wallpaper expert - melanie adams

Didn't get the chance to join our lunchtime webchat last week? Replay the action so you don't miss any of our expert wallpaper tips and advice - they're perfect if you're thinking of updating your walls over the May bank holiday?

Click below to replay the action. Melanie Adams, co-founder of Wallpaperdirect.co.uk, offers advice and inspiration on everything from choosing the right kitchen wallpaper, to top tips on hanging wallpaper.

And if you're looking for more wallpaper tips, take a look at our essential guide to wallpaper and Melanie's blog, for inspiration. 

Housetohome: Melanie Adams, from Wallpaperdirect will be with us in a few minutes, so get those wallpaper questions ready...

[Comment From Jane B, LondonJane B, London: ] Hi Melanie, have you seen any metallic wallpapers that’ll suit a boudoir-chic bedroom?

melanie adams: Hi, There are some fabulous metalics around at the moment, my favourite is Nono All That Glitters, there are some stunning colours with a metalic background. There is a great pink PM102 which is on the wallpaperdirect . Have fun!

[Comment From simonsimon: ] what's the best way to remove wallpaper please

melanie adams: Hi, If the paper is an ordinary wallpaper then soak it with some soapy water, washing up liquid will do - from the bottom up is the trick so that the water runs down the wall onto damp paper not onto the floor! If it is a paste the wall paper it will come off very easily. Steam strippers are excellent for softening the glue and will really speed the job up.

[Comment From AlexAlex: ] I want to use wallpaper in my bathroom but I'm worried it will peel. Any ideas?

melanie adams: Most papers can be used in a bathroom as long as they aren't too close to running water and the room is aired - not too much steam! Vinyl coated papers are best but you can coat a wallpaper with a transparent acrylic coating which is matt. Polyvine do a good one.

[Comment From HalesHales: ] Hi Melanie! Need to seriously redecorate my dark hallway which runs underneath the stairs too. Any recommendations for a wallpaper to brighten it up? Our walls are a pale fawn colour and our floors, unfortunately, laminate. Thanks!!

[Comment From AlexAlex: ] Thanks Mel! That's really helpful...

[Comment From HalesHales: ] PS. The hallway for my hallway can't be anything too feminine and floral as my husband will veto it!!!

melanie adams: Hi Hales - If there is no natural light you either need to be be bold and dramatic and accept that it is dark or go for a light coloured paper - if you use a metalic you will capture any light from from rooms coming off the hall. Prestigious do a beautiful paper which is woodland 1904/021 which will look stunning in a hall and butch enough for the guys too!

[Comment From RoomenvyRoomenvy: ] What’s your favourite wallpaper trend for this year?

melanie adams: Hi - my favourite trend is all things British which is such fun. There is a fab paper from Albany called Birds of a Feather - no 96740 which has little birds sitting on a line with union jack on their chests - great for a kitchen, downstairs loo - sure to create a stir. If you are a bit bolder go for the full Union Jack from the Vivienne Westwood collection.

[Comment From SaraSara: ] Last time I removed wallpaper my wall was left with tiny cracks all over it. I'd used paste the wall wallpaper. Is this inevitable?

[Comment From RoomenvyRoomenvy: ] Great, I'll check it out! Thanks Melanie!

melanie adams: Hi Sara, The cracks on the wall should not be anything to do with the paper. If the paint has crazed that could be that it reacted with the paste. If it's the plaster and you used a steam stripper the heat could have been in one place too long, however a good lining paper before the new paper would solve the problem.

[Comment From HalesHales: ] Where is Pretigious from? Can I see it online?

melanie adams: Hi Hales, yes you can simply put the pattern or brand into the wallpaperdirect.co.uk homepage on "find it fast" and you will go straight to it! if you click on the thumbnail it will show you how the paper looks on a whole wall which is really helpful and you can order a free sample too!

[Comment From SusieSusie: ] My wallpaper is looking a bit grubby - is there any way of cleaning it? I can't afford to buy new wallpaper at the moment!

melanie adams: Hi Susie, It will depend on what the paper is I'm afraid. If it is a vinyl you can wash it with a light detergent but if it is a delicate paper you will struggle to clean it without damaging the surface. I suggest you try a patch in a corner to test it.

[Comment From BeckyBecky: ] My living room is quite small, and not a lot of lighting gets in - any suggestions on a that of wallpaper that could make it seem bigger?

melanie adams: Hi Becky, If the room is narrow then I suggest you could use stripes on one wall horizontally which will give the illusion of a wider space. There are lots of stripes which include metallics - this is a key trend this season, and will also help the light issue. Keep the other three walls pale.

[Comment From SaraSara: ] Hi! I want to wallpaper a wall in my living room, but it's really lumpy and uneven, is there anything I can do to smooth it out before I get going?

melanie adams: Hi Sara, If you want a smooth finish I suggest you cross line the walls (horizontally) first with a heavy weight lining, such as Mav Wallrock. It is paste the wall and available up to 100cm wide so will cover it fast. You can then paper over it vertically if you are still seeing the bumps which will hide the surface even further. However, if you are seriously bumpy then go for a textured paper which will disguise the surface even more. Either a paintable such as Anaglypta or what is known as a blown vinyl, such as Super Fresco or Arthouse - these brands are all available on wallpaperdirect.co.uk . Good luck it will be worth it!

