Tao of Wallpapering


Following an email conversation with a newly qualified Painter and Decorator today; he asked a number of questions about elements of wallpapering skills and techniques,… I turned at the end to attempt to drop a few ‘sage gems”. At the time of writing they seemed to make sense… but, when I replayed them in my head, sounded like I was harking back to my days in the hippy commune (joke, I’m not old enough… just!).

These ‘words of wisdom’ have prompted me to write this post. It could easily have been called it the “Tao of Decorating”… what I’m talking about is the need to relax when decorating. As professionals, we all have deadlines to meet, we all schedules to adhere to, and it’s so tempting to dash off and panic into the project.

I’ve found, over my many tens of years of life (four), that if you step back from a situation and slow yourself down, it is possible to see a situation for what it is…

If, when wallpaper hanging, we slow ourselves down and ‘listen’ to the wallpaper, it will tell us how to hang it, what it likes, what it doesn’t… push it too far – it will tear, don’t push it far enough and it will resist. Really, paperhanging is a skill hard learnt, it isn’t strictly possible to say; “take point A and fold it to point B” and expect it to work ad infinitum,… with practice and perseverance, and taking time to understand the paper, it is possible to minimise those ‘oh ruddy hell’ moments!

What I’m trying to get across is; I believe that if we don’t rush, if we consider the project, if we slow down and breath… we will find that our day will expand to accommodate the project – the hare and the tortoise springs to mind.

Well, here ends my lecture – I’m not eloquent enough to get across the concept entirely… but it was a good effort. I’m sure others will be able to elaborate further.


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