Painting, decorating and home improvement tips blog

How to cut wallpaper

Posted by Adrian
February 28th, 2017

scissors

How to cut wallpaper

If you are hanging any type of wallpaper, making a good clean cut can make or break a job. The last thing you want to see are torn ragged edges, so the key to cutting wallpaper is to use sharp tools.

Scissors

Scissors can be used to trim paper, cut paper and remove excess paper as you hang, so a good paper hanging pair of scissors are always good to have to hand when wallpapering. To use scissors to trim the top and bottom of the paper, use a pencil to mark a line where you need to cut making sure the paper is well pushed in. Mark and then lift the paper slightly and trim carefully along the line with the scissors or papering shears.

Knife

Knife

A knife is the most popular choice, and the best type to use are a craft knife or one that has snap off blades. This way you can simply snap an end off and you have a sharp cutting edge again, this should be done regularly to avoid the knife dragging and tearing the paper. The amount of cuts between each ‘snap’ of blade will depend on the surface you are cutting on to. Wood and plaster will blunt the blade quickly.

To trim the paper make sure the paper is pushed well into where the cut will be, then use something like a wide scraper to hold the paper and then cut along the edge with a sharp knife. Having a sharp knife will make life easier and you can trim on one cut.

Rotary Cutter

Other tools

There are a number of other tools on the market such as rotary cutters, battery powered cutters, triangle shaped and wedge shaped cutter. All these tools work on the same basic principle, they use a sharp cutting blade to trim the paper. Some I have to say are more successful than others, and some last better than others but at the end of the day it is personal preference to which tool you prefer to use.

Triangle Cutter
wide scraper

Wallpaper Calculator

If you need to work out how many rolls of wallpaper to buy, why not use our Wallpaper Calculator to do it, it even has a feet to metre convertor.

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Wallpapering ‘Frames’

Posted by Adrian
June 29th, 2015

Wallpapering ‘Frames’

I have recently just completed a wallpapering job for a client. The room was a spare bedroom / playroom. As this room is to serve as a dual purpose room the client didn’t want the room to be too child like, or to grown up. The client looked online and decided on a wallpaper from Graham and Brown called Frames.

This wallpaper was ideal for the situation it was to be used in, modern and contemporary enough for any adults staying in the room, but also fun for a child. The frames on the paper can be used to stick family photos, postcards, artwork and you can even draw your own artwork directly into a frame to give it a totally unique style. If you do draw directly onto the wallpaper be aware that the paper is only spongeable and anything drawn onto the wallpaper may not come off.

About the wallpaper

The wallpaper is a paste the paper type, as opposed to paste the wall. The soaking time is around 5 minutes. The design / pattern match is free, so no matching up to do. The paper is 52cm wide and the rolls are 10 m long.

I found the paper easy to hang and the final result was very effective as you can see by the following photos.

'Frames' wallpaper
Wallpaper 'frames' close up

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Wallpapering around light switches and sockets

Posted by Adrian
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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