Decoration Tips: How To Fit The Wallpaper Around A Window

Wondering if you can wallpaper the awkward areas? Windows, doors, radiators and light switches are some of the most challenging places to hang wallpaper around. Windows are the most commonplace obstacles in all rooms of the house. This is why you need to learn the correct procedure for negotiating them. After you’ve learned how, you’ll see that dealing with them will become a simple part of your wallpapering repertoire.

repair, building and home concept - smiling couple smearing wallpaper with glue

You can wallpaper over plasterboardpaint over your wallpaper or add a new one over the existing wallpaper in some cases. If you have time available, it is best to strip any old ones and start fresh. Ready to wallpaper around your windows? You can always ask a decorator to do the job, but if you are handy and want to save some money, you can make it a DIY project. We are here to offer you a tutorial guide and help you achieve a neat, professional finish!

Different kinds of wallpaper you can use

Many people choose to use unpasted wallpaper, meaning they need to apply the glue themselves. You can use two other types of wallpaper for your home improvement project, which are easier to use and don’t need you to purchase any glue. The first one is traditional prepasted wallpaper, and the second one is removable peel & stick one. Find here their pros and cons to help you choose the one that is the best for you.

Prepasted wallpaper

This is a smooth paper product that has a wallpaper past coating on its back. You need to soak the wallpaper in water to activate the past that glues it to your wall.

Pros

  • It offers long term installation, making it a great choice if you don’t plan on moving anytime soon. 
  • Its smooth paper is excellent for printing, offering bright and crisp colours.
  • It is less expensive than the unpasted one.
  • It is easy to clean using a dust rag.
  • It is beginner friendly
  • You can remove it altogether using water. If you do it carefully, it will not damage your wall.

Cons

  • Although it is beginner friendly, hanging it is a little more technical, making it a hard job if you are not handy. 
  • It is harder to remove than the peel & stick one. It requires water soaking or a wallpaper steamer to take it off.
  • Not a good option for bathrooms with moisture.

Removable peel & stick wallpaper

This wallpaper is made of a woven material that has a ready to use adhesive on the back. All you have to do is remove the backing and stick it on your wall, making it also repositionable.

Pros

  • It is a great choice for renters since it is removable! If you are done with it, you just peel it off the wall, leaving no residue behind.
  • It is DIY friendly, being very easy to hang it yourself.
  • It is easy to replace if you enjoy switching things up every so often.

Cons

  • Its printing is not as bright as that of the traditional prepasted option. It is beautiful, but if you want high-quality artwork, go for the prepasted one.
  • Its combination with kids is a warning. Kids love to peel it off the walls, so prepasted might be better for you if you have any young children.
  • It isn’t suitable for bathrooms with moisture.
  • Not a great option for textured walls and more sensitive to air bubbles if you don’t install it correctly.

Preparation before hanging the wallpaper

As with all projects, preparation is the key to success. You should not only focus on the walls around the window but clean the window itself for more stunning results! Find here all you need to do before you start working on your windows to get the best results!

What you’ll need

For unpasted wallpapers

  • Paste
  • Paste brush or roller
  • Level
  • Sponge 
  • Bucket of clean water
  • Smoothing brush or plastic smoother
  • Tape measure
  • Putty knife 
  • A pencil
  • Step stool
  • Drop cloth
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife or drywall knife

For prepasted wallpapers

  • Water tray
  • Level
  • Sponge 
  • Bucket of clean water
  • Smoothing brush or plastic smoother
  • Tape measure
  • Putty knife 
  • A pencil
  • Step stool
  • Drop cloth
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife or drywall knife

Still life from rolls of wall-paper and various tools for wallpapering. Repair. Home renovation.

For removable peel & stick wallpaper

  • Level
  • Smoothing brush or plastic smoother
  • Measuring tool
  • Putty knife 
  • A pencil
  • Step stool
  • Drop cloth
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife

Prepare the walls around the window

  • Make sure you have disassembled the space near the window. Remove all wall switch plates, towel rods, metal air vents, toilet paper holders, etc. Turn the power off the breaker and take down any wall mounted light fixtures.
  • Wallpaper does not stick well on dirty or greasy walls. It is essential to wipe down the walls near the window with a damp cloth and clean any mould off walls. Also, patch any holes and spackle and smooth out any rough areas, so your walls are as flat as possible. Finally, give time for both the patches and water on the walls to dry
  • If the walls are pre-painted, add a coat of primer first. If they already have wallpaper on them, you should remove it before adding your new layer of paper. This will offer a longer-lasting application.

Make your measurements for the specific area

  • You have to make sure that you have enough paper to cover your specific area. 
  • Wallcovering retailers will help you calculate how much wallpaper you need. You may buy 1 roll more than you need. That way, you’ll always have some paper left over to patch up if necessary. A certain amount of “waste” paper is required for mistakes, so you won’t have to worry about counting out empty spaces.

woman and man measuring slices of wallpaper on table, ladder on the back

Cut wallpaper

  • The process will be much easier if you pre-cut the wallpaper. Use a measuring tape to measure the wall and add an extra 10-15cm for overhang. That way, you won’t have to deal with a bunch of leftover wallpaper to work with.
  • You can ask for some help from a friend or family member. It will be easier for 2 people to handle long lengths of wallpaper.

