Guide written by:
Anne, Painter, Cambridge
Glueing table, wallpaper remover, sprayer, wallpaper knife, paddle, brush; do you want to redecorate but these foreign terms make you want to give up on the idea? No problem. We are here to help you become a wallpaper pro.
- Wallpaper remover
The different tools needed to lay wallpaper
Having trouble sifting through all the wallpaper accessories that exist on the market today? Here is a list of tools that are indispensable to the job.
These pencils have a nice, soft centre to ensure they will easily leave a mark on almost any surface. Small and rather broad, they offer a more ergonomic shape for a better grip. They make a great accessory to slip behind your ear.
A wallpaper remover machine is an electrical appliance equipped with a tank of water and a striping plate. The tank heats the water and releases steam to soak the paper and glue for an easy, quick removal.
This product contains a corrosive agent that speeds up the breakdown of the wallpaper. Mixed with water, you apply it on the wallpaper with a large sponge or a sprayer. Both odourless and inexpensive, the stripper avoids the need to rent or buy a wallpaper remover and speeds up the removal process.
This portable tool is often supplied with a base, some with a table, and is for wallpaper pros. The glueing machine allows for an even distribution of the glue on the back of the paper.
A roller coated in glue is applied to the back of the paper and run along its surface to spread an even, thin layer of the adhesive.
A must-have accessory, this lightweight, wooden table allows you to take measurements,cut edges (some models have graduations marked long the surface of the table), and apply adhesive. Foldable and easily transported thanks to the handle, it measures about 2 m once unfolded.
This tool is a long and fine knife with a sharp blade, able to cut with a single, smooth motion. It's mainly used for cutting large width papers.
This wide, flat brush has long, soft bristles, often made of silk, that allow you to gently caress the wallpaper onto the wall without risking a tear by applying too much force.
Unlike the other brush, the glueing brush has a wider set of bristles making it easy to handle as you deposit the glue onto the sheet of wallpaper. Some models will include a lip along the edge of the brush so that you can hang it along the edge of a bucket or container of glue.
The bubble level lets you verify that the wallpaper is being hung in straight, vertical rows. You can also use a bubble level to mark your plan on the wall to make hanging the wallpaper easier.
The straight razor is a very practical tool to have around for a variety of projects. Make sure that the handle, which holds the blade and sometimes an extra, has a practical, ergonomic shape.
You should look for a model with a retractable blade for safety purposes, and you should always retract the blade when you're not using it.
Make sure you buy extra blades so you can quickly replace them when the one you’re using becomes dull.
Choose a tape measurer of at least 5 m to ensure that you can accurately measure the full length of a room if need be. It's better to select a model equipped with a brake and one that automatically rewinds the tape to make using it easier.
You should make sure that you always have at least one bucket. If you don’t use it for glue you will at least need one filled with lukewarm water to clean any traces of glue from the outer surface of the wallpaper.
Choose a thick sponge with a soft texture that will allow you to remove excess glue from the edges of each sheet of wallpaper and any excess glue from your work surface, tools, or anything else that doesn’t need glue.
A small tool equipped with a short handle and a castor, the function of which is to press the edges of the wallpaper. This helps to minimize the thickness of the strips at the joints in the event of an overlap between the two sheets of wallpaper.
A long, flat steel ruler makes it easier to take measurements and can also be used as a guide when cutting sheets of wallpaper. Some of them are equipped with a bubble level as well.
An edge knife works much like the steel ruler, allowing you to draw straight, level marks or to cut smoothly and evenly along corners, ceilings, and baseboards.
They are very practical, lightweight, durable, and among the best products to have around when tackling a redecoration project.
Paddle or Trowel
A flat spatula-shaped tool made of plastic which allows you to manipulate the wallpaper by stretching and smoothing it while removing any air bubbles.
This accessory has the same function as the brush mentioned above, but its straight edge helps avoid leaving traces on a delicatewallpaper. The brush can sometimes leave furrows on the wallpaper, however.
This short-haired roller is only used for wallpaper that needs to be glued directly to the wall. Like a paint roller, they often require a telescopic pole to help you reach even the highest parts of the room.
Maintaining your wallpapering tools
It's essential to never abuse your tools. Regular cleaning as you work and thorough cleaning at the end of the project is paramount.
In addition, here are some tricks to help you preserve your tools:
- Do not cut the edges directly on your table – mark the cut as you normally would, fold the paper back on itself along the mark, and slide the blade of your cutter inside along the length of the fold.
- Never use a pencil to mark the measurements on the table (even on paper) – instead, use a piece of masking tape to indicate the location of the cut.
- Never use your paddle as a guide when cutting – the cutter could damage the plastic of your paddle and create rough edges that will tear the paper when it's used.
If you want to know more about wallpaper, and wall and floor coverings, you can consult our guides:
Guide written by:
Anne, Painter, Cambridge, 35 guides
After 8 years of trade, I turned professional: I trained myself to be a painter and carpet layer either solo or with 16 years old comrades. 9 months later, following vocational school, my registration in Trades Directory, and the label ‘Artisan’ in hand, I created my company. And since then, I don’t even touch my brushes. I’m a self-taught DIYer and decoration enthusiast, I love to find and restore furniture and to create unique decoration elements. I completed the restoration of my sister’s house, this was last summer, with my niece: electrical, tiling, finishing, plasterboard...we did it all. And today, if I can share my experience I'm happy to do it. A total DIY enthusiast joke: ‘What’s the difference between a clown and a DIY enthusiast? A sense of humor.’ Good Luck.