How to Wallpaper a Room in 8 Curse Words or Less
Being driven up a wall by poor wallpapering metaphors? Let us help.

Dan Van Oss Complete Columns, How To 0 Comments

Anyone can paint a room, or a room and a carpet, or a room, carpet and dog, but it takes a special skill to enhance your decor with that unique, insoluble glue that only wallpaper can bring to your rug. Adding wallpaper is an easy way to add spice to a space, or, as we prefer to say, an easy way to an involuntary mental evaluation. You can take a room from dull to dashing, with a brief stop at Xanax, in a matter of hours, or even minutes, if you own a staple gun. Although it may seem intimidating, like performing brain surgery with gluey, sticky fingers, these simple tips can help anyone can master the art of wallpaper hanging without having your house end up on a ventilator for the rest of its life.

Choosing your paper

[su_pullquote align=”right”]We prefer a solid, flat, white pattern, which, albeit boring, makes it a whole lot easier to match the seams.[/pullquote]

First, you must choose your pattern. We prefer a solid, flat, white pattern, which, albeit boring, makes it a whole lot easier to match the seams. You, or more accurately, your spouse, will prefer a more whimsical or cozy pattern, such as can be found at your local Home Improvement Giant Metal Cavern. Patterns for living rooms will have elegant names, such as “Prussian Quilt (Act Two: Under the Chestnut Tree) Damask”, or “Oxfordshire Penmanship Improved Harvard Law School Crosshatch”. Bathroom patterns generally include stripes, as these are the hardest seams to match and Wallpaper Manufacturers are cruel jerks. Wallpaper designed for kitchens will have more practical names, such as “Chocolate Pudding Toddler Splatter”, “How Did The Dog Accident Get That High?!”, or “Traditional Tuesday Night Spaghetti and Meatballs Rug Trip”.

Preparing for battle

As with most home improvement projects, such as arson for insurance purposes, preparation is the key to success. Make sure you always wallpaper in one direction, left or right, in order to keep your pattern consistent. If you have already started papering up and down, congratulations! Your involuntary mental evaluation is just around the corner. However, no matter how good your technique, the end pieces will never match, because, if you haven’t learned by now, your house hates you. For this reason, you should start papering from behind a door, so that anyone entering the room to tell you that you’re cursing too loud and the children can hear you can knock you off your ladder, and also so that the mismatched last pattern will end up above the door, where it can cover the hole left by the smoke alarm you tried to install last year.

The nitty gritty

Now, cut the sheets 4 inches longer than the balustrade, or cornices, but not less than 3 inches if the inseam is recumbent to the cosine during daylight savings time, 3 hours before swimming, unless you are using the metric system, which means you need to convert to hectares and move to Canada. Next, using a paint roller, consider that this is your last chance to just paint the room and save yourself a lot of grief. Now, using a barely damp sponge, mop your brow; this is the last time you will feel good today. Then, using a 6-inch taping knife, whatever that is, carefully wallpaper your room.

Dealing with the aftermath

After a few hours of wallpapering, you may experience a disturbing sense of disorientation, much like being stuck in an M. C. Escher sketch, where patterns fold in on patterns, and seams dare you, laughing, to match them. Now is not the time for panic; that can wait until your spouse gets home. Now is the time to step back, probably pulling some wallpaper with you, and reach for the piece of paper with the phone number on it of the Professional Wallpaper Hanger your spouse wanted you to call.

Whichever way you choose to paper your home, whether by using a professional wallpaper hanger or a professional therapist, you can rest assured that you have added value and style to your home, which will last at least until you realize the cat is missing and there’s a strange lump in the wall.

This column is featured in the book Home Improvement Survival Guide for Men
Photo Credit: Raccatography cc
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