Wallpapering Masterclass

My most recently completed project is wallpapering a feature wall in a Welsh Farmhouse… the photographs that I took had some great reactions on Twitter, so I thought it might be a good idea to blog about how I went about the project.

The wall itself is approximately 24 foot in length and 10 foot at its maximum height.

What makes this project interesting is a false chimney breast with alcoves recessed behind the wall to allow my clients to hang dressing gowns either side, out of sight.

My clients are currently renovating this farmhouse and the room that I was working in was an extension which formed a Master Bedroom suite. The subcontracted onsite painters had painted the newly plastered walls with a Farrow & Ball Estate Emulsion.

The project, not big, was quite complex.


The walls , were sized and lined with Wallrock 55. Although the walls were ‘fresh’ plaster, they were cracked and crazed, I felt a non woven lining paper would be prudent to prevent any future issues with laddering etc.


Once completely dry, I planned how the top paper was to be hung. The chosen paper was Zoffany from the Gustavus Collection. I also specified Zoffany paste to be used when hanging this particular paper… I always use the manufacturers recommended paste incase of any future issues.


The pattern has a stem/vine effect running through it. which snakes left to right; it was particularly important that the pattern on the chimney wall and on the parallel wall behind match at eye level (particularly my client’s eye level) to give the illusion of a single, solid wall. I treated the wall as I would if it were a true chimney breast and started hanging the top paper from the centre line. As you can see from the photo above, I use a laser (Leica Lino L2) as my preferred means of creating a “plumb”.

IMG_1760After the first, I worked on the right hand drop, then the left… (see above). installing the paper behind two electric lamps, two double sockets, two light switches and a telephone point


…Until the front wall and it’s alcoves (inside) were complete.


As you can see above, the parallel rear walls needed the pattern to fall in the same position as the front wall – I therefore needed to start hanging from the centre of the wall; ensuring that the patterns aligned perfectly, making necessary compensations for parallax… not a common starting point.


There were many calculations that I needed to make, in order for the finished project to appear balanced and look “correct”. All corners were, of course cut and not rounded.

I had many positive comments from tradespeople who saw me working on these walls, and quite a few “wow’s”. My clients were over-the-moon with the finished result and astounded with the level of detail that had been taken.

This project goes to show that although a feature wall might at first site appear to be straightforward, it is the attention to detail that lifts it from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

For further examples of my painting and decorating portfolio, please visit my website; www.mjguestltd.co.uk



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