Top tips for transforming a feature wall with wallpaper

PUBLISHED: 13:24 05 October 2017

Richard Burr wallpapering a feature wall [PA Photo/Handout]

Richard Burr wallpapering a feature wall [PA Photo/Handout]

Archant

Builder (and Great British Bake Off runner-up) Richard Burr reveals his top five tips for transforming a feature wall...

Richard Burr's daughter Genevieve, sitting in front of their map feature wall [PA Photo/Handout]Richard Burr's daughter Genevieve, sitting in front of their map feature wall [PA Photo/Handout]

Wallpapering is one of those jobs that I’ve grown up doing. Whether it was picking up the scraps (a surprisingly important job) behind my grandad as a nipper, or matching 5m drops of hand-printed paper down flights of stairs, it’s a skill that’s relatively easy to master if you follow a few simple rules.

Here are my five tips for papering a feature wall - a great way to add interest to a room, without overwhelming a space or making the room seem smaller...

Big impact: The 'Chart of London City' Mural from the National Maritime Museum Collection is ideal for a feature wall [PA Photo/Handout]Big impact: The 'Chart of London City' Mural from the National Maritime Museum Collection is ideal for a feature wall [PA Photo/Handout]

Tip 1: Invest in the best

Rooms usually have four walls and if you’re only doing one of them, you can afford to spend a few quid on a decent bit of wallpaper. The idea of a roll costing upwards of £80 can be a bit intimidating, but see it as being art for your walls. Don’t be afraid of choosing something quite vibrant and in-your-face, as it’s only one wall. I like to get a number of different samples from wallpaperdirect.com and tape them to the proposed feature wall to get used to them for a couple of weeks, before making a decision.

If you fancy something a little more dramatic, you can order a bespoke mural to fit your wall from Surface View. They have an incredible collection to choose from and take feature walls to the next level. We have a map wall at home and the kids love it.

Tip 2: Do your maths

You can’t just measure the area of your wall and buy the exact quantity of paper to match, because it’s really important to check your pattern drops. Wallpaper is usually 52cm wide and typically about 10m long, but it will always tell you the repeat length of the pattern. So, for example, you may have a wall that’s 2.5m high and 3m wide, and a wallpaper with a pattern repeat of 0.5m. Take 0.5 from 10 and then see how many times 2.6 goes into this - adding 0.1m on to the wall’s length to allow for cutting-in the paper. This tells us we’ll get three drops from the roll, so two rolls will be sufficient to paper the whole wall. It’s always best to err on the side of caution with estimating quantities, especially if you’re less experienced with wallpapering.

Tip 3: Get the right kit

You do need a trestle table, so borrow one if you need to, as the floor is too dusty to lay the paper on, and you’ll end up with fluff or grit in your paste (and lumpy walls). You can buy a wallpapering kit for about £10 (try Screwfix or B&Q), including a pasting brush, hanging brush, long scissors, paper scraper, seam roller, plumb bob, etc. Wallpaper paste is pretty self explanatory - you’ll also need a bucket - and your wallpaper will come with instructions on whether to paste the paper (most likely) or the wall. You’ll also need a sharp Stanley knife, preferably with a new blade.

Tip 4: Level and straighten

Nine times out of 10, walls are not level or straight, so you can’t guarantee that your wall’s corners are going to be even. Use a large spirit level to identify where any dips or contours are in your wall. Measure out from the furthest point into the corner you identify and draw a straight line down the wall using a plumb line - this is a piece of string tacked to the wall or picture rail with the plumb bob as a weight on the bottom of it. Paper to this line and use your Stanley knife to cut the paper into the corner. Match the rest of the paper to this first drop and, if you’re using a patterned wallpaper, match the pattern at your eyeline.

Tip 5: Unscrew sockets and switches

If your feature wall includes sockets and/or light switches, unscrew these carefully from the wall and don’t touch any of the wiring. Hang your paper down to the switch pattress (the cavity that your switch/socket sits in). Use your fingers to feel the shape of the pattress through the paper. Identify the corners of the pattress and use your Stanley knife to cut a cross-shape diagonally from corner to corner. Use your scissors to cut away some of this paper in the middle and you will be able to put your switch plate back onto this without tearing the paper. Screw this back on once the paper has dried.

