‘Paste-the-wall’ papers have a special backing so they can be hung dry from the roll. The exciting news is that they now come in many fashionable designs, and typically cost from about £15 to £30 a roll.
You don't have to handle long lengths of pasted paper - you don't even need a pasting table. Simply cut and trim one length at a time, and paste the wall as you go. This cuts down mess and the need for expensive equipment, and also reduces fiddly measuring. The job will be done in far less time.
A good choice of 'paste-the-wall' designs are available at your local DIY store. Leading the pack with the prettiest patterns this season is Graham & Brown (0800 328 8452; www.grahambrown.com).
Step-by-step: How to hang ‘paste-the-wall’ paper
You will need: heavy-duty wallpaper glue; roller or broad pasting brush; plumb bob or long spirit level and soft pencil; stepladder (using a chair is inadequate and dangerous); and a sponge or wallpaper smoothing brush (a special type of brush that does not have a handle like a paint brush).
The average room will need five to six rolls of paper. You will need more if you have to match a large pattern.
1. Work directly from the dry roll
There is no need to cut and paste lengths.
Before you start, measure the paper width, deduct 2.5cm. Working to this measurement, and starting in a corner, draw a true vertical line, using a plumb bob or long spirit level.
Paste the wall, using a roller or brush. Make sure you use plenty of paste, and that the pasted area is slightly wider than the width of the roll.
Slide the paper into position, with its right-hand edge against your vertical line. The left-hand edge will wrap around the corner by 2.5cm.
2. Smoothing and trimming
Smooth paper down with a damp sponge or wallpaper smoothing brush.
Don't worry about small blisters: they will disappear as the paper dries.
Either crease paper into skirting board and trim with a sharp craft knife, or crease paper into skirting board, pull away, and cut along crease mark with long scissors, then smooth back into position.
Adapt these techniques for trimming at the top.
3. Repeat for following lengths
Make sure the pattern matches, and that edges are tight together.
Follow steps one and two: to hang, smooth and trim the rest of your 'paste-the-wall' paper.
When the time comes, stripping this paper off is also easy: simply lift one corner and pull lengths away.