How to wallpaper a chimney breast

Create a stylish focal point in your living room in just a few hours with our step-by step guide to wallpapering a chimney breast

Want to up the style ante in your living room? Pick one of the many gorgeous statement wallpapers around and try your hand at wallpapering a chimney breast – it’s easier than you think.

You will need

  • Dustsheet
  • Plumb line (with chalk)
  • Stepladder
  • Retractable tape measure
  • Wallpaper scissors
  • Pasting table
  • Ready-mixed wallpaper adhesive paste
  • Pasting brush
  • Paper-hanging brush
  • Stanley knife
  • Clean dishcloth

Measuring and hanging the wallpaper

Step 1

Measure the width of your chimney breast. Measure half the width of your wallpaper and mark a vertical line this far from the centre, using a chalked plumb line.

Step 2

Measure from the ceiling to the mantel shelf, then from the ceiling to the floor, adding an extra 10cm to each measurement to allow for trimming.

Step 3

Cut a length to go above the shelf. Place face down and brush on the paste, from the centre out. Loosely fold and leave to ‘soak’, according to paste instructions.

Step 4

Use your chalked line to position the paper in the centre, brushing down and out. With the back
of a pair of scissors, mark where you need to trim at the top and bottom, ease the wallpaper away, trim and ease back.

Step 5

Next, paper the sides of the chimney breast, starting at the edge of the front corner and taking the paper back into the recess.

Step 6

Where the chimney breast joins the wall, mark the line with the back of a pair of scissors, trim and ease back into place, as before.

Step 7

Measure the distance from the edge of the wallpaper in the centre to the front corner of the chimney breast, then add 25mm. Cut a length of paper to this width and hang, taking the extra 25mm round the corner, overlapping the side piece. Repeat for the other side.
DIY tip
If using a pattern design, check it’s the right way up – the outside end of the roll isn’t always the top.

Ideal Home newsletter

All the latest from Ideal Home