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Wallpapering a hall landing and stairs

Posted by admin
October 20th, 2010

Diagram showing how to measure a stairwell for wallpaper

How to wallpaper a hall landing and stairs

Firstly you need to measure the walls you are going to papering the downstairs hallway, upstairs landing and stairs/stairwell to work out how much paper you need to buy, our wallpaper calculator can be used for this job.

So how do you measure a hall, stairs and landing for wallpaper?
Well it’s not as hard as you may think. If you think of the upstairs and downstairs as two different rooms, splitting the stairwell wall into two parts. Imagine the skirting of the upstairs goes all the way across the stairwell wall and measure as you would normally.
You will use a lot of paper on the stair walls as there is a lot of wastage, especially if you have a pattern paper.

Now you know how much paper to buy, and have bought it, you can start to paper. So where do you start?

Where to start papering the hall, stairs and landing

You should start by hanging the longest sheet first down the stairwell, and working along one way until a corner. Mark the wall using a plumb line to ensure your paper is vertical, then measure your drop of paper ensuring you allow for the angle of the stair stringer, mark the paper at either side at the bottom allowing for trimming.

Diagram showing first drop of wallpaper on stairwell

Take your roll and lay it on the paste table, then take a straight edge and draw a line joining the two marks up, you should have a diagonal line. Cut the paper as you normally would, then trim the paper along the diagonal line, this will save you getting paste all over the carpet when you hang the sheet.

Paste the sheet and allow to soak, and then hang the first drop. You should then take the roll of paper and line it up with the one you have just put up, unroll it and ensure any Patten is lined up, then mark and trim as before, continue doing this until you reach a corner, then do the same the other side of the longest drop until the other corner.

Once the longest drops are done you can work as you would for a normal room.

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Posted in Decorating Tips | 35 Comments »

35 Responses to “Wallpapering a hall landing and stairs”

  1. Alison Persson Says:

    Great information, simple and easy to follow instructions.

    Thanks for all the info’.



    Date posted : October 3rd, 2011 at 8:17 am
  2. Jeff Jarvis Says:

    How do I hang anaglypta on stairs?

    Date posted : January 27th, 2012 at 8:57 pm
  3. Adrian Says:

    @Jeff, You would paper with anaglypta the same as with any other paper.

    Date posted : January 28th, 2012 at 12:41 pm
  4. Mary Says:

    That is the most useful decorating tip I have ever read. Thanks

    Date posted : June 15th, 2012 at 1:10 pm
  5. Hector7 Says:

    All these years of decorating I have been staring in the wrong place, it sounds so simple to carry out, will follow the instructions .

    Date posted : August 30th, 2012 at 3:21 pm
  6. zhorik Says:

    So what if the longest drop is half way up as the stairs. do you still start there?

    Date posted : November 12th, 2012 at 8:45 am
  7. Adrian Says:

    Yes start with the longest drop and work one way to a corner, then from longest drop the other way to a corner.

    Date posted : November 13th, 2012 at 8:15 am
  8. kgething Says:

    Thanks. This method worked for me.

    Date posted : February 24th, 2013 at 12:39 pm
  9. paul wright Says:

    Cheers very helpfull thanks

    Date posted : May 21st, 2013 at 8:24 pm
  10. Wayne williamson Says:

    How do you wallpaper staircase that has a roof/ ceiling slanting

    Date posted : August 6th, 2013 at 11:04 pm
  11. Adrian Says:

    Just wallpaper the same as you normally would, you can measure using the roll and cot the top and bottom of the paper whilst it’s dry to save getting paste all over the carpet and ceiling.

    Date posted : August 8th, 2013 at 7:29 pm
  12. Steve Says:

    How do you wallpaper around a window recess that sticks out without ripping or it looking like a bodge job.

    Date posted : October 2nd, 2013 at 3:04 pm
  13. chris Says:

    how do you wallpaper around the end wall which is stepped at the bottom of the stairs with the angle of the stairs on one side and a normal ceiling to floor on the other side?

    Date posted : October 18th, 2013 at 10:10 pm
  14. steve Says:

    How do you paper a staircase wall that has a banister running down it. Last time I tried it the paper was running off by about 5 mils even though both cuts were plum

    Date posted : October 21st, 2014 at 9:57 pm
  15. Adrian Says:


    Make sure you have plenty of paste on the wall and paper, this will allow the wallpaper to move around easier. Use a plumb line to mark a straight vertical line before starting.

    Date posted : October 31st, 2014 at 3:07 pm
  16. Jim Says:

    When wallpapering were is the best place to start

    Date posted : November 3rd, 2014 at 1:33 pm
  17. Adrian Says:

    @Jim When wallpapering a stairway, which is what I’m guess you are asking as you don’t say, I start with the longest drop first, as described in this post.

    You can find more wallpapering tips here.

    Date posted : November 3rd, 2014 at 4:41 pm
  18. Andy Says:

    Hi I am wanting to only paper the bottom half of hallway walls up the staires but looks uneven when I’ve marked walls up the staires is there a method used for this

    Date posted : January 17th, 2015 at 12:11 pm
  19. Adrian Says:


    If you mean to get a straight line to work to, best use a chalk line. You can buy these at any DIY store, mark at the top of the stairs, mark at the bottom, get someone to hold one end on top mark, go to bottom mark with other end, pull tight and ‘ping’ the string leaving a chalk like to work too.

