Bathrooms, especially small bathrooms, can present a challenge when you are ready to decorate. They are, however, a great place to be bold and with a bit of imagination you can create a small space with a big impact using wallpaper.
Here’s some useful tips if you want to have a go at it yourself.
Clean and Prime the Walls
Wipe down and vacuum the walls to ensure they are clean and free from splatters, toothpaste and other bathroom stains. Remove all screws, mirrors, nails, wall light fixtures and light switch and power point plates. Patch any holes with filler plaster or spackle and a putty knife. Allow the filler to dry then sand smooth with a sandpaper and sanding block. Once wall is clean and smooth, use a roller and good quality brush to apply wallpaper primer to the walls. This will ensure good adhesion and result in a better quality job.
Measure Wall and Paper
Using a measuring tape, measure the wall from ceiling to top of baseboards. Transpose this measurement to first panel of wallpaper. Ensure you add about 2.5cm allowance at the top. Draw a straight line with a pencil and a clear ruler or square. This will enable you to get a straight line. Next, cut along line with sharp scissors or use a Stanley knife. Determine the starting point on the wall of the first wallpaper panel. Mark with a pencil. Then, using a pencil and a level, draw a straight vertical line. Most walls and ceilings aren't level or square, so it is useful to use this plumb line as a guide when hanging the first piece of paper.
Useful Tip: When working with a repeating pattern, place the starting plumb line in the centre of the main wall, at a corner, or up against cabinetry. If hanging a pattern or mural, start from left to right, or however it comes off the roll.
Soak and Hang Paper
Fill your bathtub or a separate tub with enough clean water so the wallpaper can be submerged completely. Holding the top and bottom sides of the wallpaper panel, fold each end to meet in the middle. Then fold each end, with the glued sides together, into the centre again to "book" the paper. Push booked paper into water until it is thoroughly covered. Ensure you read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for the time the paper should be submerged. Once the correct time has passed, remove the paper from water and allow excess to drip off into tub. Unfold paper and press onto wall, lining up one edge with the previously pencilled line. Most wallpaper paste will allow you to shift once applied to wall, to ensure proper placement and removal of bubbles and wrinkles.
Useful Tip: If you are working in a room with high walls, this is definitely a job where two people are better than one.
Once the paper is correctly positioned, smooth out any bubbles and wrinkles with a rubber smoother or wallpaper brush. Smooth out from the centre of the paper toward the edges, pressing out extra glue and air bubbles as you go. The excess will drip down the walls, so have an old towel at the ready on the floor to catch it. Once smoothed, wipe paper's surface with a clean, damp cotton cloth or wallpaper sponge. Rinse the cloth or sponge and wring it out regularly to keep it clean.
Useful Tip: At this stage, the wallpaper will feel wet, but shouldn't be dripping or have visible glue on the surface.
In all the corners and near the ceiling and skirting boards, press a metal straight edge into corner and trim wallpaper to size using a sharp Stanley knife.
Useful Tip: If the knife is pulling the paper against the paper instead of cutting it, the blade is blunt and needs to be replaced. Make sure you have plenty of sharp blades on hand for this project.
When hanging wallpaper over a light switch plate, light fixture, outlet, sink, medicine cabinet, etc., it’s important you "dry fit" the paper prior to soaking in water to activate paste. With a small cut or pencil, mark where the fixture is located. Double check marks with measurements taken from the wall and then cut out the shape of the fixture with sharp scissors. Be conservative with the cuts and work carefully to ensure accuracy.
Useful Tip: When working with wet hands around a live electrical outlet or switch, there is a danger of electrical shock, so ensure the power is turned off at the junction box before you start smoothing the wallpaper around those areas.
Continue to Hang Paper
Continue by repeating steps 2-5 with next piece of wallpaper. To be sure you get a great result, it's a good idea to measure again from the baseboard and ceiling, since walls and ceilings are usually not level, square or plumb. The difference from one side of the room to another can be significant, especially in older homes. When cutting subsequent pieces of wallpaper, make sure you focus on the pattern or repeat. It's always better to be generous with the paper, as the paper can always be trimmed, but cannot be pieced back together without creating a seam. When hanging around an interior or exterior corner, press paper into or around the corner with rubber smoother. Make sure the wallpaper contacts the curves of the wall completely. Allow the paper to dry before replacing switch plates and fixtures.
Useful Tip: Most modern wallpapers are removable when used over wallpaper primers. Simply wet and peel off. Some can even be reused in another space.
Remember: If all of this seems to difficult or time consuming you can call us at Painting Newcastle. We will ensure your wallpapering job is done correctly and in a timely fashion. You can relax and let the team at painters Newcastle do it right!
Plastering is a job that needs some skill.
It is always best use a professional plasterer. Have a look through these handy tips which will help make your plastering project a success.
