Hanging wallpaper on a ceiling is tricky; you’re working against gravity, and it’s hard to get great results. But, if you have some DIY decorating skills and you’re patient, it is possible to wallpaper a ceiling to a high standard. In this brief guide, we will outline four preparatory steps that will help you to get better results.
Step 1: Measuring the Ceiling
It’s important to know the size of the area. This will help you to choose the correct quantity of wallpaper to cover the entire ceiling. Measure the space with a tape measure and get someone to hold the other end for accurate measurements. Push the tape right up against the wall when measuring, add a couple of inches to give you some extra space to work with and always order an extra roll or two of wallpaper to cover any shortfall.
Step 2: Creating a Stable Working Platform
Working at height is virtually impossible without a stable platform; many people use a set of ladders, but when you’re working on a ceiling, a platform may be a better idea. Hiring a working platform is a great idea; you can walk along the length of the ceiling to push the wallpaper to the ceiling and smooth out any bubbles as you go. Constantly going up and down ladders is a real chore, and you will find that your limbs quickly become tired. So, buy or hire a hop or two and pair them with a couple of scaffold planks, the job will be safer, and your decorating results will improve significantly.
Step 3: Preparing the Ceiling
Any decorating requires a smooth and well-prepared surface to achieve the best results. The entire ceiling needs to be thoroughly cleaned, flaking paint or loose material needs to be removed, and the whole surface needs to be washed with clean water. It’s tempting to wallpaper over existing wallpapered surfaces, but this can create a layer of moisture between the two papers that will weaken the paper underneath. This can lead to peeling paper later on, and in extreme cases, the wallpaper across the entire ceiling could come down.
Step 4: Pasting and Folding
A pasting table is an absolute must if you’re going to wallpaper your ceiling or walls. Use a mix it yourself wallpaper paste, mix it together in a clean bucket, and follow the instructions carefully. Tie a length of string across the center of the bucket where the handles are located, and this will give you a handy spot to rest your pasting brush. Set your pasting table up in the center of the room if possible, and you can always reposition it later when you’re wallpapering under that area. Paste the wallpaper from the center to the outer edges and then fold the wet sides together with the dry surface facing outwards. Fold the wallpaper into three or four folds and carefully carry it to the ladder or your working platform.