It’s easier than you think to paper a ceiling. Papering a ceiling is usually approached by newcomers with some anxiety. Often the first attempt gives such poor results that no further efforts are made. The main stumbling block is often the lack of suitable long trestle tables from which the work can be done. Moving ladders or small tables while holding up half-applied, wet pasted strips of paper, results in a mess! The simple support tool described later eliminates this problem and good results are possible at the first attempt. Even without it, though, a mesa-free job is possible!
You can buy tools ready-made for this kind of work but these are hardly worthwhile unless it is your intention to paper a large number of ceilings, and to repeat the lob fairly frequently. (In some towns you can oven hire small tools of this kind.)
In any case follow the rule of not working on ceilings whilst alone in the room or house.
In older houses there may be coiling coatings of lime whitewash. This often prevents the paste front sticking very well to it. Try sticking a mall piece of paper on the ceiling and allow it to dry thoroughly. Then see if it holds firmly. If it tends to peel away this may indicate a lime wash. Removing this is a lengthy and messy operation, involving scraping the coiling completely clear.
In some cases you can improve matters a lot by giving two or three thick coats of wallpapering paste and allowing it to set. This gives the ceiling surface a coating of paste to which the paper can stick firmly.
Finally, avoid choosing ceiling papers which have large, clear patterns. It is difficult enough to match such patterns on an ordinary wall. It is a very difficult lob indeed when working on a long coiling, Choose small, unobtrusive patterns and you will find that matching them is much easier.
1 Start near the window wall of the room. Lay one end of a trimmed roll against the window wall and mark the ceiling at its other end.
2 Pin the end of a string at this point and stretch the string across the room, parallel to the window wall and a roll-width from it.
3 Check the distance all along the string. Irregular walls may result in the space being wider. Shift the string till it is a paper roll width from the wall at most, all along.
4 Short strips of adhesive tape will hold the guide string in place whilst the work goes on.
5 As the paper is pasted, fold each strip concertina-wise, paste to paste.
6 Lift the folded strip up to the ceiling with a whole roll beneath.
7 Draw out the strip end and smooth it down, exactly parallel with the guide string and about half an inch from it Once this first strip is applied, remove the guide string and use the first strip as guide for the next.
8 Trim the strips an inch or two at the ends and press into the corner between wall with a brush
9 Draw the back of the scissors along the joint, firmly.
10 Pull the paper from the wall and a clear fold will be visible.
11 Cut along this fold line.
12 Press the paper end back and it will fit perfectly.
13 The work is made much easier by using this simple tool which is essentially a tray mounted near the top of a wooden pole, jammed between floor and ceiling. Sponge pads stop damage to the ceiling or floor and prevent the tool from slipping.
14 Folded concertina-wise, the pasted strip is laid on the tray.
15 The end can now be drawn out easily, using both hands, and can be accurately aligned without any difficulty to butt up to adjoining strips. Then the tray can be left in place while the steps are moved along. It is the equivalent of another pair of hands.