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Preparing to Hang Wallpaper

Hanging wallpaper is a wonderful way to add color, tactility and pattern to walls and ceilings, and while many DIYers are wary of taking the plunge on their first papering project, it’s easier than you might think – just see below for our detailed, step by step application advice. 

Preparing Surfaces

Before you start, make sure the surface you’re planning to paper is in good condition – clean and dry, with any traces of dirt, old wallpaper, or flaking paint removed, and any cracks or irregularities filled with a suitable filler.

Cross lining

For the best possible finish, we recommend that walls are horizontally cross lined with a good quality, mid-weight to heavyweight lining paper – around 1200–1400 grade – and left to dry for a minimum of 12 hours prior to hanging.

Damp or unsound surfaces

Damp walls should be treated using the appropriate method before you start to hang your wallpaper, while any unsound paint should be sealed with a priming product. If you are papering over a surface previously painted with gloss, simply sand the surface to achieve a good key before hanging.

Absorbent surfaces

Newly plastered walls and other absorbent surfaces should be carefully sized before hanging wallpaper.


Hanging Wallpaper

Once you’ve ensured your surface is properly prepared, you can start getting ready to hang your paper.

Preparing your paper

Check that wallpaper rolls are undamaged and that the design and colorway are correct. If your rolls are batch numbered, order them consecutively, as this is the order you’ll follow when hanging.

Wallpaper paste

For best results and ease of application, we recommend using Farrow and Ball wallpaper paste. It comes in powder form in a recyclable tube that doubles up as a measuring jug, making mixing and maintaining an even consistency easier. Each tube can be used to hang five rolls of wallpaper.

Hanging your paper

Check the pattern repeat before cutting the lengths according to the height of the wall, allowing two to three inches at the top and bottom for trimming.

Working from the centre outwards, apply a generous, even coat of paste, ensuring you work right to the edges of the paper and that no paste comes into contact with the pattern side.

Fold the paper with adhesive side inwards and allow the paper to soak for 10 minutes until pliable. Make sure the paper doesn’t become too wet, otherwise it may shrink back as it dries.

Ensure paper edges butt up to the subsequent lengths and avoid overlapping edges.

Please note: when hanging dragged papers, it’s important to reverse the top and bottom on each alternate length.