Wallpapering ceilings with woodchip and paper wallcoverings

Step-by-step guide

Wallpapering a ceiling appears harder than it actually is – the following handy hints will help you achieve success

Step 1 – Preparation

  • Ask someone to help you
  • Preferably clear the room entirely so that nothing gets in the way of your ladder
  • Remove the ceiling lamp if you need to

    Important note! Switch off the power!
  • Cover the floor if the flooring is already laid

    Handy hint: Use a non-slip cover (fleece dust sheet) so that your ladder does not take on a life of its own
  • Fully remove old wallcoverings
  • Get your materials ready
  • Check the base surface – it needs to be dry, clean, flat, solid and absorbent

Step 2 – Mark on the first length

  • Take the width of the wallcovering minus 2 - 3 cm. Use a yardstick to mark this measurement with a point at several places lengthwise on the ceiling. Use a spirit level to connect the points in a continuous line
  • You can also do this with a “chalk line” . Simply mark two points at the start and end of the ceiling, tap in small nails and fix the “chalk line” to them. Pull it down a little in the middle and release it. The chalk residue on the line will now leave a straight line across the entire length of the ceiling

    Handy hint: Always wallpaper away from the window. This will prevent shadows from forming later

Step 3 – Mix up the paste

  • Mix the paste recommended for woodchip or paper wallcoverings according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Allow it to rest, as the paste needs to soak a little

Step 4 – Cut the lengths of wallcovering

  • Measure the length of the ceiling and cut the lengths allowing for an extra margin of approx. 10 cm

    Handy hint: You can use the floor to measure this, as the length is identical to the ceiling 

Step 5 – Apply paste

  • Now bring in the pasting table. Place the pre-cut lengths on the pasting table and use a wide brush to apply the paste. Fold the ends together about 2/3 to 1/3. Do not crease when folding and pay attention to the soaking time!
  • Paste more lengths – the other lengths can be soaking during this time

Step 6 – Position the first length

  • Position the soaked length of woodchip wallpaper on the ceiling
  • This is where the marked line comes into play – position the wallcovering along it to achieve a straight length​​​
    • Ideally, take the short folded side in one hand, climb onto the ladder, unfold the woodchip or paper wallcovering and lay it along the marked line
  • Allow both short ends of the woodchip or paper wallcovering to overlap a few centimetres
    • There will automatically be an excess width along the long edge as the first length has been drawn 2 - 3 centimetres narrower
  • The second person then holds the brush and presses the wallcovering onto the ceiling, while the first person slowly wallpapers the length along the line on the ceiling
  • Once a section of wallcovering is positioned properly, use a wallpapering brush to apply light pressure to smooth the length out from the centre to the sides. This will allow any excess air to escape, the paste will be spread evenly and the wallcovering will lie crease-free on the ceiling

Step 7 – Apply additional lengths

  • Make sure that the lengths of wallcovering are edge to edge with one another. This means that the lengths lie directly against one another but do not overlap
  • Once again here, allow for excess length at the short ends
  • Always position the lengths slowly along the long side, press in place with the brush and gradually smooth out with the wallpapering brush. If necessary, use a seam roller to press down the seams

    Handy hint: Use a foam seam roller with textured wallpaper to ensure that the texture does not become flattened

Step 8 – Cut off excess lengths

  • Use a pencil to draw a line along the edges, pull up the lengths a little and use scissors to make a straight cut. Using a Stanley knife can easily tear woodchip and paper wallcoverings
  • Simply paper over any ceiling lamp connections and then use scissors to make star-shaped cuts in this area. Pull out the cable

    Important note! Be sure to switch off power in advance by turning off the relevant switch in the fuse box! We recommend testing with a multimeter as well
  • You’re finished! Now take a break. You can paint the wall once you have let it dry for approx. 24 hours

    Handy hint: Avoid draughts and excessive heat when drying the wallcovering

List of tools

  • Ladder 
  • Pasting table 
  • Yardstick 
  • Pencil 
  • Scissors
  • Wallpapering rail/wallpapering knife or wide wallpapering palette knife 
  • Wallpapering brush 
  • Seam roller
  • Bucket 
  • Wide brush
  • Long-handle brush (floor brush) 
  • Spirit level

List of materials

  • Woodchip or paper wallcovering
  • Paste
  • Fleece dust sheet to cover the floor
  • Decorator’s masking tape to fix the fleece dust sheet in place