Paste the wall

  • If you’re hanging unpasted wallpaper, you’ll have to mix the paste and apply it to the wall before hanging the strips. Using a paint roller, apply adhesive to the back of the wallpaper. Try to wet the paper, not drench it.
  • If it’s prepasted, you’ll probably have to spray the wallpaper’s back with water.
  • Either way, you should always follow the instructions that came with the wallpaper you purchased.

Step-by-step guide: How to wallpaper around a window

Let’s talk about wallpapering around your windows now. Before you start papering, read these instructions a couple of times to be sure that you are clear on the method. It’s easier to start on the right-hand side and work your way across. Ready?

Step 1: Apply the paste

When you come to a window, start by applying wallpaper paste to the top corner of the wall. Use a brush around the window, as you should do with the door frame.

Step 2: First side of the window

  • Cut the drop that meets the window to fit at the bottom and top of the wall. Apply wallpaper by covering over the front of the reveal.
  • Using the edge of the first piece, apply a second one. In line with the reveal’s top edge, cut across the paper horizontally until you meet the reveal’s side edge.
  • Repeat through the window sill level.
  • Fold the paper around into the reveal. Then, trim to the edge of the window frame.
  • Hang the drop to the areas above and below the window reveal. Then, trim as before.

Woman cutting length of blue wallpaper, close up to hands

Step 3: Central window drops

  • Continue papering across the width of the window reveal
  • Make sure that the pattern is matched and the drops are vertically aligned. 
  • Brush the paper onto the wall above the surround. Wallpaper drops above the window should paper around from the wall to the underside of the reveal. 
  • If you have any roll ends or offcuts, they can be helpful in these smaller areas.

Step 4: Second side of the window

Follow the same procedure as that of the first side when you’ll get to the second side. On the vertical issue, ensure you have a spirit level on hand to keep the right-hand edge of your last length precisely upright.

Step 5: Areas in the soffit corners

  • Hold a piece of wallpaper up to the area you need to cover, matching the pattern edge to the edge of the adjacent drop. 
  • Mark out the paper, adding a 3cm allowance to the infill’s 3 other sides and cut
  • Paste and hang, first matching the pattern on the uncut side.

Step 6: Window frame

  • The next step is to trim into the window frame
  • For the infill’s 2 remaining sides, carefully peel back the paper you have previously hung to the reveal edge and soffit. 
  • Tuck the allowance of the infill under, snipping the corner of the infill to enable it to fold.
  • Smooth the peeled paper back down.

Woman putting up blue wallpaper, besides a window

Step 7: Wipe away any residual paste

You’re done! It wasn’t so hard, was it? Make sure to get rid of any paste residue, wiping the surfaces with a damp sponge afterwards.

Extra tips for your wallpapering

Do you need some extra tips to get the job done easier and feel safer with the results? Find here some additional instructions that will help you with your project. 

  • When a window has trim around it, the process is a bit different. Instead of cutting the wallpaper straight across, start by making diagonal cuts from the overlap’s edge to the trim’s corner at a 45-degree angle. Once you’ve smoothed out the wallpaper with a putty knife, push the wallpaper with it, right up against the edge of the window trim.
  • Clean your wallpaper knife from time to time so the glue won’t build up and make it blunt.
  • You may add a wall sealer while preparing your wall to make the paint look good and help with the wallpaper’s installation. When you apply paint sealer on a porous surface, the exterior becomes nonporous, making it easier to remove and redo sticky layers. If you mess up, it will be easy to peel it off and reapply it.
  • Make small cuts and take your time when cutting off any extra pieces. You can use a ruler and a razor to make your cuts even and straight. You should be extra careful when hanging the first length of paper, which should be as straight as possible.
  • When you’re papering in internal wallpaper corners, it’s easier to cut a length of paper vertically and position the join at the corner. Measure and cut the paper to reach slightly beyond the corner. If its off-cut is half a width or more, use it as the next length. If it’s smaller, start with a new length.
  • When it comes to external corners, you may find out that they aren’t always straight or at perfect right angles. In this case, you should position an overlapping join at the external corner.
  • When your walls are uneven, you may consider cross-lining them first with lining paper. This will take away any minor imperfections on the surface and give you a superior surface to work on.
  • Wait for the wallpaper paste to fully dry and set for at least 24 hours. If it is still wet, it can rip easily and ruin all your hard work. After it dries, you can hang things back up on the walls and put furniture back in place.
  • You can paint around your edges the same colour as the wallpaper before you start pasting. That way, you won’t leave any spaces uncovered. Doors, architraves, windows and skirting boards are the ones you should definitely paint. You can also paint your entire wall that colour, especially if the wallpaper you chose is a light colour and the pre-existing paint on the wall is dark. If you are wallpapering your kitchen or bathroom walls, you can then paint your kitchen cabinets or bathroom tiles for a complete makeover.

woman with ponytail painting the wall blue with a paint roller

Applying wallpaper can be a fun weekend project that your windows’ existence should not ruin! After you’ve read our various tips and tricks, we hope you can now make the job go as smoothly as possible. Before moving on to the installations, make sure you read our tutorial as many times as needed to have everything clear―just like when baking a cake! 

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