Look out: wallpaper’s back and it’s more stylish than ever. Looking for a way to make wallpaper work for you? Here’s how to do it right.
Wallpapering one or more walls can give a room a burst of energy or create a calm atmosphere, depending on the pattern. Will it be a bright, sunny kitchen? Will it be a den? Choose the right wallpaper for the room you’re decorating, and you’re sure to love the result.
Budget is one concern. How much space will you be covering? Setting a maximum dollar figure will easily eliminate some options when you work out the square footage involved.
The type of room to be wallpapered will help determine the wallpaper type. Durable vinyl-coated wallpaper is especially good for the bathroom, the kitchen and high-traffic areas like the hallway. Uncoated wallpaper can be used in the dining room and living room.
Furniture and wall art should complement the wallpaper, not compete with it. You’re likely to be looking at your decor for several years, so make sure everything goes together.
Room size should determine pattern size and repetition. Small patterns make small rooms look bigger. Large patterns work well in large rooms or long hallways, but not on walls broken up by doors and windows.
Ask the RONA experts for advice on wallpaper choices if this is your first time wallpapering. Remember to bring pictures of the room you plan to wallpaper.
Putting up wallpaper sounds like a simple job, and it can be, but it still takes a little planning and the right tools.
Plan ahead to avoid wasting a lot of wallpaper. If centring the first drop under a window will result in large squares being cut out for the window corners, centre the seam between two drops under the window instead. Also, how even is the juncture between the ceiling and wall? Starting with a horizontal band would be a bad choice for a crooked juncture.
Use the right tools to make sure the job is done right. Start with a plumb bob or level to make sure your drops are nice and straight; have a water tray and seam rollers on hand; and use a plastic smoother, paste brushes, utility knife and and cutting guide where needed. Don’t try to fake it; always use the right tool for the job.
Hanging a wallpaper border flush with a stucco or textured ceiling? First run a flat-blade screwdriver around the edge of the ceiling to create a small trough. That way, the edge of the border will fit flush with the ceiling. Don’t worry: the trough won’t be noticeable afterwards.
To be honest, removing wallpaper is tedious. But the right tools and a few tricks make the job a little easier.
Lay a drop cloth to protect the floor, baseboard and nearby furniture, because removing wallpaper can get messy. Remove electrical outlet plates, vents and so on, then cover the openings with masking tape. Turn off the room’s electricity at the service panel.
Loosen an upper corner and peel off as much of the top layer as possible. Use a putty knife or scoring tool to remove paper that’s really stuck.
Use a sponge, paint roller and/or floor mop to apply the hottest water possible (you should wear rubber gloves) to the wallpaper backing and any remaining facing to soften the adhesive underneath. Let the backing absorb the water for about 15 minutes. You may have to apply the water several times to completely soften the paste.
Scrape off the backing using a putty knife or a metal spatula (careful not to gouge the wall!). If any stubborn paste remains, spray on a gel stripper and leave it for 20 minutes, then scrape again. It is very important to remove all paste.
Let the wall dry overnight. Apply joint compound to any holes, and prep the wall for paint or new wallpaper by sanding it smooth.