I usually make a plain paper template of the walls to be papered, taking especial care to mark out any doors or fireplaces correctly and to allow for minute overlaps of papers – and alignment of any patterns. When this fits well, cut out your real wallpaper.
Mix wallpaper paste to a medium consistency and make sure that it is fully dissolved, leaving no lumps. With a good quality half to one inch bristle brush spread thinly on both the paper and the wall surfaces.
Have a clean cloth handy and when both pasted surfaces are put together, use the cloth to make sure everything is fitting correctly and there are no adjustments to be made.
Now for the magic trick. Have a small hard rubber roller, the sort used for spreading ink for lino printing and available from craft shops. I have two, one about half an inch diameter and another one and a half inches diameter. Carefully and gently run one over the paper starting from the top and one side to the other. This will created good adhesion and remove any bubbles or air-pockets. Do this horizontally and towards you. A firm but careful wipe over again with the clean cloth should finally fix it. Check it for smoothness a few minutes later whilst it is still damp to make sure all is flat. Should you have missed a bit you can correct it at this point.
I papered a no.10 from stripped down walls and floors and there is not a bubble or lump to be seen! I am very proud of it and wish that I had used rollers in the past - it really works. Should any piece need trimming, wait until bone dry and use a new razor blade to cut any overhang of paper.
I must point out that the original papers had been entirely stripped out by the previous owner’s Grandfather. He had done a very thorough job - I found just one fragment behind the stairs, which is preserved. It was quite fun to be able to redecorate as I pleased but this house has quite a different atmosphere to that of my other ones with their shabby chic original papers - very clean and rather characterless.
The lower paper (above) is some vintage real-size paper sent to me by Jane in New Zealand, and it was of a good tough thickness. The upper is homemade very simply from a sample of Laura Ashley paper and reduced. It is just on ordinary copy paper.
The tiled floor, not a wrinkle to be seen.
In this room, I have used another home-made paper, from the end papers of a 1940s children’s book. The parquet floor is nice and flat too. Any bumps that do appear on the walls are due to screws from the hinges coming through the wood slightly.
The picture above shows the Laura Ashley paper in a different colour-way when the red ran out on my copier- it’s nice to have the contrast. The groove in the parquet floor is where wiring went, I think, once upon a time.
The picture above shows nice flat walls – the paper is only the ordinary copy size so there have to be seams but handling smaller sheets is easier than big ones.
This shows one of the hazards of wet paste on old hinges but this was the only one of the four which reacted like this.