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How to: Wallpaper Around Obstacle | The Best Wallpaper Place

19.03.15 | Darryl Husler

How to: Wallpaper Around Obstacle | The Best Wallpaper Place

If we lived in a completely square and blank room with no fixtures or fittings inside it, wallpapering would be a breeze. Hanging wallpaper is fairly straightforward under normal circumstances, especially once you have the knack. The problems come when you have to paper around obstacles (they are called obstacles for a reason!) This guide will seek to give some explanation and tips on how to successfully do this.



The common obstacles.
In a standard room for the average decorator the types of obstacles likely to be encountered are:
* Windows and window reveals,
* Internal and external corners – intersections where two walls meet.
* Door frames,
* Light switches, sockets, smoke detectors.
* Ceiling roses,
* Radiators.

Inside and Outside Corners.
Each inside and outside corner is different. If you are lucky, walls are straight and this makes it easy. However most are not and require a bit of thought and trial.
The main point to remember is:
Allow sufficient “overhang” of the paper on the adjacent wall – this is needed so you can make adjustment and movement when the other piece of wallpaper goes on the second side on the wall. This is especially important to make patterns marry up, and avoid looking uneven and odd.

Light switches and sockets.
First thing to remember is to cut the power supply to the area first, to make sure you are totally safe.
The paper will need to be marked and cut in such a way that there is enough wallpaper to tuck behind the switch / socket when the face plate is removed (otherwise there will be no coverage.) The paper and adhesive should be allowed to dry before the switch or socket is fixed back to the wall.
Always be careful when dealing with electrics!

Windows, window reveals, and Doorframes.
There can be a number of ways to do this, and it depends upon preference and circumstances.
A simple method is to paper up to the window and cut it off so there is a neat, plumb finish.
For window reveals and doorframes, the paper is usually ‘tucked’ into reveal with a little over (similar to the walls method.) It is then trimmed and put flat to the wall after. The picture shown earlier is an example of this method in practice.


The simplest thing to do when trying to wallpaper around a radiator is for it not to be there! If possible, removing it will allow the wall to be papered normally. Again, seek someone qualified or expert to help with this.
If the radiator remains in place, the paper must drop behind it taking into account the radiator brackets. The paper is normally smoothed into place using a long handled roller paintbrush.

Ceiling rose.
This is similar to light switches and sockets – its point needs to be marked on the wallpaper, and a star shaped cut made in order to get the light lead and bulb through. The paper is then fed around the rose, adjusted and cut accordingly.
This is often much more complicated that a socket, since you are working in the air and can be reaching upwards. Bear this in mind and take extra care not to rip paper etc.

Papering around obstacles can be difficult and it is no wonder people try and avoid it. If you are in doubt then we suggest you do further reading around the subject until you are happy, or seek expert help or opinion. Taking the time now will ensure mistakes and frustrations are avoided later.