cutting and prepping wallpaper strips pin Precutting strips of wallpaper

Cut the strips of wallpaper with extra on both ends that will be trimmed on the wall and make sure everything lines up before you begin hanging it to the wall!

Wallpaper preparation: More complicated than you might expect

So you’re sure you have enough wallpaper and all the necessary supplies, you’ve prepped your space and walls, and all that’s left is to throw up some wallpaper, right? Well… almost. Patterned wallpapers need to be hung so that the pattern will line up to match at the seams, so it is wise to prepare you strips of wallpaper before you start hanging. Let’s go through the steps of preparing your wallpaper strips to be hung:

Contents:

batch number

1 - Check Batch Numbers

Wallpaper is manufactured in batches and each batch can be ever so slightly different in color – but this would be noticeable on a wall. This is why it is always important to check on all of your wallpaper rolls, that they show the same ‘batch’ number, also sometimes called a ‘run’ or a ‘lot’. As well, always keep the labels of your wallpaper until you are completely finished wallpapering.

2 - Check for Defects

Keep an eye open for any defects that might be on the wallpaper, for instance, smudged or blotchy ink, as well as, bald or faded patches. If you find something that repeats throughout the whole roll, resolve this before you start hanging the wallpaper. However, if you find a lone defect, simply avoid this piece and work it into the waste; should you no longer have enough wallpaper, it’s safe to say that you didn’t buy enough in the first place.

wallpaper match symbols

3 - Cut Wallpaper Strips Depending on Pattern Match type

Take a look at the label of your wallpaper and find out what type of match your wallpaper is. Whether your wallpaper is a free match, straight match or offset match will dictate how much planning will need to go into the strips before hanging.

Free match (also called ‘no match’ or ‘open match’) wallpaper has no design elements that need to be matched at the seams making it by far the easiest wallpaper to hang. If you have a free match wallpaper, it is not fully necessary to prepare strips ahead of time and you might find it easier to hang the wallpaper directly from the roll. Be aware that many solid colored wallpapers are recommended to be ‘reverse hung’.

Straight match wallpaper will mean that all of the strips you prepare should look exactly the same. Decide what part of the wallpaper you want to be at the top of your wall and cut to there with a long metal ruler and razor leaving a 2.5cm (1 inch) bit of excess that will be cut away at the wall. Avoid having a large design element right at the ceiling; in the case that the ceiling is not completely straight and dips into these design elements, it will be entirely visible and even attention grabbing. Make each strip 2.5cm to 5cm longer on the bottom to allow for some wiggle room; this will we trimmed away at the wall. Prepare enough strips to finish the first wall.

Offset Match wallpaper is the most complicated to prepare as each strip won’t be the same, though usually, ever other strip should be identical unless the wallpaper has a really big repeat. With offset match wallpaper, it is definitely recommended to lay everything out to pre-match on a clean floor before hanging it. Some people are caught off-guard by how much wallpaper must be trimmed in between strips to line it up, so to reduce the amount of waste, you can try opening two rolls at once, making identical strips of one type and using the other roll to make identical strips of the other type. Lightly marking the strips with a number in pencil on the back with also help to reduce any confusion. Again, decide what part of the wallpaper you want to be at the top of your wall and cut to there with a long metal ruler and razor leaving a 2.5cm (1 inch) bit of excess that will be cut away at the wall. Avoid having a large design element right at the ceiling; in the case the ceiling not be completely straight and dips into these design elements, it will become very visible. Make each strip 2.5cm to 5cm longer on the bottom to allow for some wiggle room; this will be trimmed away at the wall. Prepare enough strips to finish the first wall.

wallpaper application symbols

4 - Hang wallpaper according to type of material

Now all that's left to do is actually hang your wallpaper! How you'll do this depends on the material of your wallpaper; paper wallpaper must be hung differently than non0woven wallpapers! Simply look for the application symbol on your wallpaper's label and then follow the corresponding guide: