It's easy to hang wallpaper around windows without making mistakes as long as you have access to the right information and the right tools. Before you start, you’ll need to identify whether you have recessed windows or flush windows, as the instructions for wallpapering around each of these window types are slightly different.
Placing wallpaper around a window can be more technical than on a straight wall, and the key to installing wallpaper around windows is attention to detail along with careful measuring and planning. With correct placement and a stunning wallpaper pattern, the results will be well worth the effort.
Wallpapering Around a Window With a Recess
Windows with features like a recess or a window reveal require a few additional steps when wallpapering compared to a plain wall. It's still easy enough though to hang wallpaper around windows with these features as long as you take the right approach.
1. Find the Perfect Place to Start
Finding the best place to stick the first strip is always one of the most important steps when wallpapering. This is especially important if the window is a focal point of the room. Prepare to measure your wallpaper roll and the recess before you begin.
2. Overlap the Window
You must carefully measure the width of the wallpaper and the depth of the window recess to decide where to place the first drop. If the wallpaper is 20 inches wide and the recess is 8 inches deep, hang the first piece 4-5 inches left of the window. Allow an inch or more extra for trimming at the window frame. If your walls or recesses are very uneven, it's wise to leave a larger margin.
Use a plumb line or laser level to mark where the first panel will go. If you are using wallpaper paste, lightly paste the wall and window recess. Line up the wallpaper panel and slide it carefully onto the wall, smoothing out creases or air bubbles with a wallpaper brush.
3. Make the First Cuts
The panel that you've just hung should overhang your window recess by around 8.5 inches. Push the paper back to find the top corner of the recess and make a slight indent in the paper.
Take a pair of sharp scissors and cut horizontally, starting from the edge of the paper and cutting to the indent you just made. Repeat the process at the bottom of the window. By doing this, your overhang should fit right into the window recess. Smooth out any imperfections or air bubbles, then trim the paper using a straight-edge tool and a sharp blade where the paper meets the window frame.
- Use an extremely sharp knife or blade for trimming. Sharper knives can cut through wet paper without damaging it.
- You can use the back of your scissors to score a line on the wallpaper at the point where the wall meets the ceiling or skirting board. Then, cut the paper along this line with scissors as an alternative to using a blade.
4. Continue With the Next Panels
Cut the next piece of paper. This will usually go to the right of the first panel and above the window. This panel should be long enough to cover the distance from the ceiling above the window to the inside of the window recess, allowing some margin at the top and bottom.
If using patterned paper, such as floral wallpaper or geometric wallpaper designs, make sure that the pattern aligns with the first panel before cutting. Hang the wallpaper strip and repeat the process, using a seam roller to secure the adhesion where the panels meet. Continue in the same way below the window sill, matching patterns and repeating until you reach the end of the window recess.
5. Finish the Wall
When you finish papering around the window, you can continue with full-length panels until you meet another window, door frame, or obstacle. Alternatively, you may prefer to only cover one wall with a bold Art Deco wallpaper design to create a gorgeous feature wall.
Pro Tip: If using wallpaper paste, allow the wallpaper to dry completely before installing any curtain poles, blinds, or anything else that touches the paper. To be on the safe side, wait for two days after installation to prevent any inadvertent tearing of the paper. Drying isn’t an issue with the peel-and-stick wallpaper we sell at Mulberry Market as there are no messy pastes involved. You can (re-)install other accessories and fixtures as soon as you finish wallpapering.
Wallpapering Around Windows Without a Recess (“Flush Windows”)
Luckily for people with flush windows, wallpapering around the window is a much simpler process. Follow these steps for a stunning backdrop to your flushwindows:
- Start hanging your wallpaper above the window, smoothing it to remove air bubbles. Stop just above the top edge of the window frame.
- Trim the excess paper hanging in front of the window, leaving 1-2 inches overhanging the frame at the top, bottom, and side.
- Find the outer corner of the frame by pressing the wallpaper onto the frame. Make a 45º cut into the corner using sharp scissors.
- Stick the paper to the wall by pushing it into the line where the frame meets the wall.
- Cut off excess wallpaper around the frame using your blade or use the back of your scissors to score the paper around the corner of the frame and then trim away the excess paper.
- Smooth the edges back into position and continue on all sides until it's complete.
The following are a few frequently asked questions about wallpapering around windows:
Where Do You Start Wallpapering Around a Window?
Hang the first drop of wallpaper close to the window so you have a full panel already hung to use as a reference. Take the uncut roll of wallpaper, hold it out, and place the middle point on the window edge. Make a mark on the wall to indicate the place where the edge of the paper will go.
As regards direction, you can either paper from left to right (the direction we use to read and write) or start in the direction of your dominant hand; if you're right-handed, you could start on the right-hand side of the window.
Do You Wallpaper Towards or Away from a Window?
It's generally better to work away from a window or any other source of light like a door. This is because overlapping wallpaper casts a shadow.
How Do You Cut Wallpaper Around Window Trim?
Treat window trim like any other obstacle. Be careful not to overcut, leaving enough tolerance to work with and cutting away from the wall so you don't cut into your strip.
Which Wallpaper Color Works Best With Windows?
For more and more people, home isn't only the place where we live and spend time with our families; our homes are also increasingly used as work-from-home offices, too. Costa et al. (2018) noted the importance of color on the psyche, reporting that the color blue has a significant relationship with a calm mood. Whether you have a home office or work outside the home, it’s important to choose a color and pattern that relaxes you, inspires you, and brings you joy.
Brighten Your Home With Wallpaper
Windows or any other obstacle shouldn't get in the way of brightening up your room with a beautiful and unique wallpaper design. Our patterns work perfectly as a backdrop to your room or as a feature wall to add the wow factor on one side.
For beginners, peel-and-stick wallpaper can give you the confidence you need to try wallpapering your home, safe in the knowledge that you can try again if things don't go perfectly the first time. Measure any recesses carefully, leave plenty of margin, and your wallpapered windows should turn out just fine!