You'll probably have started hanging your wallpaper on a straight wall without any obstacles. Sadly though, there's no way you can paper all the way around a room without meeting corners, door frames and fittings like light switches and sockets. But if you know the right techniques, you can still get a neat result and we will show you how.
Tools & materials required
How to fit wallpaper behind a radiator
Fitting wallpaper behind a radiator is a fiddly job. Ideally, you should drain the radiator and take it off the wall. But if that isn't possible, turn off the heat and wait for the radiator to cool, then vacuum out any cobwebs and dust behind it.
You can either cut a standard length of paper to fit around the brackets or cut the paper horizontally about 150mm below the top of the radiator and stick a separate short length at the bottom. Use a clean and dry radiator paint roller to push, guide and smooth the wallpaper into place.
Hang a length of paper on the wall, letting it cover the radiator. Mark the position of the fixing brackets on the paper and then cut from the bottom up to the pencil marks. Cut out a rectangular shape to accommodate the bracket.
Push the paper into place each side of the supporting bracket by using a narrow radiator paint roller. Then trim the paper at the skirting.
Another way you can do this is to cut the paper so it covers about 150mm of wall behind the top of your radiator and then cut another length to fit the gap at the bottom.
How to fit wallpaper around a doorframe
It's much easier to paper around a door frame if you cut the wallpaper roughly to size before pasting it, as this makes it more manageable. Once you've got the paper on the wall, trim around the frame leaving at least 25mm overhanging.
Paste and hang your paper in the usual way until you reach the length that meets the frame. Then measure the distance between the edge of the last length you've hung and the door frame at the top, bottom and middle of the wall. Use the widest measurement and allow an extra 25mm overlap.
After this, cut a length of paper to this width. Paste and hang the cut length and line the pattern up - fitting to the edge of the previous strip. Next, you'll need to smooth the paper, first up to an external corner (if there is one) and then up to the door frame.
Use a paper-hanging brush to smooth and press the paper into the edge of the door frame.
Gently press a line into the paper along the edge of the frame, using the rounded back of some wallpaper scissors. Lift the edge of the paper off the wall and trim it neatly along this line with the scissors. Then brush the paper back in place and wipe off any excess glue.
How to fit wallpaper around switches and light sockets
Every room has light switches and sockets. There's no avoiding this fact, so it's worth knowing how to deal with them. Remember to switch off the electricity at the mains before you start work.
Hang the wallpaper from the top of the wall straight over the switch or socket. Brush gently over the fitting with a dry paper-hanging brush to make a slight impression on the paper, but be careful not to tear it.
Then hold the paper over the fitting and make a small pencil mark from each corner into the centre of the faceplate. Pierce a hole in the paper at the centre point with a small pair of scissors, cut the paper to the corners and then pull back the flaps.
The next step is to trim the flaps just inside the outer edge of the switch or socket so there's an overlap of about 6mm covering the fitting. Partially unscrew the faceplate and pull it about 6mm away from the wall.
Carefully ease the faceplate through the hole in the paper. Then use the brush to push the trimmed edges gently behind the faceplate, smoothing away any air bubbles. Put the faceplate back in place and secure the screws. Make sure you let the paste dry before turning the power on again.
How to fit wallpaper around window frames
It's better to make small cuts and fit your paper several times than cut away too much in one go. It helps if you put wall size on the surface, because this makes it easier to peel back and reposition your paper. Be careful, though, as the paper will be soft and tear easily when pasted. You'll find that small scissors are best for cutting around fiddly corners and mouldings and if there's a window reveal, it's a good idea to cut a separate strip for the inner part.
Top tip - Cutting your paper
To make a quick and perfectly straight cut, loosely roll the wallpaper and press lightly with a metal straightedge, then cut along the straightedge with a knife. You should do this before pasting.
Start by pasting and hanging your wallpaper in the usual way as far as the frame. Then push the paper around the window sill with the paper-hanging brush to form a highlight of the shape.
The next step is to make a diagonal cut down to the corner where the wall and window sill meet.
Smooth the paper with the paperhanging brush around the corner of the window reveal. Then make a vertical cut to the top of the reveal, leaving an extra 30mm for turnaround.
Next, make diagonal cuts in towards the next part of the moulding and continue snipping around the corner of the sill. If you need to, press with your fingers to mould the outline in the paper. Then pull the paper away and cut along the outline using a small pair of sharp scissors.
Press the paper into the angle with the rounded back of the scissors to mark a cutting line.
Smooth the paper with the paperhanging brush using the bristles to press the paper around the corner. Measure the width of the window reveal and cut a new strip of wallpaper 30mm wider and 60mm longer than the reveal - but take care to match the pattern. You can get a perfect straight line along the external corner by cutting the paper with a metal straightedge and knife.
Paste and hang the paper in the normal way, neatly trimming off all the excess paper. If the paste starts to dry on the paper before you've finished trimming, put extra paste on the wall rather than the paper. And when you're sticking paper over paper, you'll need to use a stronger border adhesive.
Wipe the paste off the woodwork and any excess adhesive on the paper before it can dry.
How to fit wallpaper on stairwells
Choose good quality wallpaper with a non-matching pattern, as hanging long lengths can be difficult - they tear easily and tend to stretch. Because you'll be working with heavy lengths of pasted paper, try and get someone to stand on the stairs and hold the bulk of the paper while you hang the top part.
You need to be able to reach both the head wall and the well wall from a safe working platform. To make one, put a pair of steps on the top landing and lean a ladder against the head wall, with the ladder feet resting against a riser halfway down the stairs. Then just lay a scaffold board between them.
Wrap the end of the ladder in a cloth to protect the wall, and tie the board to the ladders with rope to stop them from slipping. Put one board on top of another if the gap between the steps and the ladder is more than 1.5m.
Start by papering the longest drop first. Cut the length you need (remember the skirting will be at an angle) and start attaching the paper at the top of the wall. Let the folded length of paper hang and unfold as you work down. If you've got someone helping you, they can fix the lower half in place.
If the stairwell is deep, you'll need to take the ladder away and put one end of the scaffold board on a stair tread and the other on steps at the bottom of the stairs. That way, you'll be able to reach the lower half of the wall.
Video - How to hang wallpaper in corners & obstacles
Watch our video below to learn how to hang wallpaper in corners and obstacles, with tips and tricks from our experts to help you complete the job in confidence.