Common Wallpaper Dilemmas and How to Resolve Them

Wallpaper is a great way to add colour and pattern to your home, whether as a feature wall or across all four walls, but, as with any decorating project, how many times have you turned to Google to solve a problem?

We analysed data from recent Google searches to help answer the most frequently asked questions, and discovered that how to measure wallpaper, how to hang wallpaper, and whether it was OK to paint over wallpaper were among the most frequently asked.

Are you having trouble with your wallpaper decorating project? Look at the most common problems and how to solve them…

1. What is the best way to measure for wallpaper?

Do you want to figure out how much wallpaper you’ll need for your project? It’s a lot easier than you might think, whether you’re a beginner or just want to brush up on your skills.

‘Take your measuring tape and calculate the longest width and highest height of the wall,’ the team advises. There should be no skirting boards or coving. If you have a sloped wall, disregard any slopes and cut them away during installation. Add all of the widths together if you’re installing a mural on multiple walls.’

2. What is the cause of wallpaper bubbles?

The best way to avoid wallpaper bubbling is to take preventative measures from the start. When hanging yours, make sure to use plenty of paste to keep it from drying out (this is when bubbles occur). Additionally, ensure that your wall is smooth; old bits of paint, plaster, or wallpaper from previous decorating jobs can cause issues.

3. How to Install Wallpaper

Wallpaper installation can be a difficult task, especially if you’ve never done it before. Before sanding down rough areas, remove any nails, screws, and socket and switch covers.

‘Clean the wall with a sponge and allow it to dry for 24 hours.’ Freshly painted walls should be allowed to dry for four weeks, and plastered walls should be dried and sealed with a primer. Use a spirit level to ensure that the first roll or panel is straight, as this will serve as a guide for the rest of your application. Start at the top and work your way down, being careful not to pull or stretch the paper. If you get paste on the surface of the wallpaper, wipe it off immediately with a damp cloth.’

4. Is wallpaper shrinkable?

It’s not uncommon for wallpaper to shrink as it dries. If you’re not sure how to stop it, the team recommends ‘never pulling or stretching the paper’ during application.

‘If your wallpaper is above a radiator, turn it off for a few days while the paper dries.’ ‘Most importantly, follow the golden rule of never overworking the seams.

5. How do you get rid of wallpaper?

One of the most effective ways to remove wallpaper is to steam it or scrape each individual strip by hand. After everything has been removed, clean the wall with a warm cloth and water.

6. What is the best way to wallpaper around corners?

Don’t know how to wallpaper around a corner? MuralsWallpaper advises: ‘If your wallpaper needs to cover a corner, you should first ensure that the paper is of sufficient quality.’ Smooth the wallpaper up to the corner, then make a slight cut or crease in the paper at the corner’s edge and wrap it around.’

7. Will wallpaper adhere to wood?

‘You can put wallpaper over wood panelling, but you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure an even finish.’ ‘Our experts recommend MuralsWallpaper’s heavy paper for this because it is more forgiving,’ says MuralsWallpaper.

‘First, use a damp sponge to clean the panels. Start at the outside corner and prepare and prime the panels. Because wood expands slightly when it comes into contact with paste, papering only one side of a wall or door can result in minor warping.’

8. Should wallpaper seams be visible?

Wallpaper seams are not meant to be visible. The edges should touch but not overlap, so proceed with caution. If you’re having trouble aligning them perfectly, you can always use a seam roller to seal the seams, but be careful not to press too hard (this could cause the paste to seep out).

9. Is it possible to wallpaper over gloss paint?

While it is possible to wallpaper over gloss paint, it is not recommended. If you’re going to add wallpaper to a glossy wall, it’s best to sand it down and prime it first. This will ensure that no areas of shine remain, while also assisting the adhesive to adhere well to the wall.

10. Is it possible to paint over wallpaper?

‘You can paint over it as long as the wallpaper is in good condition and fully attached to the wall. ‘You’ll get a better finish if you fully strip the paper and paint the wall underneath, but painting over wallpaper is a quick fix.’