10 Tips for Wallpaper selection and installation


1. When selecting a wallpaper it is worth thinking about what the pattern, color and texture will add or take away from the finished space. A Dramatic pattern, rich color or flock is great selection for a feature wall, however, when used in a in smaller space on all four walls it can make the room appear smaller. When selecting wallpaper for a smaller space an alternative might be to use a subtle pattern, color or texture. Maybe a silk, grass paper or plain texture. A more subtle selection will open up a smaller space, making it appear larger.

2. When measuring walls for wallpaper calculation, measure the length and width of the wall ignoring windows and doors. Using the dimensions of the roll along with the pattern repeat, divide the area into drops. Adding the size of the pattern repeat onto each drop, work out how many drops will come from one roll.

3. Wallpaper is a great option for ceilings, especially in smaller spaces such as bathrooms, powder room or children’s rooms. Most wallpaper can be used in wet areas provide they are sealed after installation. Using a matt or flat varnish will offer protection and waterproofing without altering the look of the design. (Note: If the wallpaper has a metallic finish, then it is advise to test on a small section of the paper, before the paper is installed, as some sealing product will alter the metallic finish.) A varnish coating or sealer offers additional protection so will lengthen the life of a wallpaper, most commonly used in high traffic areas, wet rooms, stairwells and kitchens.

Our installers recommend Resene – Multishield – which can be purchased through most paint and wallpaper shops.

4. Most wallpaper websites offer a ‘paper a room’ option to allow the finished result to be realised prior to ordering. Color is not always the same as the screen however, the pattern, scale and joins are helpful in bringing the selection to life. Photoshop or other design software also offer the option to fully explore the result. Using high resolution images can really help visualise how the scale of the pattern will translates on to the wall. It also sets realistic levels of expectations, making the installers job much easier. 

5. After dealing with the good the bad and the ugly of wallpaper mistakes Radford will always advise a professional highly-experienced wallpaper installer to be employed to hang wallpaper. Most wallpaper installers will offer a measure up and quoting service and as Radford are trade only they can even purchase the wallpaper. However if DIY’ing is the plan - read the instructions thoughly and ensure you have all the necessary equipment.

Contact local showrooms for a list of the recommended installers in your state

6. When selecting wallpapering paste/glue avoid purchasing powdered paste. It is advised that pre-mixed is the best option as the consistency is guaranteed. Powered options leave room for error and the consistence is imperative. If incorrectly mixed it can damage the wallpaper or worse the wallpaper can peal off.

7. One of the most common mistake in wallpaper installation is not understanding the difference between standard woven and non-woven paper. A non-woven paper means you paste the wall, woven paper means you paste the paper. Always double check.

8. A good tip for removing grubby fingerprints is to use a magic eraser (these can be purchased from most supermarkets) they gently remove marks without damaging the wallpapers surface.

9. In an effort to achieve perfect joins with non-woven paper, it is possible that you can 'humidify' the paper before you hanging each length using a wooden Seam Roller helps butt the seams together once the paper is hung.

10. Lastly - Avoid hanging wallpaper on days when the weather is 30 degrees. The glue will dry too quickly.