Wallpaper Buying & Hanging Guide

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Types of Wallpaper

Before you begin hanging wallpaper you first need to determine the most suitable type for your needs. The room in which the wallpaper will be hung greatly affects which type should be chosen. Bathrooms and kitchens for example require different types as opposed to those suitable for living rooms and bedrooms.

Materials

Non-Woven

Quickly becoming the wallpaper of choice due to ease of hanging and removing, non-woven wallpapers are made from a blend of natural and synthetic fibres. This type of wallpaper does not expand when wet like traditional varieties and therefore does not need to be soaked; instead the paste is applied directly to the wall. Another fantastic benefit of non-woven wallpaper is that it can be removed dry without the need of water or steaming and will leave the wall underneath unscathed.

Vinyl/Vinyl Coated

Ideal for rooms prone to humidity and damp such as kitchens or bathrooms, vinyl wallpaper is both durable and easy to clean. However, please be aware that no wallpaper should be hung directly around a shower or sink.

Paper

A traditional yet delicate form of wallpaper, it can tear easily and needs to be soaked prior to hanging to counteract expansion. Although the hanging and removal process is more intricate, paper is the perfect canvas for many more detailed designs.

Match

Before hanging wallpaper the match of each design needs to be taken into account, as you may need more rolls to cover each wall. Match refers to how each drop should be lined up to best display the pattern and will determine how each piece needs to be cut.

Straight Match

These patterns continue across the width of each drop meaning the design needs to be matched at the same point at every seam for the pattern to continue.

Drop Match

Trickier to hang than straight or free matches, drop match wallpaper needs to be hung in sequence to create the desired pattern effect. These designs do not repeat across the width from drop to drop and usually need to be matched up half of the way (half drop) or quarter of the way (quarter drop) down every other strip.

Random Match

Wallpaper of this kind has no direct pattern repeat that needs to be perfectly matched per drop, making these types the easiest to hang. These will normally be plainer in design or have a textured surface, whereas the other varieties are more likely to be richly patterned.

Washing/Care Instructions

It is important to check the care guidelines of each wallpaper before making your choice as some are more easily cleaned than others. The following symbols will appear on each different roll, which will demonstrate their washability:

Washable/Spongeable

These should be treated with great care and only wiped lightly with a damp sponge/cloth when urgently needed.

Extra Washable

Wallpapers such as this can be easily cleaned however take care when doing so using only a soft sponge and water.

Scrubbable

More hard-wearing than washable wallpapers, scrubbable versions can be scrubbed with a sponge, and mild soap can be used to help clean them.

Quantity?

Determining how much wallpaper your room requires can be a tricky task and one that needs to factor in the match of the design. If the pattern requires every other length to be half dropped you will require more rolls than with wallpaper of a straight match design. To save you testing your mathematical skills you will find a wallpaper calculator on each individual design’s page, which will take into account its match and the room size.

Preparation

As with any home project, initial preparation is key, for the best and most professional results certain steps should be followed before the hanging process is even attempted.

Wallpaper Samples

Amara occasionally stocks samples of certain wallpapers to give a better indication of colour and pattern before purchase. Please contact Customer Services for more information on these and to check sample stock levels.

Checking the Paper

Before cutting or pasting the paper, carefully inspect it for imperfections and colour discrepancies. Each roll should have an identical batch number which can be seen on the label, this ensures that colours match exactly. We recommend assessing the wallpaper again once three drops have gone up, if at this point you notice a fault please contact Customer Services who will advise you on how to proceed.

Preparing the Walls

Wallpaper should only be applied to clean, smooth, dry and even walls that are free from grease, dust and any marks. Always ensure that new plaster is completely dry and all old wallpaper residue has been removed before starting to hang the new rolls. It is also a good idea, if possible to remove skirting boards and ceiling mouldings to give you a completely blank canvas to wallpaper, just ensure to clearly mark what came from where.

Wallpaper Lining

Although not all wallpaper requires you to line the wall underneath first, this does give a fabulously professional finish and is recommended. Always use good quality non-woven lining paper which will not expand when it is re-wet with the paste for the patterned wallcovering and hang in horizontal strips to avoid visible seams. Ensure the lining is completely dry before hanging the patterned wallpaper on top, and use the same paste for both to prevent possible reactions.

Paste

Some brands will recommend a specific paste for use with their wallpapers, this information can be found on each design’s individual product page (please note Amara are not liable for any issues occurred through using the incorrect paste if a specific paste has been recommended). Where no specific brand or type has been suggested, always ensure you use a high quality ready-mixed tub paste.

Wallpaper Hanging Instructions

The following instructions are basic guidelines for hanging wallpaper, however please be aware that each individual wallpaper roll will contain its own specific instructions which will need to be followed at all times.

  • Always wallpaper in good lighting conditions and in an ambient temperature.
  • Colour dark wallpaper’s edges with a good quality painting crayon in a matching shade to avoid lighter seams showing once the paper has dried.
  • Ensure you have the correct paste as specified by the individual wallpaper’s instructions.
  • With non-woven wallpaper the walls should be pasted, not the paper.
  • If the paper needs to be pasted, check the soaking time required and ensure no paste gets onto the front of the paper.
  • Carefully cut each length taking into account the wallpaper’s match (straight/drop/free match) and leave approximately 5cm at each end.
  • Clearly mark the direction of the design on the back of each drop.
  • Ensure seams are closely butted but not overlapping, non-woven wallpaper does not tear as easily and can be repositioned as needed, whereas traditional paper requires more care.
  • Using a smooth-surfaced seam roller, gently smooth each drop taking care to remove any air bubbles under the surface.
  • Trim each end of the drop with a sharp knife and straight edge or use paperhangers shears.
  • Avoid squeezing paste out of the seams as it can damage the front of the wallpaper; if this happens remove it immediately with a damp clean cloth.