    Hope that helps.

    Date posted : January 19th, 2015 at 9:37 am
  20. Derek Says:

    Where do you start if it’s horizontal?

    Date posted : April 2nd, 2015 at 6:38 pm
  21. Adrian Says:


    I assume you mean papering horizontally as in cross lining?

    I typically start at the top and work down.

    Date posted : April 4th, 2015 at 3:53 pm
  22. Rachel Says:

    Hi. Some measuring advice would be much appreciated. I have chosen paper with a 60cm repeat, straight match to go on the wall that the stairs run up. We have tall ceilings – you can only get 3 drops/roll for the ground floor. The wall is single ‘storey’ to begin, then double height just after the stairs start ascending. Given the biggish repeat, I am nervous about using a regular calculator for the number of rolls. I thought I would be safest to work out each of the drop lengths I need, adding 60cm to each to allow for the pattern, and then work out what way I can mix and match lengths from rolls to determine the number of rolls, then add an extra roll for luck. Do you think this going to be way OTT? At £75/roll I’d rather not have a couple of spare rolls kicking around at the end!

    Date posted : June 15th, 2015 at 9:39 am
  23. Adrian Says:


    Unless you want to work out every drop and every pattern match / repeat it can be tricky to get the exact amount of paper without any left over. Stairs use a lot because of the heights involved but also because of the angle of the staircase, there is a lot of wastage.

    As a decorator I can only give ‘estimated’ amounts as I don’t have the time (or inclination) to sit and work it out to the last metre. 9/10 times it works out fine and there is only a small amount of leftover paper.

    One other thing to consider it roll damage, I have come across damaged section, such as ink blotches, but only found this half way into the roll, this is rare, but can happen.

    I do understand you don’t want to order too many, especially at £75 a pop. If you have the time to work it out then go for it, you can have a good night out on the saved money 🙂
    Let me know how you get on.

    Date posted : June 21st, 2015 at 3:31 pm
  24. Scott Says:

    Hi, im nearly finished the hall / stairs and now onto the landing, i have a number of doors with gaps in between the frames of approx 10cm and one with a gap of 23cm between the frames, do you recommend using a whole length of paper for each drop as that would be a lot of waste? or using individual cut out strips to fill thte gaps between each door frame then use a full width for the tops of the doors?.


    Date posted : January 7th, 2016 at 8:07 am
  25. Adrian Says:


    Depends on patten really and how it looks.

    Date posted : January 10th, 2016 at 4:23 pm
  26. Kim Says:

    I would like to know how to treat a staircase that has a horizontal ceiling on the 1st floor which then goes straight up at the 2nd floor. Behind the vertical portion is where the banister attaches and there is a linen closet. I don’t know how to treat that portion over the stairwell that goes from being the ceiling on the 1st floor (horizontal) to vertical like the other walls on the 2nd floor. Does the 2nd floor vertical section get papered like the other walls on the 2nd floor? And if so, do I just end the paper where the vertical wall then goes horizontal to become the ceiling on the 1st floor? HELP!

    Date posted : January 26th, 2016 at 7:28 pm
  27. Adrian Says:


    Typically the 2nd floor vertical section would be treated as ‘wall’ and papered and ended where this vertical part meets the horizontal part, the ‘ceiling’. But it is individual choice really.

    Date posted : January 27th, 2016 at 3:12 pm
  28. Suzanna Says:

    I was wondering if you could just help me out here please. In the stair case going up to the main floor and in the basement ,there is a separation in the wall on one side .which means the bottom section is painted,the separation has small moulding ,on the longest section of the wall ,I was wondering if I could use white and grey tone brick wallpaper on the upper half on the entire staircase walls leading to the upstairs level or would it look closed in or just be too much ? The whole upper half would be all brick wallpaper. Help please

    Date posted : November 20th, 2016 at 1:59 pm
  29. Adrian Says:


    It is really hard for me to say not seeing it. It is really up to the individual.

    Date posted : November 22nd, 2016 at 2:53 pm
  30. Clare Says:

    The longest drop is at a corner – is it bad to have the edge at a corner? An inside wall meets the stair wall here

    Date posted : March 4th, 2017 at 1:15 pm
  31. Adrian Says:


    No it’s fine to start at the corner. Have the paper lap around the corner slightly (1cm).

    Date posted : March 4th, 2017 at 2:24 pm
  32. marty Says:

    how do u measure a hall and stairs for papering please

    Date posted : March 15th, 2017 at 7:24 am
  33. Adrian Says:


    Is says in the post?

    “So how do you measure a hall, stairs and landing for wallpaper?
    Well it’s not as hard as you may think. If you think of the upstairs and downstairs as two different rooms, splitting the stairwell wall into two parts. Imagine the skirting of the upstairs goes all the way across the stairwell wall and measure as you would normally.
    You will use a lot of paper on the stair walls as there is a lot of wastage, especially if you have a pattern paper.”

    Date posted : March 15th, 2017 at 6:39 pm


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