Like our wardrobes, from time to time our homes need a new look and whilst this can be achieved by adding some art to the walls or a new rug in the lounge, there are other times when nothing but completely redecorating a room will do.
Along with adding a new look to your home, redecorating is also a great way to increase the value of your home, with it being estimated that a redecorated home can increase in value on average by nearly 3%.
So whether you’re looking to sell your home in the coming months, or you’ve decided it’s time to freshen up your walls, we’ve provided some handy tips to wallpapering and painting.
We’re not going to lie to you, stripping wallpaper is a tedious job and it’s one which can be hard work as well as time consuming. But it’s also a must if you want to ensure your new wallpaper sticks to the wall and looks good.
Thankfully there are two ways in which you can make the stripping of wallpaper easier and quicker.
We’ve made no secret of the cleaning powers offered by steam, but it can also be utilised to great effect for stripping wallpaper, and using such a DIY tool is straightforward.
- Perforate the surface of your wallpaper with a Stanley knife, being careful not to damage the plasterwork.
- Work the steam stripper methodically across the wall, starting from the top and working your way down. Allow the steam to soak into the paper.
- Use a wallpaper scraper to remove the wallpaper as you go. If you’ve got any strands of wallpaper left after steaming and scraping, go over them again.
Safety Warning: When using the steam stripper make sure you’re using it with an RCD adaptor, and never use it close to switches or sockets
If you don’t have a steam stripper, the easiest way to remove your existing wallpaper is to use a bucket or warm water with alum, and apply this to your wall using a sponge. It’s recommended to use 2 tablespoons of alum – which can be purchased from the chemist – for every pint of warm water.
Simply apply the mixture to the wallpaper, allow it to soak in and then scrape off using the wallpaper scraper.
Whether you’re using a steam stripper or applying water manually, once the paper has been stripped we recommend you give your walls a scrub – using an abrasive pad and hot soapy water – to remove any glue residue.
Prepare The Wall:
Once the wallpaper has been stripped from the wall, more work needs to be carried out before you’re ready to hang your new paper – and the key is to prepare the wall. This can be done in a number of steps, including:
- Using a flexible knife to remove any flaking paint or plaster which may be present
- Smooth the wall by sanding it down, either with a sanding block or electric sander.
- If the wall is showing signs of any defects, from loose / cracked plaster and holes in the wall to signs of damp, these must be treated. To treat mould, we recommend you wash it away using household bleach before covering with a sealer coat of anti-damp paint.If you’ve had to use filler on the wall, you’ll need to smooth it over again with your sanding block.
Hanging wallpaper is a DIY task which you need to take your time doing, particularly if you’re using a patterned paper. To help you hang your wallpaper to perfection, make sure you follow these handy tips…
- Measure and cut the wallpaper correctly, key to this is to measure twice and cut once. We also suggest when measuring and cutting the wallpaper you leave an extra 2 inches at the top and bottom for final trimming.
- Pasting the paper is key to it sticking correctly, and to get this right you’ll need to allow the paste to soak into the paper for the designated period of time (this can vary from paste to paste).To help make pasting cleaner, consider pouring the paste into a paint tray and applying using a paint roller.
- To hang your paper, if you’re using a plain design start in the corner behind the door and work your way around the room, taking the time to measure and cut each piece of wallpaper as you go. For bold designs choose a focal point and start from the centre of this area, before cutting the next piece you’ll also need to make sure the pattern matches with the previous one.
- When carrying the paper to the wall from the pasting table, it’s recommended to carefully fold it, once you’ve placed the top of the paper onto the wall you can allow the folds to drop and carefully stick the rest of the paper to the wall.
- Make sure you use a wooden or rubber roller to press down the wallpaper as it dries, as this will help to remove any blisters – which if left can become unsightly and ruin the aesthetics of the room.
Painting your walls may sound like an easier option to wallpapering, but to achieve a stunning finish you’ll need to do more than purchase a pot of paint and slapping this onto the walls. Instead, to get a perfect painted finish on your walls, you’ll need to take the time to clean and prepare the walls.
Clean & Prepare:
As when wallpapering, if your walls show any signs of having a defect you’ll need to resolve this – whether it’s filling holes, removing damp patches or patching up plasterboard. In addition to fixing any defects, we also recommend you sand the wall down with a sanding block to achieve a smooth surface.
With the walls ready, you can begin thinking about painting, and along with selecting the colour(s) you’re after, you’ll also need to consider the tools you’ll need for the job. We recommend you have the following:
- Dust cover to protect your flooring and any other areas you don’t want painting
- Masking tape to section and cover the area where two colours will meet.
- Paintbrush, paint pad or roller – each have their own benefits and drawbacks, but if used correctly all can help you to achieve a professional looking finish to your walls, woodwork and ceiling.
With your walls prepared and tools to hand, you’re ready to paint. But this isn’t just about dipping your painting tool of choice into the paint and then applying it to the wall, instead for a professional finish without the price tag follow these steps…
- Paint in sequence – start with your ceiling before moving onto the walls and finishing with the woodwork.
- When painting, do all the cutting in and edges first, this will not only help the decorating go quicker but will also produce better results. You should also always make sure you start from the top of the wall when painting and work your way down as this will help reduce the risk of drip marks appearing.
- Start by the window first and work your way round, and although painting can be time consuming if you do need / want to take a break, wait until you’ve reached a corner as this will give you a great starting point when you come back to painting.
- If you’re painting an area where two colours meet (i.e. ceiling and wall), turn to your masking tape and cover the area where the two colours meet. Alternatively, if you’ve got a steady hand you can use a technique called beading. Simply add a little paint to your brush, turn it edge on and press it flat against the wall, a short distance away so bristles are slightly splayed – this will create a bead of paint.
Taking your time when decorating your home and following the advice outlined above, will help you add a new look to your home, without having to splash the cash – whilst in via the BuySpares blog you’ll find more advice to getting the most out of your decorating, DIY and recycling.
Do you have any further decorating advice? Share it in the comments below.