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Wallpapering tips needed

Any tips before i start recomend,any you tube videos best way to cut or tips,on any aspect off the job much appreciated,will post photos,when i get the finish i am happy with.Thanks :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: guys

Get trained and well practiced before charging clients for paper hanging

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If you can, practice at home. Wall papering can be all about problem solving so can painting incidentally.

I agree with finding someone to watch, ask questions etc. youtube is very hit and miss with advice from “experts”.
Whenever I see my old boss who trained me in decorating I thank him profusely.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.

You need a mentor!


Going to start very soon I have bought all the kit, and have started studying YouTube, will add photos as things develop. Any help with best paste, to use, to any tips on pasting paper through to hanging ,will be much appreciated.

Theres lots of advice on hanging paper out there some good but most indifferent!

Apart from the obvious prep, prime and cross line required, one of the key skills that is rarely mentioned is setting out and planning the pattern before hanging. In the same way a tiler will plan and set out grout lines.

Every paper pattern is different every room is different so its not possible to write an entry to cover this. However the starting point is to decide where to make the cut for the topline - carefully assess where you want the top line to be on the pattern. View and assess it with two drops side by side to ensure its an appropriate cut visually within the pattern.

Following that its then assessing where to make the first drop and where the inevitable one mismatch will occur. First drop is often centred over a chimney breast, however much will depend on the focal point of the room. Planning and setting out needs a good eye to consider the room as a whole and how it will be viewed when used.

Impossible to describe all eventualities here - I would strongly recommend to work with an experienced paperhanger to gain knowledge. Clients will have far higher expectations of paperhanging than painting - the cost to them is considerably more, and its vital to get planning and execution exactly right.

Good luck but as pd67 said above - get a mentor!


A roll of thought sir. A roll of thought.

And if you are not sure what that means you really aint ready to be slinging for paying customers.


Thanks for your wise words, I have no intention as off yet, six months off practise then and only then ,if I feel happy ,will I take things forward,but I have no doubt at all it will happen. Cheers and
good luck.

Today me and my son have started practising wallpapering,i accept its going to be a long road ahead.

I have bought all the tools Russ pike recommended and off course bags off determination. Today in between watching youtube videos on wallpapering have been putting up lining paper, getting used to pasting for this we are using a Wooster roller to apply.

We bought paste you have to mix, is it better to buy ready mixed?When you finish with paste what’s the best way to store so you can use it the next day?

Theres so many videos on youtube weeding out the good ones take time,has anyone got any they have seen and recommend or books dvds that could prove useful.

Tommorow I am going to buy a sheet off plywood and fix plug sockets to it and use for practise cutting before practising on a wall with sockets, off course turning electricity off,anyone who can pass on tips much appreciated. As for radiators I will remove, or is there a better way off doing it,droping behind.

With laser levels are there any reasonable priced ones that could be recommended.cheers jason

What are you going to be doing next with the lining paper - paint it or paper over it or take it back down? The reason I ask is that you need to have an end game in mind when practicing.

Handling the knife and straight edge takes practice, so keep on cutting, but try direct it to a proper end.

For instance if you are going to paint the paper, think about the next stage, the mechanics of cutting paint in to the coving. Are you following the lining paper for a straight line, or up against the underside of the coving? That will dictate how you cut the lining paper.

If you are papering over the lining paper, ordinarily you would have cut the lining paper short top and bottom, so you need to adjust the angles and position of your knife to make that short cut.

Also if papering over that lining, in the real world you will do way more cross lining than vertical drops of lining paper, so trimming at corners is on the list too!

Nothing wrong with any cutting practice, just work out what the end game is.

See @mr_lincrusta demoing the Olfa knives, cutting squiggly lines in sodden wet lining paper for hours on end. It is a bit of showmanship, so he does it because he can ! but it is also a good way for getting the idea across of the angles to hold a very sharp knife. Angled wrong, not even a super sharp blade would cut well


At the moment just getting used to putting up and practise cutting ,that’s the reason why I am using lining paper its cheap, got some pattern which we will practise on tommorow ,once we can cut nice, we will move onto the whole wall, then see what result we get, this is going to be a exercise in repition but we will get there. If it takes six months it will be done.With the lincruta course don’t you need to be experanced,it looks pretty specialist, would love to do one course.

Don’t want to get too hippyish about this, but I kinda gotta man… I find that with wallpaper, if you relax and wait for the paper to tell you how it wants to be worked is better than rushing in and forcing it - it’s the same as with paint… push paint as far as it will go - a little too far and it will turn around and “bite you”… lining paper is probably the worst paper you will every meet (perhaps except some Laura Ashley!!!) nail that (not literally) and you will be set to face most papers… I don’t think that you will be quite ready to fight Lincrusta yet, but you’ll be on the way.

My best advice would be to get a good set of OLFA knives and blades and remember to keep the blade as long as possible so that you have maximum cutting edge on the paper… also don’t forget to take a look at one of my latest beauties; the 9 ring paperhanging brush its a belter!

