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How to Choose the Right Wallpaper

Skill Level: Beginner


Wallpaper comes in a huge range of designs, patterns and colours: it may be plain coloured, or beautifully patterned – coordinating with furniture, carpets, decorative items and artwork. Wallpaper also comes in a range of coatings too, protective and washable: others are embossed, and may be painted over. Some papers are still hand pasted, and requite a wooden wallpaper table, others are ready pasted and are soaked in tubs – are easily transferred onto the wall.

From a decorating point of view, wallpaper offers so many options and possibilities: and the price of wallpaper will vary greatly to reflect the wonderful wall coverings of quality there are now available. No other wall covering offers the versatility of wallpaper.

The majority of wallpapers are made from 100% paper, or will have a cloth or Plastic coating. Some patterns and textures will be suitable for living rooms and bedrooms; other wallpapers are specially designed for kitchens and bathrooms, where they are subject to heat, steam, humidity, grease build up.

Lining Paper

Lining paper comes in a single buff colour, and is useful in a couple of ways. First, lining paper acts as a good base for heavy, embossed wallpaper: it will also disguise many wall/surface blemishes, such as unevenness, shallow dents and heavy scratch marks. To this end, lining paper comes in different thicknesses: the worse the wall surface condition, the heavier gauge lining paper you’ll need. You can also simply paint over lining paper. Lining paper is the cheapest wallpaper you can buy: but coupled with a coat of paint, will provide an attractive wall covering.

Woodchip Wallpaper

Similar to lining paper in that it usually comes in one, plain buff colour is ideal for covering uneven walls: and like lining paper, can then be painted to provide an effective, attractive, and very cheap wall covering.

Washable Wallpaper

Washable wallpapers are often used in kitchens and bathrooms, as the clear plastic coating is impervious to water and steam. These papers come in either plain or coloured patterns and are extremely hardwearing.

Vinyl Wallpaper

Vinyl wallpapers are available as a plain or patterned paper and have a clear vinyl coating. These papers are suitable for any room: they are washable – great for dining areas, children’s bedrooms, kitchens, or bathrooms.

Embossed Wallpaper

Embossed patterned wallpaper is stunning! Incredible effects are created by raised patterns that come either ready printed/painted, or are plain: ready for painting.

Ready pasted Wallpaper

Ready pasted wallpaper, in decorating terms: is the best thing since sliced bread!

This paper comes already pasted, so all that’s needed is to give it a quick soak, then lift it up and onto the wall. When buying ready pasted wallpaper you will also need to buy a paper soaking trough. The trough may be positioned directly against the wall you are working on, with no carrying soaking paper to cause drips and splashes.

Wallpapering Tools and Equipment

You don’t need an awful lot of tools for wallpapering, but those you do - should be of decent quality! It’s surprising the number of people who will spend upwards of £25 for a roll of wallpaper, but will risk spoiling the finished job by using inferior tools.

Apart from such things as dust covers, a pasting table, a bucket for the paste (if you are not using ready pasted)  a smoothing brush, a sharp craft knife, and a pair of scissors. Oh yes, and you must get the first piece plumb! So, a plumb line is needed…and that’s about it.

Tools you will need:

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