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How much wallpaper do you need to order?

When buying wallpaper, printed wallpaper in particular, it’s extremely important to make sure you order the correct amount in one go, as this increases the chances that the rolls will come from the same batch. If the rolls are from the same batch, they were printed at the same time, which means that the print or pattern will match exactly when placed next to each other on a wall. 

So how to figure out how much wallpaper you’ll need? You just need to do a quick bit of maths. Measure the width of every wall in your chosen room (including all doors and windows), and add these figures together. Then divide the number by the width of your wallpaper. You now need to multiply this by the height of your room, this will give you the total length of wallpaper you will need. Divide this by the length of wallpaper per roll and you now have the number of rolls you need to buy. Always round up and buy more than you need; most retailers will let you return unused wallpaper rolls as long as they are unopened.

What equipment do you need to hang wallpaper?

Once you’ve decided on your chosen wallpaper, it’s time to hit the DIY store. Here’s a handy shopping list of decorating essentials!

• Tape measure
• Plumb line
• Trimming knife
• Wallpaper scissors
• Hanging brush/smoothing tool
• Set of step ladders
• Wallpaper paste
• Thick sponge
• Pasting brush
• Wall primer (optional)
• Lining paper (optional)
• Your chosen wallpaper

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Paste the wall vs. Paste the paper

Most types of wallpaper fall into two categories: ‘paste the wall’ or ‘paste the paper’. If your wallpaper is ‘paste the wall’, you will apply wallpaper paste directly to the wall and then place the wallpaper directly over it. However, if you’ve bought ‘paste the paper’, the paste must be applied to the wallpaper before hanging, which means you’ll need to invest in a pasting table if you don’t own one already. At Next, we often use ‘paste the wall’ paper as it avoids any concerns of expansion or contraction when wet, and if you ever feel like a change, the wallpaper is even easier to remove!

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Cutting, pasting and hanging your wallpaper

Ready to begin? Start by cutting your wallpaper into sections according to your ceiling height for easy handling, adding 10cm to allow for trimming. Open and mix your wallpaper paste carefully according to any instructions, and place on the floor or on a sturdy surface to avoid spills.

If you've bought ‘paste the wall’ paper, evenly cover a section of the wall with paste, then gently place your wallpaper over the wet area, starting from the ceiling and smoothing all the way down towards the skirting board. Do this with a clean brush, rather than your hands, to avoid getting any paste onto the coloured/printed side of your wallpaper; if this happens, sponge off immediately with a damp sponge or cloth. If you have ‘paste the paper’ wallpaper, place your paper face down on your pasting table and use your pasting brush to apply an even layer of paste, using upwards and outwards movements. Once pasted, some ‘paste the paper’ designs take some time to expand/contract to their maximum width, so read your wallpaper instructions fully. When ready, fold the ends of your paper into the middle, pick up and hang on the wall, smoothing it down from top to bottom.

To trim excess wallpaper at the floor or skirting board, mark a pencil line on the edges of your paper, carefully pull away from the wall and cut gently with your wallpaper scissors or knife. Gently lay the paper back down and smooth the end with your wallpaper brush.

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How to hang patterned wallpaper

Hanging patterned wallpaper can strike fear into even the most seasoned decorator, but it’s really easy when you know how. Cut your wallpaper into strips for easy handling, but this time make sure you leave around 4-6 inches at the top and bottom for pattern matching. Use a plumb line to draw a vertical pencil line down your wall to keep your pattern straight, then hang your first strip of wallpaper, starting from the nearest window and working outward — unless you're creating a feature wall of course. If you've picked a repeating pattern with a large motif, like a cluster of flowers for example, make sure the first motif (i.e the one closest to the ceiling) is not cut off; you'll always have an uninterrupted line to the ceiling, whereas furniture will always break up the line where the wall meets the floor.

Use your wallpaper brush or smoothing tool as before to remove any air bubbles, and trim away the excess at the skirting board by making a small mark, lifting the wallpaper gently, trimming with wallpaper scissors or a knife and smoothing back down. Next, get your second wallpaper piece ready to hang, making sure that the pattern lines up with the first piece from top to bottom before smoothing.

Wallpapering around obstacles:

From sockets to windows, doors to fireplaces, most walls will have at least one obstacle that could ruin your perfect work. Here’s how to conquer the most common room features:


Hang your
wallpaper from the ceiling join and smooth down close to the frame. Use your wallpaper scissors to make a small diagonal cut to smooth your paper into the corner, then carefully fold your paper against the door frame, and slightly peel away to cut the excess.


Treat the top section of your window exactly as you did the doors. As for trimming around the windowsills, make two diagonal cuts at the top and bottom, then feel and cut around the end. Use your wallpaper brush to push the wallpaper into the natural curves of the wall and trim away any excess.

Light switches and sockets:

Before wallpapering around switches and sockets, switch off the mains power to these points and cover with masking tape for safety. Begin by hanging your paper as normal, then make small cuts from the centre of the switch or socket out towards its corners. Trim the majority of excess leaving around 6mm all the way around, then loosen the screws of the socket/switch faceplate and carefully tap in your surrounding paper before tightening the screws. Make sure the paper is completely dry before removing the masking tape and turning the power back on.

From bright colours to bold prints, reinvent your home with wallpaper to suit every room at Next. Explore our collection of premium-quality styles, brought to you by the biggest names including Laura Ashley, Arthouse and Murvia. And when you're ready for a bigger home refresh, take a look at the Next home collection; from large home furniture to small decorative accessories, show off your sense of style with beautiful pieces at affordable prices.

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