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Wallpapering around light switches and sockets

Posted by admin
April 10th, 2013

Flush fitted socket

How to wallpaper around light switches and sockets

If you are wallpapering an entire room or simply a feature wall, more than likely you are going to come across a light switch, a socket, a TV Ariel or satellite point or a telephone socket. These may seem difficult to wallpaper around, but they don’t have to be.

The first thing to remember always is safety first, turn of the power to light switches or sockets before undoing any screws, yes this is a pain because you have to re-set clocks etc. But it’s far better to do that than get an electric shock. Wallpaper by it’s very nature is wet, the paste makes the wallpaper wet, this conducts electricity very well, so be safe, turn off the power.

The first thing to do is identify which kind of fitting you have, if your sockets or switches have the socket or switch box on the wall they are surface mounted, if just the face plate is showing then the box is sunk into the wall, this is flush fitted. You tackle these two types slightly differently.

Surface switch

Wallpapering around surface mounted sockets and switches

Wallpaper down to the switch or socket, support the wallpaper with one hand and smooth the paper into the switch surface mounted box, cut along the top of the box, then carefully, pull the paper away from the wall slightly so you can smooth the paper to the edge of the box, trim this edge, now do the same with the other edge. Finally cut with scissors the remaining ‘square’ out of the sheet of wallpaper but leave enough to trim. Smooth down the paper and it should go around the switch box, finally trim the bottom edge.

Clean off any excess paste off of the wallpaper and switch, making sure not to get too much water on the switch, then allow to dry for a bit and turn the power back on.

Wallpapering around flush fitted sockets and switches

As you wallpaper down to the switch or socket, make a small hole in the wallpaper, about the centre of the switch, now from the centre hole you have just made, cut from the middle toward the corner of the switch, so diagonally. Now smooth the wallpaper down onto the wall and trim the ‘triangle’ sections off but leaving enough to tuck behind the switch. Do this to all the ‘triangle’ sections. Now loosen, but don’t remove the face plate, and tuck the wallpaper behind the switch. Smooth out and air bubbles toward the switch. Finally screw the face plate down again, making sure not to over tighten and crack it.

Clean off any excess paste on the wallpaper and switch making sure not to get too much water on the switch, leave the power off long enough allowing for the wallpaper to dry out enough and any paste to dry.

switch with paper cut around
Paper flaps cut around switch
Finished paper around switch

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