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What tools do I need to hang wallpaper?

Bought yourself a stack of stylish wallpaper rolls and not sure where to even start?  You’ve landed in the right place. But first, you’ll need a lot more than just the wallpaper itself to hang it up on your walls.

Prepare to paper a room by arming yourself with all the tools you need for hanging wallpaper. Whether it’s your first time or your tenth, gather these essential tools and you’re one step closer to mastering how to hang wallpaper like a professional.

The basics

Before you get to the prep and the actual hanging, you'll need a few key items.

  • If you haven’t already got this, start by picking up a roll (or two) of wallpaper. Not sure exactly how much you’ll need*? Always live by the mantra 'measure twice, cut once' meaning be extra sure of your wall or room dimensions before getting started.
  • A tape measure and a pencil to work out where to trim.
  • A sharp utility knife and scissors. Steer clear of old and dull blades to avoid rips when trimming wallpaper.
  • A stripping knife if you need to remove any scraps of old wallpaper. Get a steamer if you’ve got lots to remove.
  • A filler and filling knife to deal with any holes or gaps. You need a smooth surface if you want a flawless finish.
  • A piece of sandpaper to sand down any bumpy bits. Smooth surface, remember?

    (*Tip: To work out how much wallpaper you'll need, first calculate how many 'panels' of wallpaper you'll need according to the width of the room (i.e. if the wall is 5m in width, and the wallpaper is 1m in width = you'll need 5 'panels'). Then get the length of the room to see how many panels you'll get from each roll. Just be mindful if papering around windows, as you'll need to take those measurements out of the equation. We'd also recommend getting about 10% extra, just in case.)

Slowly slowly, catchy... great wallpapering.

What you'll need for the prep

Hanging wallpaper can be a messy affair; but with a few prep items - you'll keep any lasting stains or issues at bay.

  • Sponge, sugar soap and a bucket. Scrub those surfaces to get rid of any grease or grime before you start to hang wallpaper. Dirt can make it more difficult for wallpaper to stick and it can also lead to a bumpy look. Avoid it by creating a mixture of sugar soap and warm water in a bucket and using a clean sponge to wipe your surfaces.  Leave to dry overnight before you get to hanging.
  • Protective sheets for your flooring and furnishing. If you like your stuff, move it far, far away before you start hanging wallpaper. If it’s a little too heavy to move out of the room, cover it up with canvas or cotton dust sheets. Throw down some protective sheets on your floor too. Unless you fancy a mammoth scrubbing session after?

What you'll need for the hanging

Now, onto the actual hanging.

  • Protective mask and safety glasses. Protect your eyes from dust and your lungs from paste fumes by covering them up.
  • Wallpaper paste and application brush. Get a pre-mixed paste to save yourselves a bit of time.
  • A clean cloth for smoothing purposes. Smooth as you go to avoid bubbles and blisters.
  • Plumb line measuring tool. Get things straight with this handy little tool.
  • A stepladder to reach ceilings and other hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.

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Gather the goods above and you’re all set to wallpaper up a storm. On to the papering….

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