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 loves...

cosy bedroom

Cosy bedroom decorating ideas

Working from home? Do it in style…

Refresh your living room with spring colour

Easy living room updates you can do in a weekend

Decking with outdoor shower and stool

Urban garden ideas

Dining room with bureau | Dining room | PHOTO GALLERY | Homes & Gardens |

Contemporary dining rooms – 10 of the best

Wedding table decorations you can make in minutes