If you have decided to do a DIY plastering job, ensure you allow plenty of extra time to complete your project. You will also need to allow for extra dollars in your budget. It is a daunting task to take on a professional trade, so you need plenty of practice and plastering advice for a decent job.
Consider enrolling in a basic plastering course before starting your project.
If you a sure you want to do the job yourself, here’s a few tips for how to finish the plastering job.
Drywall plastering is great for building or repairing ceilings and interior walls. However, finishing drywall can be a daunting task. The following tips will help you complete jobs with ease.
Prepare your surfaces and always stir the compound mix. Mix your drywall compound at a slow speed until you notice the water and the drywall mix are smooth and even. When there is no liquid present, the drywall mix is ready to be used.
Smooth your surface
For a maximum smooth finish, drive all exposed screw-heads into the wall. Remove any loose or torn paper from drywall. Cover any joints and screw-heads.
Spreading drywall and taping
Start with a knife with about 5cm of drywall compound loaded onto it and put the drywall mix into any joints or screw-heads.
Hold the knife at approximately 25-degrees, smooth the drywall compound and scrape off any excess.
Unroll approximately three feet of paper tape, centering it over drywall seams, and gently press into the newly-applied drywall.
Bed the tape into the remaining sections of the joints, tearing the ends using the edge of the knife.
Smooth out the tape and scrape any excess drywall compound into a mud box. Don't forget to tape the inside corners with the drywall mixture, filling the seams and covering at least an inch on either side of the corners with the mixture.
Cover the outside corners of the bead head (approximately 30cm), and using the knife, place drywall compound on both sides of the bead.
Drying, sanding and priming drywall
Allow the compound to dry overnight. It will be dry when the drywall is uniformly white. You can then sand the drywall starting on the inside corners using a square-corner sanding block. Work your way to the remaining surface using a medium-grit pole sander, applying even, gentle pressure. Rougher areas may require more sanding, but make sure not to sand through the drywall to the paper tape. Once dried and sanded, you can then repeat the process, applying a second, or even a third coat of drywall. Once finished, prepare your surface for priming by wiping it down with a damp cloth.
If you want your paint job to look professional, avoid these amateur mistakes.
If you ask the professionals at Painting Newcastle, they will tell you the biggest difference between DIY and professional projects is lack of proper preparation.
DIY home painters want to jump straight into their project, because they’re excited to see the new colour on their walls — it’s a normal emotional reaction. But it’s important to understand that professional painters spend most of their time on preparation. Before you do anything else make sure you’ve properly cleaned walls, scraped off peels and cracks, applied painter’s tape carefully, and allowed any filler compound to dry before you start.
For the smoothest finish always start near the ceiling and work your way down. This will help can catch drips as you work.
Using cheap brushes and roller cover to save money
“You can have the best paint in the world but if you go cheap on your brushes and rollers the result will generally be poor.” the pros will tell you. Good brushes and roller covers will give you better coverage and save paint in the long run — plus if you take care of them, good quality brushes will last for years.
They are definitely worth the extra cost.
Using masking tape instead of proper painter’s tape
Professionals, like the ones at Painters Newcastle, spend the money for high-quality tape, and you should, too. Use a putty knife or mini scraper, not your finger, to remove air bubbles and seal the edges to prevent drips and ensure sharp lines.
Going without primer
Primer covers imperfections in the surface and gives you a smooth, long-lasting finish. It’s ok to use ‘paint and primer in one’ mixes if the surface was previously painted, is in good shape, and has a flat (non-glossy) finish. However, if you’re painting over a more difficult surface like plaster, wood, concrete, glossy paint, or stained/porous drywall, use a separate primer or top quality ‘all-in-one’ mix specifically designed to cover unpainted surfaces.
Using flat paint in high traffic areas.
Washable satins or semi-glosses are the best choice for places like closets and laundry rooms. You could also use a durable premium matte finish if you prefer that look.
Painting over high gloss paint without sanding
New paint needs some texture to adhere to, so make sure to lightly roughen any shiny surfaces with sandpaper. Then rinse the surface with clean water.
Dipping your brush too far into the paint
Put it only a third of the way in — you’ll get enough paint on your brush without wasting or pushing the paint deep into the bristles, which is difficult to clean.
Painting over wallpaper with water-based paint
You can paint over wallpaper, but make sure you use oil-based primer first. Water-based paints and primers can reactivate the wallpaper glue and cause unsightly peeling.
The job is finished and you’re tired, so you put the brushes in the garage and decide to deal with them later — bad idea! Protect your investment by washing your brushes thoroughly in water using dish-washing detergent. Then wrap them in airtight plastic wrap or aluminium foil then store them in their original packaging so they hold their shape.
Remember, if you don't want to do any of this yourself, contact us at Painting Newcastle for all your House Painting and Commercial Painting needs.
We have the best painters in Newcastle.