How to Select the Right Wallpaper for Your Home


Change the Look of Your Interior

Wallpapering is a method widely used to change the look of your walls in the home without resorting to the need of re-painting. Wallpapering can be a DIY project you can do over the course of a couple of weekends (depending on the size of your wall) or just an overnight job. There are many types of wallpaper out there in the market. You should decide on the type of wallpaper by taking into consideration your needs, budget as well as the practicality when it comes to your home.

Types of Wallpaper

Vinyl Coated Paper

Vinyl coated paper is one of the most common wallpaper used, simply because it is also the least expensive. This type of wallpaper is machine printed and coated with a protective layer of vinyl (hence the name). This acrylic type vinyl or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) coating provides the paper some level of protection from wear, and the more vinyl the wallpaper has, the more expensive it can get. Vinyl coated paper can be scrubbed and resist stains fairly well which makes them practical for use in the kitchen, bathroom or basement.
There are also vinyl coated paper that are created by hand (hand painted), which of course will cost more. You may also come across hand-crafted textured wallpapers which are more durable and are can simulate the look of metal, glass, cement or leather. If your wallpaper costs a lot, you may want to consider having a professional hang your wallpaper for you instead of doing it yourself.

Coated Fabric

As the name suggests, this type of wallpaper has a fabric substrate that is coated with liquid vinyl or acrylic. It is not suitable for places of high humidity like kitchens or bathrooms as these are walls that are exposed to moisture and grease constantly. It should only be used in areas with good ventilation, such as a living room.

Paper Backed Vinyl/Solid Sheet Vinyl

This wallpaper consists of a paper substrate that has been laminated to a decorative vinyl surface and is very durable (due to the vinyl sheet) and can be cleaned, scrubbed and peeled off from the wall very easily when you want to remove it. Like the Vinyl Coated paper, the paper backed vinyl sheets can be used in high humidity areas.

Fabric Backed Vinyl

This type of wallpaper has a fabric substrate that has been laminated to a solid layer of vinyl. There are basically two types of wallpaper that make up this category of wallpaper:

Solid Vinyl – solid vinyl wallpaper consists of a layer of paper or fabric laminated to a vinyl film. Because of its applied vinyl solid film, this type of wallpaper is considered more durable than fabric-backed or paper-backed vinyls. It rates fairly high in terms of durability and can be easily cleaned.

Paper – refers to the type of wallpaper with a paper substrate/ground where the decorative layer is printed on. These type of wallpaper are not coated but you may find some that has a coating applied to seal in the inks.

Once you’ve decided on the type of wallpaper suitable for the area in your home, go out shop around for the best price you can get on them. Always purchase the amount according to the measurement of your work area, then plus another 15% for any possible mistakes that may occur. If there are left-overs, keep them aside as they may be handy when you need to repair your wall paper in future.

Tools and Materials


  • Steel tape measure
  • Plumb Bob or 48″ Level
  • Water tray
  • Seam roller
  • Wallpaper smoothing brush
  • Razor knife with lots of blades

  • Broad knife
  • Large sponge
  • Bucket
  • Pencil
  • Ladders


  • Wallpaper
  • Wallpaper paste (if needed)
  • Rags

Tips for wallpapering

  1. Always strip old wallpaper before applying new paper. This is because the seams and patterns of the old paper could possibly show through; giving you an end look that is unattractive
  2. Estimate the correct amount of wallpaper that you need. Make sure that you measure the room correctly, then calculate the amount in total by multiplying the entire distance in feet around the room with the height of the walls.
  3. Start wallpapering at the most inconspicuous corner of the room. A corner would be a good place to actually start your wallpapering task.
  4. Leave 5 cms at the top and bottom of the wall as this will allow room for adjustments, to ensure that the paper will cover the full length of the wall. It also gives you leeway should the pattern need matching.
  5. Place a plumb line on the wall before you start wallpapering. The plumb line should be made about one-paper width away from the corner where you are starting from. The first sheet of wallpaper should be matched with both the corner and plumb line.
  6. Use a hard bristled brush to smooth out air bubbles when pasting the wallpaper. Any bubbles left behind will cause the paper to buckle or peel. Use a damp sponge or rag to wipe off access glue that seeps out at the edges. And remember to seal the edges by tolling with a wallpaper roller.
  7. When you reach a corner, measure the distance from the corner to the last sheet hung. Cut a strip of paper 15 mm wider than the distance, then hang the paper (making sure it overlaps the corner). With the remainder of the sheet, from which the strip was cut, measure the width and mark a plumb line that width in on the new wall. Then paste this piece according to the plumb line.

Once you’ve selected the wallpaper of your choosing, familiarised yourself with the general tips and ideas on how to wallpaper, and procured all the required tools and materials, you can begin prepping the room and start wallpapering.

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