How wallpaper transformed my hall

Apr 23, 2020

WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN LOCKDOWN WITH AN OVERWHELMING DESIRE TO HANG SOME WALLPAPER? 

Give it a go! That’s what I did. 

Just before lockdown I had decided that I wanted to take down the gallery wall in the hall & get a decorator to hang some fabulous wallpaper in its place.

But obviously that wasn’t going to happen for goodness knows how long. I’m not very good at being patient so I decided sod it I’ll do it myself! 

I already knew exactly which paper I was going to use - Rapture in True Leopard which is part of the Pearl Lowe collection by Woodchip & Magnolia

Rapture in True Leopard wallpaper. Part of the Pearl Lowe collection for Woodchip & Magnolia

I love the Pearl Lowe collaboration with Woodchip & Magnolia and have the Wisteria paper in my bedroom on a vintage chest of drawers and a dressing screen.

I’m a big fan of using animal print in my home   I also love pattern layering using either similar or clashing prints in the same area and I LOVE wallpaper so I was very excited as to how this paper would look once hung & knew that it would transform the space. 

EQUIPMENT

Obviously because we are in lockdown I didn’t have the luxury of being able to go to a DIY store & buy all the tools I would need for the job so it was case of make do & mend. We were able to buy a tub of ready mix wallpaper paste at the Supermarket as part of the grocery shop. 

We had a very rickety paste board in the garage which dipped in the middle but it was a good surface to lay the paper out on to cut. I had a wooden meter ruler &  a pathetic 3” long spirit level - next time I will buy a long steel spirit level. But I was determined I was going to do this so I wasn’t going to let a lack of equipment get in my way. 

HANGING THE WALLPAPER

The wall I was papering had LOTS  of fiddly bits; 2 doors to go around, a radiator, 2 light switches, a double socket, a thermostat, an alarm sensor, a doorbell box & a wooden beam set into the wall ! So I decided to start sort of in the middle where I could get my first piece full length of paper on the wall without any obstacles getting in the way. 

I drew a vertical line on the wall in white pencil (from one of the boys pencil case) using the metre ruler & the worlds smallest spirit level as my guide & pasted the wall top to bottom & the width of one piece of wallpaper. I cut a length of paper roughly 5 cm longer top & bottom than I needed. One thing I did do was write on the back of the paper “Top” & “Bottom” so I knew which way was correct. Leopard print looks the same either way after a while. 

Placing the the paper onto the wall I smoothed it with my hand as I went. I ran my scissors along the paper at the top & bottom of the wall & trimmed the excess off using a Stanley knife. 

The paper had a pattern repeat and I knew that if I didn’t line the first piece up correctly it would all look horrendous so I took my time. (The Leopard print did make my eyes go a bit funny after a while).

I cut off the excess paper (ie the amount that was the pattern repeat) leaving about 5cm top & bottom for trimming. Once I’d pasted the next section of the wall I lined the edges up so the pattern matched & stuck the second piece to the wall. This was when I knew I would have the confidence to paper the whole wall. 

Papering behind the radiator was easy as I didn’t need to hang a whole length, I just cut the paper about 10cm longer than the top of the radiator & tucked the excess down the back of the radiator. I have a radiator cover that also covers the skirting board so I didn’t have to worry about wallpapering below the radiator as it wouldn’t be seen. 

PAPERING AROUND LIGHT SWITCHES

The light switches weren’t that difficult to be honest 

Just remember to switch the electricity off first! 

As I was smoothing the paper I took it down over the light switch & made a small cut in the paper where I guessed the centre to be. The Woodchip & Magnolia wallpaper I was using was a really lovely quality & I wasn’t afraid of it ripping or  scratching the top layer of the pattern off. I then pressed the shape of the light switch into the paper using my hand, peeled that part of the paper off the wall & cut outwards from the centre to each corner. Folding the edges back I made a square hole which was smaller than the light switch, trimmed the paper leaving about one centimetre excess, partially took the light switch off the wall & tucked the excess paper behind it before popping the switch back on. 

The whole wall took me two days to do. I didn’t rush as I was really conscious of doing a good job. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed wallpapering. I was already a huge fan of wallpaper and the way it can add so much interest to a room as you will see on my Instagram account but the fact that I transformed this space myself felt very satisfying. 

So if you feel slightly daunted by the thought of doing a bit of wallpapering my advice would be give it a go. Take your time, watch a few online tutorials & prepare to be amazed. 

Footnote: When I told my family I was thinking of papering the wall myself they all said things along the lines of “oh what if it goes wrong?” My answer was “Yes, but what if it goes right?” The moral of the story is step out of your comfort zone & challenge yourself to try new things & Yes, they were impressed ! 

I’m marking this as an AD as the wallpaper was gifted by Woodchip & Magnolia but the opinions are my own. 

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