I’m sure you’ll agree! I’m just trimming the edge of the paper before smoothing it down over the door.
Et voila! Paste the wall wallpaper is so much easier than the traditional method of pasting the paper, folding it up in a special way, leaving it to soak blah blah blah. We have never wallpapered before and managed to get this up in two hours, and it’s not fallen down! Hopefully you’ll be inspired to give it a go and follow my how to use paste the wall wallpaper tutorial.