How to wallpaper a feature wall

Feature walls are a great alternative to a statement piece of art with a hefty price tag, not to mention you can install one yourself. Here's our step-by-step guide

Feature wallpaper DIY

A feature wall draws the homeowners eye towards a certain area of a room, perhaps drawing the eye away from a messy skirting board in a different corner. Wallpapers come in a huge variety of colours and patterns and they’re undoubtedly less faff than attempting to create a painted mural, so why not put one up yourself? Here’s our DIY guide.


Step 1

Seal porous surfaces either with diluted wallpaper adhesive or with a wall sealer size, following the instructions on the packet and allow to dry – this seals the surface, improves adhesion and makes it easier to slide around wallpaper for pattern matching.

Step 2

For a neat finish, centre the paper on the wall. Start papering in the middle of the wall and work outwards – this is particularly important on a small area such as a chimney breast.

Decide where this centre piece will be, then hang a plumb line against the wall and mark along the length of the cord with a pencil.

Step 3

Measure from above the skirting board to ceiling, add 10cm, and cut your wallpaper to this length.

Step 4

Lay the paper pattern side down on a pasting table and thoroughly paste the back, making sure the paste goes right to the edge of the paper. Fold carefully into a concertina and leave for a few minutes to allow the paste to soak in – make sure to check specific times on the label.

Pasting wallpaper DIY
© Westend61

Step 5

Hang the paper with the edge along the vertical pencil line with about 5cm overlapping on the ceiling and at the skirting then smooth it onto the wall removing any bubbles with a pasting brush, working from the centre out.

Score a crease neatly along the ceiling and skirting board lines with the edge of your scissors, lift the paper then cut off the excess and smooth flat. If the edges or corners lift, apply more paste with a small brush and smooth down.

Wipe away excess paste with a damp sponge.

Step 6

If hanging a patterned paper, measure the second piece on the wall against the first once it is hung, as the pattern may fall in such a place that a very large overlap may occur at the ceiling. Trim this overlap to a manageable size before you paste.

Putting up a feature wall with wallpaper
© mactrunk

Step 7

Work your way along the wall, carefully butting up the edges of the paper drops but do not overlap them. Run a seam roller over the joins where two pieces of paper meet to ensure they are totally flat.

Step 8

On the last drop, crease the paper into the corners and trim. A wallpaper trimming wheel makes this easy.

Top tip

When cutting wet wallpaper only use scissors or a cutting wheel. Do not use a knife as this can drag through the paper causing an uneven torn edge.