Tips for Buying & Installing Wallpaper

January 29, 2016
Tips for Buying & Installing Wallpaper

Wallpaper is one of the quickest ways to change the look and feel of a room. In our wallpaper buying guide we explain the wide variety of different types of wallpapers available – the various substrates they are printed on, the way they attach to the wall, and what wallpaper styles are popular.

What’s important when choosing wallpaper is to find the option that works best for you and your home. Here’s a list of questions we would recommend working through when choosing your new wallpaper:

• What style of print do you want on your wallpaper?

• Is it for a single wall or a whole room?

• Do you want the wallpaper to create a feature wall or a backdrop?

• Are you going to hang it yourself?

• Is this a permanent feature or would you like the flexibility of removable wallpaper?

What wallpapers are popular in 2016?

Wallpapers can transform a space, and three of the latest trends we are seeing in wallpaper selection at the moment are texture, geometric patterns and whimsy.


Layering different finishes and materials helps in creating warm spaces. Using faux brick and timber finish wallpapers is an incredibly easy way to bring those industrial and vintage textures into a space without having to do any structural work. The prints are incredibly realistic, and when hung well can look deceptively like the real thing. Just recently, we’ve seen some great concrete & marble look wallpapers released too.


The other textural play that is still popular is sea grass papers, also called Grasscloth. These are textured papers and the subtle patterning of the sea grass brings interest into a wall, as well as the warmth of a natural material. They can vary in colour from a very light wheat colour, through the browns and greys.


Noticed a few more angled lines & triangles around lately? Geometric shapes and patterns are hot right now, and can be seen coming through in everything from really bold designs, to softer fine line and pastel pairings. Here’s some of our favourites:

Different types of Wallpaper & Paste

When it comes to hanging wallpaper, and if you are thinking of making it a DIY project, its good to understand the different types of products in the market and which ones are easier to hang. First things first though, if you are after a great result, thorough wall preparation first is critical.

• Paste the Wall - these wallpapers are some of the easiest to hang if you are not a professional. What makes the process simpler is the type of paper and the hanging process. Paste the wall papers use a non-woven or 'fleece' backing, with one very important advantage - they don't shrink and expand, making it much easier to get neat joins between each drop of wall paper. You then apply the glue directly onto the wall, and line the paper up onto this. Interested in knowing more? Kemra wallpapers are a great Australian made brand, with a large offering of paste the wall papers, and great designs too. If you'd like tips on how to hang Paste the Wall papers, check out this article.

• Removable wall paper - these are brilliant as a DIY project. Generally digitally printed just for your project, you have lots of freedom to choose your image or pattern, as well as getting it scaled and sized to fit your wall. The hanging process is just as straight forward, and often brands will have how to videos online, to make the process even easier. The wallpapers come with peel off backing paper, so you won't need to buy glue. Here's some inspiration.

• Unpasted Wallpaper - This is what most people think of when they think of wallpaper - you paste the glue onto the wallpaper and then hang it on the wall. While this sounds straight forward, there are definitely a few tricks to getting a great result. Particular paper types, like foils are even trickier. If you are interested in having a go, read some good tips here. One really important tip - make sure you buy exactly the right type of paste for the wallpaper that you have purchased.

• Pre-pasted Wallpaper - generally a heavier wallpaper, made of solid vinyl or vinyl coated, the paste is already applied to the back of the wallpaper, and you need to activate it by putting the wallpaper sheets through a water bath. Once again there are definitely some tricks to getting a great finish, check out this article to discover some of them, or maybe even consider a professional!

Different Types of Wallpaper Designs

If you are liking the change that wallpaper can make to a space, but aren't sure you are ready to commit, there's are some other options to choose from:

• Wall decals – not strictly a wallpaper, but decals are a great way to cost effectively add colour and interest to a wall without having to paper over the whole thing. Wall decals are particularly popular for children’s rooms. Majority of wall decals are removable and should just peel off when you want to change the look of the room.

• Wall Posters – forget the blu tack and crumpled corners of your youth – wall posters now are digitally printed on removable wallpaper stock, so they stick directly to your wall and don’t peel off. Great thing about these wallposters is that you can generally get them printed with an image of your choice.

• Wall Murals – similar to the poster, but just much bigger, photographic murals of cityscapes, graffiti covered laneways and beach scenes are all popular. They are an incredible way to create a dramatic focal point in a room. Murals are available in either traditional wallpaper or removable wallpaper and are generally installed on a single wall.

• Patterned Wallpaper – these are most often bought by the roll, and feature a design that is repeated. The variety is extraordinary and the designs cover tastes ranging from the very traditional to the very modern and every retro and vintage turn in between.

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