Related articles

Latest South Hertfordshire Property News

24 minutes ago

Built in 1680, this superb landmark building is situated in the heart of historic Markyate village and offers abundant versatile living space.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:35

St Albans is the most expensive place to move from a two-bed flat to a three-bed house outside London, with buyers paying an extra £185,640 on average.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:36

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” - it’s certainly a passage which is springing to mind at the moment - the mornings are shrouded with mist, and there’s a real nip in the air before the sun properly comes up.

Read more
Mon, 11:54

Richard Burr reveals how to make an old and worn front door look as good as new.

Read more
Friday, October 13, 2017

Just a few miles west of Harpenden is the pretty village of Flamstead, best-known locally for its annual scarecrow festival.

Read more
Friday, October 13, 2017

It’s been under construction for most of the year, but new St Albans city centre development, 55 Victoria Street, is now nearing completion.

Read more
Thursday, October 12, 2017

Singling out just a handful of streets and labelling them as St Albans’ most sought-after seems a tricky task given the strength of the competition.

Read more
Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Newsom Place development on Hatfield Road has won the St Albans Civic Society’s top award for 2016.

Read more
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Turning your garage into an additional room can increase your property’s value by up to 20 per cent, new research has revealed.

Read more
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Every year it feels like it has been an exceptionally quiet summer holiday period but there was certainly a significant reduction in enquiries and movement for commercial properties this time.

Read more
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Approaching 1500 sq ft, with a fully converted loft space and further potential for extension STPP, this spacious five bedroom semi-detached is perfectly positioned to take advantage of local amenities and schooling.

Read more
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Right up there with the conversation about whether you’ve put the heating on yet is the one about spiders and whether the autumn influx has hit your home.

Read more
Monday, October 9, 2017

Bungalows are falling out of fashion and a “catastrophic” housing shortage could result, an online estate agent has warned.

Read more
Monday, October 9, 2017

Properties in the St Albans local authority area have been found to have the second most expensive square footage outside of London.

Read more
Friday, October 6, 2017

More sellers listed their properties in September than in any other month in the last two years, according to latest research.

Read more
Friday, October 6, 2017

The nights are closing in and many of us are turning our minds to home security.

Read more
Thursday, October 5, 2017

Builder (and Great British Bake Off runner-up) Richard Burr reveals his top five tips for transforming a feature wall...

Read more
Thursday, October 5, 2017

With its own shopping and community hub, Southdown is within walking distance of the centre of Harpenden yet very much an area in its own right.

Read more
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Andrew Boothby, senior planning consultant at Aitchison Raffety, outlines all you need to know about loft conversions.

Read more
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Longdene is located in a wonderful semi-rural location set in private gardens in excess of two acres. The main house, which is in excess of 4700 sq ft, offers well balanced, flexible accommodation over two floors.

Read more
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Spider season has arrived, and as our eight-legged friends move in many of us are feeling like moving out.

Read more
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Harpenden has the 11th highest number of streets with properties valued at £1m-plus outside of London, according to Zoopla’s Rich List 2017.

Read more
Monday, October 2, 2017

In a world of home, child and pet ownership, carpet can be a tricky thing to purchase. There’s no point in buying plush, squishy ones as they’ll be looking squashed and stained very shortly, but the more practical, stain-resistant options often look a lot like big, expensive doormats.

Read more
Monday, October 2, 2017

Spend some time, money and effort now to make sure your home is ready for the rigours of winter weather. From leaks to leaves, Julia Gray addresses the most likely issues...

Read more
Friday, September 29, 2017

While picking a house and moving in may sound like a simple task, it is very common for first-time buyers to rush the process and make lots of easily avoided mistakes along the way – some of which can end up costing them a lot more money in the long run.

Read more
Friday, September 29, 2017

The snuggly season is upon us, and we’re altering our interiors to match the changes in our clothes and our mood.

Read more
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Jersey Farm is a purpose-built estate a couple of miles north-east of St Albans.

Read more
Thursday, September 28, 2017

We all know how ridiculous house prices are in this part of the world, but for anyone looking for an alternative to the traditional buying or renting of an actual house or flat, there are options – some more appealing than others.

Read more
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Alastair Woodgate of leading St Albans and Watford based Chartered Surveyors, Rumball Sedgwick, says there’s more to being a good landlord than meets the eye.

Read more
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Bradford & Howley has joined the ranks of high street estate agencies after re-launching under a new name.

Read more

HERTS AD PROPERTY E-EDITION

Image
Read the Herts Ad Property e-edition E-edition

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP

Get the latest St Albans and Harpenden property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

MOST READ

search


e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Local business directory

Hertfordshire's trusted business finder