Practice, practice, practice, you’ve got the idea!




Thank Martin, and Andy, the trouble with YouTube its weeding out the useful info on here you go straight to the specialists, and other keen forum contributors,my son is a member off this forum and keeps track off what’s being written, also a keen painter, the next stage, when we feel confident, will be to pay a decorator to come and teach both off us for a few days, or pay them if we can come on a job with them, but one things guaranteed we will get there, aim to be good.

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RIght today we have been practasing hanging paper,couple off,different types ,there still seems to be a problem with catching paper slightly when cutting,otherwise there’s improvement,with the paste that you mix yourself how long doses it keep,I have wrapped in a bin bag,we are using a brush to cut along coving and skirting,and roller to apply,to the wall then putting it on wall,wheither it’s a pro,s way time will tell,we also tried applying paste to paper on table,but prefer the other way,when measuring up,mark top off paper,so I no which is the top,and match the patern,again apply paste with a roller,cutting up a few pieces and laying them underneath each other then moving them across the other edge off table to apply paste I think we are following a correct system,when measuring up I use a long metal ruler and just tear the paper off and pull it back found that the best way.when we have got the piece on wall get a sponge and wipe along coving and skirting board,and make sure all bits of paper are picked up.My next task is wallpapering behind a radator,is it exceptable,to work around it neatly,or take off,any advice will be greatly appraited.


Lots to go at here and remember this is all personal opinions - I am sure that many other Decorators will have their own ways and methods that they prefer:

Where ever possible - unless specified by manufacturer, I stick to using a ready mixed paste. Firstly, it comes in a tub so it is sealable. It is mixed to the correct consistency and it is convenient, sticks better… sure it is more expensive, but at this stage in the game I think we are past penny pinching???

Paper catching - take your time with the cut… press the guide into the cut and lightly, “lightly”, run the blade across it, repeat as necessary. Remember use quality blades and snap off regularly - with an OLFA blade I snap every few or so cuts (depending on substrate and thickness of paper). Keep the blade LONG and LOW!!!

In my book radiators always get removed - and I never do it for a client…always state that radiators should be removed prior to you being on site… I’ve had pipes fracture in the past when dropping a rad to paper behind and trust me, it is not worth the grief!!!

I guess you are using a non woven - paste the wall paper which is much easier to apply.

Here’s a rule of thumb for you to keep at the back of your mind; if you use a flake paste (packet) for the lining paper, the top paper must also be hung with flake… tub paste/ready mixed must not be employed on the same job… unless you seal the lining with a product like Zinsser Gardz. the different “strengths” and “tensions” work against each other and adhesion can fail over time.

Hope that this schizzle helps a bit more - looking forward to seeing more from you.

Happy hanging


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something I have put on another site to try and help someone, it will help.

Oh and for anyone starting out with paperhanging remember this saying I was told 30 years ago.

“A roll of thought sir, a roll of thought.”

Basically before you start cutting and pasting;

make sure you have enough paper.

check your rolls for batch numbers and shading plus any defects when rolling out - remember some rolls will be back rolled.
check the international symbols and hanging instructions.
Check what paste they recommend and until you are experienced enough to know better, stick with it.

Look at the pattern and work out how it will look on the wall/ceiling and look its best.

Look at your starting/ finishing points and work out where your drops will fall.
You must know where in the room you are going to finish with a patterned paper - dark corner, behind a door, anywhere out of sight - this is where you will loose your pattern when finishing.

Look at where the natural light is in the room.

Now f**k off and crack on! As my old ganger would say.


Hi Jason

Can’t tell from your photos what knife you are using but if you haven’t got one I’d recommend the Olfa LH5 knife and the black blades. They are awesome!



yes that’s what we are using, lots off good advice keep it coming.cheers

Sound advice as ever Mart. All that initial “checking” stuff and starting right makes the difference between success and a total disaster.

Your Laura Ashley paste article has some good info.

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Getting ready for more tommorow, more questions, Doses it matter where you start?if your pasting the wall roughly what area would be sensible to cover, so the paste dosent dry out? When applying paste to wall I guesses it makes sense to work up to the join off existent piece not overlapping onto paper, and using clean sponge to remove any excess.When usinging brush I gusses the rule off the thumb is not to get brush on wall, Something I was thinking today a fold up ruler might be better than a tape measure ,and may be a good idear to have two vinly spreaders one short and one long?Any feedback much appraicted cheers

Paste the wall only where specified - follow instructions on the wallpaper label. Only certain fibre based papers will allow this. Paste one width plus a couple of inches overlap, apply paper to wall. Then paste next width with overlap, apply paper to wall and then ensure seam is firmly down then wipe over surface with clean damp sponge. Repeat.

when pasting the paper do allow the correct length of time to soak. If paper is allowed to be wet for too long it is likely to shrink back when drying on the wall exposing a gap between drops. Just paste one drop at a time.

With all papering do ensure room temperature is around 15-18C, i.e. cooler rather than warm/hot. Too warm and the paper will dry too quickly and shrink.

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