Measuring and cutting wallpaper

The simplest way of measuring and cutting wallpaper is to offer each strip up to the wall as you go along. But use a plumbline to make sure that the first strip is straight or you will run into difficulties later on.

Having chosen your starting point, which should be in a corner or against a door frame, measure from this along the top of the wall 25mm less than the width of your roll and mark the spot with a pencil.

Secure a plumbline running from the top of the wall and through this point, rub it with chalk, then snap it against the wall. This leaves a vertical chalk line down the wall which in turn acts as a guide to help you position the side edge of the first strip.

Slide the paper upwards until about 25mm overlaps the top of the wall with the sides flush against the chalk line, then crease it along the junction with the ceiling. Still holding it in position, crease the bottom of the strip in the same way.

Although you will be trimming each strip, it is still a good idea to cut them square. So, having marked your first strip, lay the paper out on the table and cut across the strip 35mm from the bottom crease.

When measuring the next strip, use the edge of the first as a guide. Allow an overlap for trimming top and bottom, then mark and cut it as described above. If your wallpaper is patterned, make sure that you match the design from strip to strip – before you allow for your top overlap.

Wallpapers with patterns which match on each horizontal line can be matched in strips without difficulty. But if you find that you have to allow an overlap of about half a strip’s length before the pattern matches, you have what is known as a ‘half drop and repeat’ pattern.

In this case, save on wallpaper by working with two rolls at a time. Take your first strip from the first roll, your second strip from the second roll, and so on.

At the end of the first wall, you will almost certainly have to cut a strip lengthways to get it to fit. Do this when the strip has been pasted and folded. Measure the width of the gap top and bottom, transfer this to the whole strip then mark the strip off with a straight edge. Cut down this line with the shears.

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