Top Tips - Hanging Dark Wallpapers
Dark and Moody Interiors are very popular. Despite the belief that dark walls making a room look smaller, they are making it look larger. Bold wallpaper patterns with a dark background certainly are an impressive wall statement.
Dark wallpapers, however, do need some precautions to achieve a result that is spot on. Read through our tips on getting dark wallpaper on your walls without leaving you with any frustration. Those extra steps will take only a little extra time. And they certainly will help to decorate your room beautifully so you will enjoy your wallpaper for many years to come.
(Right) Wallpaper Living waters with Jelly Fishes by Good & Craft during wallpaper installation.
Hiring a Professional Wallpaper Installer
The first step in getting your wallpaper installed nicely is hiring a professional and experienced wallpaper installer, regardless your wallpaper has a dark background or not. Not just our wallpapers, but any wallpapers should be installed by a professional! The result when having wallpapers installed by a specialist is much better than attempting to install them alone or by a contractor / painter who claims to know how to hang wallpapers.
Second step to install wallpapers nicely is never hang them without reading through the instructions. Always hand the wallpaper installation instructions that come with your wallpaper to your installer. Dark wallpapers do need extra precautions before and during the installation. When rushing through the installation or not reading the instructions things can go wrong! And as wallpapers usually are an addition to your home intended to stay on the walls for many years to come, you should take time to source an expert that understands that wallpapering is a delicate craft. To find a professional who is providing high-end wallcovering installation in your area you can check with The Wallcovering Installers Association (www.wallcoveringinstallers.org) or for the area around London (www.renovart.co.uk).
Colour the Edges of Dark Wallpapers
Regardless of the colour of your wallpaper, the reverse side of the paper is generally white, as is the nature of any paper that is printed on. This means that the sides of the paper are light coloured as well. A common mistake when hanging dark wallpapers is, that they are installed as if they would be light, without taking any precautions. However, wallpapers with an overall dark colour are known for developing visible white edges where the ends of the paper meet, in other words, the sides of your wallpaper can be visible as a thin white line. This obviously can spoil the whole look.
To avoid having visible paper edges that will highlight against the dark of your wallpaper, the edges should be coloured with a decorator’s crayon of a similar colour as the print (alternatively a pencil crayon, or marker will do the job). This should be done when the roll is in its tight form to avoid that marks will go on the printed surface. Not only should this be done when hanging wallpaper with black background, but also for any other dark shades including greens, blues, etc... It is highly recommended to not skip this step, as it will leave you with a much better result and only takes a few minutes!
Video Good & Craft: Colouring the edges of the dark wallpaper Living Waters prior to the wallpaper installation with a black decorator’s crayon.
Wall Preparation - Painting the Wall Dark
In addition to colouring the edges of your paper, you can paint vertical lines in a dark shade where the seams of the wallpaper will meet. This will help in disguising any small gaps between the wallpaper drops. For example, our Good & Craft wallpapers have a width of 52cm, when going for a standard-sized wallpaper roll of 52cmx10m. So every 52cm there can be painted stripes on the wall that are roughly 5cm wide.
Depending on the style of your interior it might also look good to have the ceiling / floor border painted in a dark shade to match your wallpaper. This is not only decorative, given that it matches your interior style, but it also helps to achieve a clean and smooth overall look.
Photo wall preparation for hanging wallpapers with a dark background,
(Left) Rio Wallpaper in Charcoal by Good & Craft
Keep the Seams Tight!
Now that your wallpaper has dark coloured edges and (ideally your wall dark stripes where the paper drops will meet), the wallpaper can go up on the wall. Again, it is very important to take time getting this right and not rushing through the installation. We recommend pasting the wall to hang one length at a time, so you do not need to fear that the paste drys out on other parts of the wall whilst wallpapering. Our wallpapers are to butt-joint subsequent lengths, which means that the edges of two paper stripes just meet and do not overlap. The papers need to be joint carefully as closely as possible to avoid having a gap between the two paper drops. This is particularly important if the wall has not been painted dark before as written above. (For example see video below). If a dark wallpaper is hung directly on a white wall even the smallest gaps between the panels will highlight against the dark wallpaper. Make sure that the seams are well stuck down to the wall.
Video Good & Craft: Keeping the seams tight and make sure that there are no gaps between the paper panels.
A few extra steps take only a little extra time will help to achieve a result that is just spot on without showing visible seams and gaps.
Hire a professional and experienced wallpaper installer. Hand them the wallpaper installation instructions that come with your wallpaper.
Take your time and do not rush through the installation. Preparation is key.
Colour the edges of dark wallpaper with a decorator’s crayon
Keep the seams tight
For the best result paint the wall dark where the seams will meet