Corners And Obstructions When Wallpapering

Internal corners

Measure the distance from the edge of the last length into the corner. Do this at the top, middle and bottom of the wall. Since many corners are out of true, these measurements could differ, so do take care when recording distances.

Select the largest measurement and add 10mm to it. So, if the three measurements are 190, 195 and 200mm the final figure will be 210mm — this amount should then be cut from the next length. Make sure the cut is made from the correct side of the length. Keep the offcut piece of paper safely — this will be hung on the return wall.

Paste then hang the first piece, using the tips of the brush bristles to smooth the edge tightly into the corner. Smooth down the 10mm overlap on to the return wall, and continue.

Whenever a corner is turned, the first piece of paper on the new wall must be hung following a plumb line as was the starting length. Measure the width of the offcut and mark a vertical line on the wall at this distance from the corner. Paste then hang the offcut, brushing its edge into the corner to overlap the edge of the previous length. Obviously there will be a slight break in the pattern but this will not be readily noticeable. Do, however, ensure that the pattern is matched as closely as possible.

External corners

Work up to the last full width before the corner. As before, take three measurements from the edge of the last length to the corner and add 25mm to the largest measurement. Cut this amount from the length then paste and hang it, turning the edge around the corner. Do not brush down the edge — leave it loose.

Hang a plumb line for the offcut on the new wall which should be marked at the same distance from the corner as is the width of the offcut. Smooth the offcut on to the wall then brush the loose edge of the first piece down over it. Again match the pattern as closely as possible.

For appearance it is always best to overlap the paper at external corners on whichever wall it will be least noticed. In some circumstances it might be better to brush down the edge of the first piece on to the new wall and then hang the offcut to overlap it.

Window reveals

Paper the reveal first, turning 10mm of paper on to the facing wall. The cut and hang the paper on the facing wall cutting it to the outline of the reveal.

Other problem areas

If dealing with a modern, flush light switch or socket then brush on the top part of the paper down to the fitting. Turn off the electricity supply at the mains before loosening the screws holding the switch cover to the wall. Next, cut a hole in the paper slightly less in area than the size of the cover. Pull the cover through the hole and then hang the remainder of the length. Trim around the hole made in the paper to leave a 5mm margin inside the cover. Screw back the cover and restore the electricity supply.

An older-style switch is often mounted on a block which cannot be removed. Smooth down the top part of the paper until the switch is reached then press the paper against the switch to ascertain its position. Using small scissors make star-shaped cuts in the paper, working outwards from the centre of the switch to a point about lOmm beyond the mounting block. Brush the paper around the block, use the back of the scissors to make a crease around it, then trim along the crease line and brush the paper back into place.


Working from the last full length of paper before the door frame, carefully measure out and cut a length of paper which will overlap the doorway by about 50mm all round. Paste the paper and brush the top part on to the wall above the door. Mark a crease line along the top of the door frame. Trim along the crease and finish by making a short diagonal cut working outwards from the top corner of the frame.

The lower half of the paper can now be brushed on to the wall and creased, then trimmed to fit neatly at the side of door frame. The diagonal cut made in the paper will not be noticeable when the length has been hung.

Fireplace surround

Where the mantelshelf reaches to within 20mm or so of the corners of the chimney breast wall, it is best to hang the top half of the length then make a neat horizontal cut in the paper level with the mantelshelf.

The lower half then can be fitted separately working downwards to the skirting. Crease the paper into each shape, withdraw it, snip along the line, brush it back into place and so on. A small pair of sharp scissors will help you to make the short, intricate cuts that are needed.

By the time the paper is trimmed completely, the paste might have dried; if so, you will have to repaste the edges and brush on the paper.

Where there is a long distance between the edge of the mantelshelf and the corner, a cut line would be noticeable. Here the paper must be hung in one piece.

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