How to lay brick wallpaper like you know what you are doing

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Spare bedroom 1 was my first challenge to get our new home ready for our Christmas festivities with ten of my family members coming to stay. To see the full post on this room checkout ‘How to decorate a room for less than £100’ here.

Brick wallpaper can look incredibly tacky. Or it can look fabulous!

“Creating a fake brick wall that looks convincing requires some nuance. The best way to start is to study a brick wall you like. Note the colour and shape of the bricks; the style, the shade and the style of the mortar; and the installation pattern. Many walls for instance, have regularly repeating rows where the bricks are set crosswise rather than lengthwise.” – James Kulp, Brick-It Product Expert

The guest bedroom is a good double size room, light and airy thanks to the large window but host to a number of unnecessary items and, sacking the recent cowboy-builder mid-project meant the walls were also fairly damaged.

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First step was to fill in the cracks in the plaster with filler. This part was tricky as the paste was simply falling off the wall rather than filling in the wall. TOP-TIP: add a little water to the paste & mix. It turns the paste from a crumbly paste to a smooth, wet clay texture & makes filling larger cracks far easier. I used Homebase own brand filler which you can pick up here. For further instructions on filling in walls click here .

Then I used the hand-sander to smooth down the walls. TOP-TIP: there might be a lot of dust filling the room when you sand down the dried paste. Make sure you close the door, open the window & put a shower cap over your hair! Trust me, you’ll age 40 years in a few seconds without it. 

I found brick wallpaper in B&Q for £4 per roll on sale (ker-ching!). For a less budget friendly route & for further advise, checkout Apartment Therapys article on brick wallpaper here.

I bought three roles just to be safe, but I only needed two. TOP-TIP: always check the serial number on the back of the packaging. The manufacturers make different versions which to the naked eye look the same but can look totally different when on the wall. I picked up three roles with three different serial number & had to go back to match them up. You can thank the kind checkout lady for that one! 

I found wallpaper paste for around £8 and I didn’t bother with a brush or smoother. I figured I am usually pretty resourceful and funds are tight. I’d find something in my husbands hoarding collection to use.

First I used the bed base my husband left in the room as a platform to lay out the paper & measure. I appreciate that is  not the most professional method, but, it was the most convenient. For a more professional method, watch here.

Measure the length of the wall from the crack of the ceiling to the tip of the skirting board (if you have them. If not, go to the floor). I added on about 2 inches either end just to be safe with a view to slice of any leftovers at the end.

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I found an old paintbrush in our garage, and used that to paint on the wallpaper paste onto the wall. NOTE: NOT THE WALLPAPER.  TOP TIP: pasting the wallpaper leaves room for missed areas, leading to airbubbles. It also makes the paper much heavier and much harder to manoever when on the wall. Pasting your wall allows the paper to stay light as you lay it on, and allows you to edge it around if you have misplaced it first time around. 

At 5″2, I then stood on my tip-toes on a step ladder and laid the paper on the wall, starting at the top corner and aligning it down the edge of  the wall. I took an old rag and used it to smooth out the paper across the wall from left to right, pushing any excess paste out from under the paper, and wiping it away with the cloth. TOP TIP: Make sure you smooth out in the direction of the uncovered surface to push air bubbles & excess paste towards space that won’t be damaged if paste touches it. 

Then for the next slice. TOP TIP: aligning brick wallpaper can be pretty tricky! Don’t assume that the next slice you cut will match up. The aim of the game is to make sure all the bricks look as genuine as possible. Take your roll of paper and hold it against the top of your pasted slice. Keep rolling the paper down until you find the part where the bricks match up perfectly. Fold the roll down in that spot so you remember when you measure out for cutting. 

Again, add two inches either end and cut with scissors or a Stanley knife if you have one. Repeat step one and lay down. Keep going until you end up with this:

 

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TOP TIP: If your wall is like mine and has sockets, lay the wallpaper loosely over the top and use a Stanley knife to edge over the top of the ridges. This will give you a guide to where the socket will be when it is fully laid. Start from  the top and smooth out the paper until you reach the socket. Then carve out the socket from behind the paper and smooth down immediately around the socket to avoid any hidden air bubbles. 

For wallpaper inspiration click here

For more methods on wallpaper click here

Have a go,  let me know in the comments how you get on!

Chloe x

Final room
Final room

Find out how I completed the guest bedroom 0n a serious budget here

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