DIY and Crafts

How to add some personality to your powder room with wallpaper

Get on a roll and make your powder room pop with personality using our DIY expert’s step-by-step guide

You will need:

  • Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner • Sandpaper – I used 80 grit
  • Bucket
  • Ladder
  • Layout brush
  • Paper smoother
  • Paste brush
  • Plumb bob
  • Scissors
  • Size
  • Knife
  • Sponge
  • Trim guide
  • Wallpaper paste, if using unpasted paper
  • Wallpaper trough
  • Wallpaper – I used Resene Wallpaper Collection 91272

How to:

1. There’s a bit of prep to be done before wallpapering, such as painting your ceiling and trims. This means there is far less cutting in and no chance of getting any paint on your fresh wallpaper. I used Resene Lustacryl in Resene Alabaster for trims, Resene Lustacryl in Resene Black for the door and Resene Foundry for the bottom half of the walls. I also prepared the walls by washing with Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner and rinsing with water. When dry, sand the surface to give a good grip for the size and paste to stick to. Dust the surface, then brush the wall with size.

2. Measure the distance from the skirting to ceiling and add 5cm to the top and bottom for trimming. Draw a level line approximately 20cm from a corner to line the edge of your first drop of wallpaper up with. Cut the first drop and use this as a template for the rest of the wallpaper to be matched and cut to, make sure you identify the top using a pencil. This should be the way the wallpaper unrolls from the uncut roll. Use your first strip to match and cut the second strip and don’t forget to number it. Pre-cut all your wallpaper this way.

3. Mix the wallpaper glue as per the instructions on the box. I used a pre-mixed one so I only had to add water. Using a paste brush, apply the paste to the back of the wallpaper on the first length of wallpaper laid out on a flat surface. I pasted one drop at time, plus an extra 50mm so I didn’t have to come too close to my wallpaper on the next drop. Leave to relax for about 10 minutes before hanging.

4. To hang your Resene wallpaper, use a plumbline to ensure the drop is straight and I’d suggest starting near the main source of light and working away to finish in the least conspicuous corner. Once you’re happy with the hang, use the wallpaper smoother and/or sponge to get it as smooth and well-adhered as possible.

5. Use a cutting tool and knife to push up to the ceiling first, then cut off the excess wallpaper. Smooth on the way down and repeat with the cutting tool and knife at the bottom, making sure you push the wallpaper in tight to the bottom edge.

6. After the first drop is complete, repeat with the next drop. Remember to be careful to line up the pattern on each drop. This wallpaper has a 26cm pattern repeat so you end up having to cut at least 26cm off the top on each drop.

For more tips on wallpaper, see the habitat plus – wallpaper book at your Resene ColorShop or online at

DIY by: Nikki Kettle. Photography by: Anna Briggs.

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