Tools needed for wallpapering

Posted by Chris Sugden on

Wallpapering is one of those jobs that is deceptively simple, you are just sticking two things together, after all. But, if you don’t have all the right tools needed for wallpapering, that deceptively simple job can quickly descend into a sticky mess of uneven strips of overlapping rolls of paper.

However, with the right tools, you will be hanging like a professional in no time.

Removing paper

The first thing you might need to do is remove the paper that was there before. This can be a difficult job, but unfortunately, it’s necessary, especially if you prefer not to live with the previous occupant’s choice of 70s flock!


Getting a scorer can make things a lot easier. This simply scratches the existing wallpaper, making it soak more water, so it’s softer and easier to remove. Using a dedicated tool is sensible since it minimises the risk of damage to the wall and of injury to you.


Steamers are great for taking away of a lot of the effort. These are surprisingly cheap, but you can also hire heavy-duty ones if you have lots to do.


Another simple tool, but there are few things that are more satisfying than getting one of these under some paper and removing a large chunk with a single scrape!


Hanging paper can be surprisingly daunting, but once you have started and got the hang of it, it can be quick and easy.

Pasting table

Having space to work is important, and getting your pasting table, which will be higher and wider than most tables, is crucial. Once this is set up, you’ll find pasting your paper is a breeze.

Paste brush and bucket

Brushes might all look alike, but it’s important not to try to multi-task with them. Make sure that your paste brush gets a nice even layer of paste on your paper, without leaving a trail of bristle behind.

Plumb line

You can improvise with a long piece of string and a weight, but this is essential to make sure you are hanging straight. It’s surprisingly difficult to do by eyesight alone, and walls are, frequently, not quite straight, so your plumb will be invaluable.

Wallpaper scissors

Again, you might think any old scissors will do, but you’ll regret not getting the specialised tool when you are struggling with your household scissors on the twentieth roll!

Paper-hanging brush

Another specialised brush, but another where you don’t want to improvise. The hanging brush will be hard enough to smooth your paper one, removing any bubbles that may have formed and making sure you have a good contact, but soft enough to do this without damaging your paper.

Seam roller

The final tool. This will smooth the seams — the joins between strips — down, so you have a nice even finish (but don’t use on if you have textured paper that it might damage) and can be sure that paste adheres right to the very edge, so you don’t have paper curling off once dry.

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