Bring in that extra dimension with wallpapers


They can be bright, they can be rustic. Wallpapering your house can be yet another way to add that zing to those plain walls. While this art can bring about that rich feeling to your home, not every one of us is brave enough to get started on this daunting task. We probably think its too much work, too hard to complete, and may require a lot of cash with too little room for mistakes.

Once you get the basics right, you would be ever ready to get into those overalls and help your house turn over a new leaf.

Plan it out

Source: Photo by Marten Bjork

Firsts things first. Before you start any humungous task the rudimentary step is to plan it out. There are many questions that you need to ask yourself so that you can see if you are up to the job:

  1. Are you confident enough to know where to get your materials from?
  2. Which style of wallpaper do you want to work with? Is it unpasted, pre-pasted, or peel and stick?
  3. What equipment do you need?
  4. Do you have the time to start and finish the task or at least do a part of the task?
  5. Do you have the finances to take care of your shopping sprees?

These are some of the questions that you need to think through before applying that glue onto the wall.

Get inspiration


Not everyone is born with a head full of ideas. Technology has been a boon for these people and if you are one of them you can take full advantage of it. Look online for examples images, shows, or documentaries that can help you formulate what you need as per your style. Notice the color combinations they use so that even if you don’t get the exact wallpaper you can always make do and get something similar. This will ensure that the same feel is achieved when you get your new wallpaper.

Accent or global


Another crucial decision you need to make is if you are planning on wallpapering your whole house or just a few walls in your house. You do not need to spend a lot to get your entire house wallpapered. You could just do one room that you love the most or do just the accent walls in each room. Deciding on this will either greatly increase or decrease your shopping list and expenses.

Patterned or plain


Patterns can be beautiful but may be hard to work with for some of you. Wallpapering your room with patterned paper might be like working with sewing patterned cloth. Care should be taken to align each strip of paper just right so that the work doesn’t look shoddy. Plain paper is easy to work with and you can also get some great textures to use while shopping for them. It all comes down to the taste of the individual person.

Make a shopping list for your supplies


After you’ve analyzed the depth of the project and understood your capabilities, the next step is to make a list of things you need based on the style of wallpaper you are planning on working with. The main things you will require are wallpaper, paste, brush or roller, knife, spirit level, sponges, water, measuring tape, putty knife, pencil, ladder, and protective paper for your work surface. Ensure that the worksurface your choose is large like a dining table or a spare piece of plywood so that you can apply the paste on the wallpaper in a comfortable place. If you are working with a style of wallpaper that doesn’t require paste then you can avoid the tools relating to that.

Get your walls ready


It is important to prime your walls before you start dumping more on them. Not all walls are smooth and clean, Look around the room or particular wall to find out any cracks or deformations. Clean them out or fill them up. This will smooth out the wall so that the paper doesn’t take the form of those deformities. Wallpaper has a tendency of highlighting the flaws that otherwise just stayed hidden in plain sight. Next, sand your walls down if needed and measure the surface to decide how much paper is needed.

Stick it up


Apply the wallpaper in phases. Since we are working with a large amount of paper, don’t apply glue to the entire thing as this will only give you a soggy mess to work with, which will be hard and frustrating. What you can do instead is to apply the glue on the paper from the top portion to the center and stick as you go. This technique can also be applied to pre-pasted and peel and stick wallpapers. Dunk a bit of the pre-pasted wallpaper in water and start from one half of the wall to the other. For peel and stick wallpapers,  remove the backing away one portion at a time.

Wipe and roll


Once you have applied the paper, use a roller or a similar tool to smooth out any unevenness or wipe or extra glue if you notice it. It is easy to smooth out wallpaper when it is wet on the wall rather than doing it after it has completely dried. Another technique to remove any stubborn bubbles that have formed on the paper is to cut out an X shaped mark on the paper and use glue to smooth it out again.

Corners and switches


These places are tricky and must be done as carefully as possible. Always leave a little extra wallpaper that goes over the corner and overlap it with the next wallpaper so that there is no wall that sneaks through any opening. This ensures that even if the overlapping wallpaper peels off, there is still some wallpaper under it.

Keep stock in hand


Once the project is over, don’t throw away the leftover wallpaper. Always keep remains with you so that you can touch up any mistake you’ve made or even go over surfaces if they ever become old or damaged.

Cultivate patience


As said before, this project is an art by itself. Don’t lose heart when you make a mistake as it can get tough and tiring when you start your first wall. Have a friend or loved one to help and encourage you to keep going so that you don’t stop midway. Ultimately, you should know during the planning phase if you would be able to do it or if you need to call in a professional. Weigh your pros and cons and think through your decision. However, once you have decided to do it yourself, don’t quit. Keep pressing on and you will be done in no time.

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