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How To: Wallpaper A Chimney Breast

A feature wall is a great way to add a finishing touch to a room, without cramping it with busy patterns all over. If you have a chimney breast, an easy way to add a stylish accent is with striking, on-trend wall paper.

The seasonal colours this year are teals, ochres and greys but as long as you love it, it doesn’t really matter what is fashionable! What’s more, if it is just one chimney breast, you can switch up the wallpaper as often as you like. Check out our simple steps to wallpapering your chimney breast.

You will need

  • Plumb line and chalk
  • Dust sheet
  • Stepladder
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Pasting table
  • Wallpaper!
  • Wallpaper adhesive (read the instructions on the packet!)
  • Pasting brush
  • Hanging brush
  • Stanley knife
  • Clean cloth

The process

  1. Measure the width of your chimney breast. Note down the width, and mark the exact centre using your plumb line. Then measure the width of your wallpaper and mark the chimney breast so that your first length of wallpaper will go exactly down the middle of the chimney.
  2. Measure from ceiling to mantel and ceiling to floor and note the measurements, giving an extra 10 cm for trimming.
  3. Your first piece will go in the exact middle of the chimney breast, so will need to be measured to fit from ceiling to mantel piece. Place the piece face down on your table and brush it evenly with wallpaper paste. Gently fold in half and leave to soak in accordance with the instructions on the paste. Don’t apply too much paste – this could damage the wallpaper, cause the colours to bleed, rip the paper, or cause it to expand, which will mean that you will have a gap at the seams when the paper dries and shrinks again.
  4. Using the chalked lines as your guide, position your wallpaper in the centre of the chimney. Use the back of your scissors to mark a line where you need to trim; ease the wallpaper away from the wall and trim. Stick the wallpaper to the wall, brushing downwards and outwards to eliminate bubbles.
  5. Use your clean cloth to smooth the wallpaper for a neat, professional finish.
  6. Once the first piece is hung, work your way outwards. If you are using a patterned wallpaper, make sure that the patterns line up and that your seams are tight together.

When you are applying wallpaper, it is important that you take your time so that you achieve a precise, professional finish. If you are not confident in wallpapering yourself, contact a local painter and decorator for a quote. A chimney breast shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to prepare the surface and paper, and sometimes getting a professional to do it is much simpler in the long run!

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