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How to apply and remove wallpaper

Whether you’re a newbie to the decorating world, or you’re just after a few wallpapering tips to help make life a little easier, we’ve got you covered. In fact, we’ve been supplying decorating and DIY products since 1973, so we like to think we’ve learnt a thing or two over the years we can share with you! Join us, as we run down some of our favourite wallpaper tips and tricks – from putting it up and getting it off, to deciding which paper is right for your job.

  • Clare - copywriter
  •  10min read
How to apply and remove wallpaper

Before you start

Work out how much you’ll need

  • Measure all the walls you require paper for = total width of the walls
  • Divide this number by the width of your chosen wallpaper – usually 53cm but do double check! (This will give you the number of drops.)
  • Measure the room height
  • Multiply this number by the number of drops = the total amount of wallpaper you’ll need

TOP TIP: Measure room height from the top of skirting board, but add an extra 15cms to the measurement as a safety buffer

Always buy a little extra

If it doesn’t look like you’re going to have much wiggle room with the amount of rolls you’re buying, always buy one extra just to be on the safe side (also take into consideration – you can always return unused rolls as long as you keep your receipt if you need to.

TOP TIP: Buy from the same batch number to avoid any small difference in pattern or colour.


Setting up and preparing the wall

As tempting as it can be, it’s always best to get the area prepared and ready before you even think about getting the paste out. Here’s where to start.

You’ll need:

  1. Cover the floor with dust sheets
  2. Clean off loose paint, plaster or flaky wallpaper
  3. Fill any cracks and sand smooth once dry
  4. Give your walls a good wash down with sugar soap
  5. If there is gloss paint on walls, give them a rub with coarse grit paper.

It’s time to get going – how to apply wallpaper

What you’ll need:

  1. Mix your paste (make sure you follow the instructions carefully)
  2. Use a long spirit level to draw a straight line one roll width down from the ceiling, this will be your starting point
  3. Cut your paper in lengths to fit the wall (allow an extra 10cm more than you need)
  4. Place all of the paper pattern side down on your pasting table (hold together with a bulldog clip to stop curling)
  5. Use the brush to apply plenty of paste to the top sheet. Start at one end and work out from the middle to the edges
  6. Fold your lengths of paper into loose concertinas as you paste them
  7. Hold the first piece of paper up to the wall in the top corner, ensure you’re in line with the pencil mark on, and begin to use a papering brush to smooth the paper onto the wall. Work from the middle out to force any air bubbles out. Gently unfold a s you go
  8. Tap the corner of the paper with your brush then use your scissors to score a line down the corner of the paper. Ease the paper out and trim it off. Finally, brush back into replace
  9. Repeat as needed, stand back and admire!

How to remove wallpaper

If you need to remove old paper it can seem like a bit of a pain. Here’s our guide to getting any room stripped in no time.

You’ll need:

  1. Rub the strippervall over the wall with your sponge
  2. Once the wallpaper is soft, scrape with soft movements. Keep scraper flat to avoid digging in
  3. Brush off any left over bits of paper
  4. Use soapy water to wash off any residue before redecorating. Job done!

Some wow wallpaper ideas

There are so many great wallpaper styles to choose from, how do you know where to start? Well it’s got a lot to do with the space you’ve got and what feel you want for the room. Think about colours, styles (modern and clean vs bright and bold). But even then, there’s a mind-boggling choice of wallpaper types. So here’s some helpful inspo to get you started:

Textured paper

If your walls are less than perfectly smooth (and this is really common if you live in an old property) then you might consider choosing a textured paper to help hide a few of those imperfections. We’re not talking the old style chip paper, these days you’ll be able to find slightly textured paper in a whole range of on-trend styles. Take the Superfresco Brick Textured Vinyl wallpaper!

Superfresco Easy wallpaper

The idea here is that it’s paper that’s super easy to apply. You don’t even need to paste the paper. Simply add paste to the wall and place your paper directly on the wall. NO measuring strips of paper, no big pasting table. Simple, huh! And if you’ve gone for a bold pattern, it’ll make matching your pattern so easy.

Creative wallpaper tips and hacks

Wallpaper doesnt just have to be for walls

It might be called ‘wall’paper but we say rip up the rule book! Why not use it to transform tired furniture as well? The results are stunning! Use wallpaper on bookshelves, doors and drawers for a pop of colour in muted rooms. As a little inspo, here we’ve used Superfresco Palm Leaves wallpaper to bring this old wooden unit bang up to date.

Upcycle with wallpaper art

Don’t feel like papering a full wall? Stretch some patterned paper across a few pieces of wood and simply hang them on the wall as if they were paintings. Beautiful feature wall, minimum effort!


For even more inspiration, shop our full wallpaper range.

And there we have it – some of our favourite wallpapering and paint hacks. So why not give it a go? Got any must-have tips of your own that are too good not to share? We’d love to hear them. Drop us a line on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter