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How to wallpaper in corners


1 Putting a wallpaper length up around the inner corner

Our Wallpaper girl knows exactly how to accomplish this slightly tricky task - and thanks to our instructions, you will, too. The illustration will already give you an idea of what we mean by "inner corners". Where walls meet, they form the inner corners, i.e. the right angle is pointing inwards. If there are wall projections or ledges etc. in a room, there will be inner and outer corners.

Recommendation for thicker wallpapers (or for wallpapering pros)

For thick wallpapers, the overlap towards the next wall needs to be larger, i.e. about 5 - 8 cm. Hanging the length is then continued as described above (as described for thinner types).

How you hang the length of wallpaper around the inner corner depends on the type of wallpaper you are using. You will find instructions for wallpapering inner corners for both thin wallpapers as well as thick varieties (e.g. vinyl) here.

How to tackle inner corners when using thin wallpaper:

  • 1 Measure the last length again, adding a small overlap (about 1 - 2 cm) in width, and cut it.
  • 2 Now hang the paper just like you did with the previous lengths.
  • 3 Press it into the corner with a wide wallpapering spatula (alternatively, use a long ruler).
  • 4 Press the overlap onto the next wall.

You always need to factor in an overlap as hardly any inner corners are totally straight, and if you were to put the length up flush to the corner, it could cause unsightly gaps.


2 Hang new length with an overlap

Right, you have done the first inner corner. For the new length on the next wall, you need to factor in an overlap.

It is important that you draw a straight line on the next wall in order to hang the first length absolutely straight. Measure the width of the wallpaper (e.g. 53 cm) from the top of the interior corner and draw a straight line down using your plumb bob or water level.

As for point 1, we recommend slightly different approaches for thin and for thick wallpapers.

Hanging thin wallpaper with an overlap
Take the pre-cut (and, if working with paper types, pasted and soaked) length, align the pattern and put it up at the top of the interior corner. Cover the overlap of the last wall with the current length of wallpaper. Make sure you align the length with the plumb line in order to achieve a straight line. By putting the new length over the overlap of the previous length, you optically compensate for uneven corners. The overlap will not show through thin wallpapers, and this technique will not have an adverse optical effect on the general end result.

Hanging thick wallpaper (e.g. vinyl) with an overlap
When dealing with thick wallpaper, especially with vinyl, or if you are a seasoned wallpapering pro, you might want to explore the double seam cut method. This will provide you with a perfect, invisible transition.

First of all, draw the straight line on the wall (as described above), align the length to it and hang the length starting from the corner. The lengths are automatically overlapping, and the original overlap is covered. The double seam cut is applied at the (visible and tangible) area where the interior corner length and the first length of the next wall overlap. This means that both lengths touch each other in an exact line. Find more detailed information as to applying the double seam cut in point 4 of these instructions: How to achieve the double seam cut.

Once you have accomplished this step, pull out the cut off strip of wallpaper (just like our wallpaper girl does). If necessary, apply a small amount of paste to the side seams with a fine paint brush; for non-woven wallpapers, apply the paste directly to the wall. Now press on the side seams (or edges) and use a seam roller to finish the job.


3 Putting a wallpaper length up around the outer corners

A room does not just have interior corners. For instance, you might find outer corners (i.e. the right angle points outward) at wall ledges.

How to wallpaper outer/external corners:

  • 1 Measure the width of the last length of the wall, adding a small overlap (about 1 - 2 cm for thin wallpapers, about 5 cm for thick ones).
  • 2 After cutting and pasting (remember to add soaking time for paper-based wallpapers) stick the length edge-to edge (or factoring in an overlap, respectively) to the last length.
  • 3 Put it around the external corner and press the overlap on the wall.
  • 4 If the wall isn't totally straight, creases might appear. In this case, use the cutter knife to apply minimal cuts to these areas. You will now need to add the next length with an overlap to create smooth edges.

Once again, you need to draw a straight plumb line for the next length. Measure the width of the roll of wallpaper from the top of the external corner and draw a straight vertical line down using your plumb bob or water level. You have to two options for the next length:

Version A - wallpapering with an overlap
The next length will be put up starting at the corner with the overlap over the precious length. Don't forget to align the length with the plumb line you drew earlier, and to align the wallpaper pattern with the last length.

If you are using a thin paper, the overlap won't have an adverse visible effect. After smoothing the wallpaper down, check the side seams of the outer corner. Is it sticking down properly, or is it slightly loose? If necessary, add some paste to the side seam. Then brush it down or use your seam roller.

You can also use the overlap method for thicker wallpapers, but the overlap will be more visible and might be somewhat unsightly. This is where the double seam cut comes into play - see point How to achieve the double seam cut of our instructions. The superfluous strips of wallpaper are taken out, and the two length end up sitting seam-to-seam next to each other. Make sure the seams or edges are sticking to the wall and carefully add some wallpaper paste if necessary.

Version B - Aligning the new length with the overlap of the outer corner length
The new length is directly aligned with the overlap of the last length (i.e. the outer corner length). Remember to check the pattern to avoid misalignment. Outer corners are usually straighter than inner corners, which is why this method is possible for outer corners. First, check that the new length aligns with the plumb line, as otherwise you might end up with gaps. If the two lengths are flush, you can go ahead and put it up. Otherwise, we recommend that you resort to the overlap method.


4 How to achieve the double seam cut

The double seam cut is used to make sure that two overlapping lengths of wallpaper so are flush against each other and the wallpaper pattern is accurately aligned. As the name indicates, this method means that two lengths of wallpaper are cut in one go.

How to do the double seam cut
When two lengths of wallpaper overlap, the side edge of the length below the overlap is visible. This is not a huge problem if you've chosen thin paper and you might not mind it at all, but it can impair the general look when using thicker wallpapers. The bulging seam can then be quite obvious and look unsightly.

Use a cutter knife - or better yet, a special double seam knife designed specifically for this method. This will enable you to cut the seams of the lengths accurately, so that the cut-off strips can be removed very simply. If you use the correct approach, this also means that the wall surface will remain undamaged.

The double seam cut is a clean solution for inner and outer corners, window recesses and doors, especially for thicker wallpaper types.

Make sure you align the pattern of both lengths so accurately, so that it looks as if they were hung edge to edge/seam to seam. You need a good eye and a steady hand for this process as there are no markers to help you. Just be calm and patient, and all will be well. If the pattern is exactly aligned before the double seam cut is done, it will also work perfectly afterwards.

In order to achieve a straight cut, place a wallpaper cutting guide, a metal guiding bar or a long ruler onto the line where both lengths overlap. Use the cutter or double seam knife and move it along the overlap in an up-to-down movement. Now pull out the cut-off strips of both wallpaper lengths. If you have followed the instructions and succeeded in your efforts, the seams of both lengths should now touch accurately and you shouldn't see a seam between them.

Finally, remove any paste residue from the cut line and the surface of the wallpaper.