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How to Paper a Ceiling

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There are a few things that need to be taken into account when papering a ceiling. Firstly always work with a partner and ideally use scaffolding because the paper is more likely to be longer and harder to work with. Simple scaffolding using two ladders and a steady board will suffice.

The ceiling must always be papered before the walls; the lengths of paper should run parallel to the light to hide the seams.

You will need:

  • Paper
  • Dust sheets
  • Wallpaper adhesive
  • Pasting brush
  • Paperhanger’s brush
  • Large and small scissors
  • Pencil
  • Sponge
  • Tape measure
  • Seam roller
  • Drawing pins
  • String
  • Chalk

Step One

Firstly measure the sheets of paper to fit, leaving an overlap of about 2 or 3 cm if the walls are to be papered as well. Prepare the ceiling by removing old paper or sealing new plaster.

Working parallel to the window roll out your first length of paper and mark at each end with the pencil. Using these two starting points, coat the string with the chalk, attach at both points and pluck the string. This will leave a long straight line.

Mix the adhesive and paste onto your lengths. Fold them in a concertina or fan like fashion so the pasted side is on the inside of each fold.

Step Two

Brush a small amount of adhesive onto the first starting point of the paper and the ceiling to give it more adhesion as you begin.

Line up the paper with your chalk line and using an extra roll to support your ‘concertina’ apply the paper.

Brush down the centre while you unfold the strip. It is easier if someone does this for you. Always check your chalk line to ensure the paper is applied straight before brushing out the sides.

Apply the second length the same way, making sure to match the pattern. Complete the ceiling in this manner.

After about half an hour run the roller down the seams to bind them.

Step Three

To fix the paper neatly around electrical fittings or fans, firstly turn the power off.

Remove the outer cases and mark the paper where they should come through. These include light roses etc. Make cuts around the point in a star shape and pull the fitting through.

Cut off any excess paper and brush the paper well down before replacing the fittings.

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