[Comment From Elaine, Milton KeynesElaine, Milton Keynes: ] Any suggestions for wallpaper for a nursery? I don't know what I'm having yet so still just scouting around but would love some guidance.

[Comment From SaraSara: ] Thanks.

melanie adams: Hi Elaine, How exciting! There is a beautiful wallpaper collection called Elle Kids from Elle Decoration (on wallpaperdirect.co.uk). There are some lovely colours suitable for girls or boys. One of my favourites is Fairytales 50199 which is pale green with little birds and hearts on. If you feel braver you could go Disney which will last quite a long time. There is cute paper called Animal Farm with little farm animals or a jungle one which can be educational too! You can have so much fun with a nursery so enjoy it and make the most of it!

[Comment From SaraSara: ] I've never even heard of lining paper. So do you recommend using lining paper before wallpaper? Like a primer!

[Comment From BeckyBecky: ] Thank you!

melanie adams: Hi Sara, Lining paper is like a primer and does two jobs in my opinion. Firstly it covers crack and imperfections and gives the perfect surface for your wallpaper to stick to but secondly if you don't hang wallpaper very often it helps you brush up your hanging skills before putting up the beautiful paper you have taken so long to choose! As it is inexpensive it's a great way to start. Paste the wall is the easiest.

[Comment From SaraSara: ] I think there are two Sara's! Hi other Sara. Melanie I think you've kind of answered one of my questions about lining paper/

[Comment From SusieSusie: ] It is fairly delicate - should i still use detergent?

melanie adams: Hi Susie, I would only use a small amount of washing up liquid in warm water and test it first.

[Comment From AaronAaron: ] I decorated my bedroom a couple of weeks ago, but now the wallpaper near the radiator has started to peel... what can I do?!

melanie adams: Hi Aaron, Tricky one. If you used a wallpaper paste which you mixed yourself this is usually made using potato starch which will break down with heat. You could try and stick it back with a ready mixed pva based wallpaper adhesive, which I would always recommend to hang paper. Two brands I would recommend are Albany ready mixed Wallpaper adhesive or Solvite ready mixed. Turn the radiator off for a while before you stick it and make sure the paper is dry before turning the heat back on.

[Comment From JamieJamie: ] Hey, I want to cover the back wall of a cupboard with wallpaper so it’s less boring when opened! The cupboard has shelves which can’t be removed, how do I make sure the wallpaper pattern lines up?

[Comment From JamieJamie: ] Also, I don't need to use a special type of wallpaper for this, do I?

melanie adams: Hi Jamie, You won't need a special type of wallpaper but you need to choose a pattern which is either not too big,so the eye won't see if you are slightly out on the match, or choose something you can hang horizontally. There is a great multi striped paper from Harlequin called Barcode - 15827 this is my favourite and would look stunning inside a cupboard. There are loads of other colours available on wallpaperdirect.co.uk, simply search stripes in the "find it fast" section and you can narrow your selection down by colour too.

[Comment From FrankFrank: ] Can you tell the difference between cheap and expensive wallpaper? Or is is just that the print is nicer?

[Comment From Elaine, Milton KeynesElaine, Milton Keynes: ] Thanks Melanie. Love the Fairytales one! Exactly what I'm after. Not too keen on the whole primary colours vibe for the nursery.

melanie adams: Hi Frank, The cost of wallpaper is affected by a number of things. One of the most important is the quality of the paper it is printed on (and by the way the thicker the paper the easier it is to hang). The other factor is the number of rolls printed at any one time. Some designers might have 3,000 rolls printed of one paper and the cost is often in the setting up of the machines, etc. Smaller design companies may only print 300 rolls so the cost is higher. The most important thing is you are looking at the walls of your home every day so you might choose to spend a little more if you really love the design - and wallper is usually cheaper than a restaurant meal so you might want to eat in!

[Comment From LauraLaura: ] Can you recommend any nice wallpapers for kitchens? All the ones I've found are really naff and old fashioned.

melanie adams: Hi Laura, A wallpaper for a kitchen doesn't have to be specially for the kitchen, it could be any design. A vinyl coated wallpaper is the toughest if you have a lot of traffic but I have got Albany Moonlight in my kitchen, which is a paste the wall paper and it looks lovely. Always start with the colour and design style you like first.

Housetohome: Melanie has got time for just a few more questions, so pick wisely...

[Comment From GreerGreer: ] I would love a gold leaf effect in my dining room. Is there any wallpaper that might replicate the look, or I am going to have to spend weeks doing it properly?!

melanie adams: Hi Greer, There are some great metallics around - Albany Moonlight, which is brand new has FD54132 which is completely plain or Nina Campbell design called Ponchielli NCW4015 looks like squares of gold leaf.

[Comment From RoseRose: ] Hi, we're just about to fit a new very modern white gloss kitchen and i really want wallpaper on one wall in the dining area but so mant out there im lost! Any suggestions?

melanie adams: Hi Rose, Choose a colour! Do you have a favourite accessory, piece of glass or even seen something you love which you can use as a starting point. There are some beautiful black and white papers around which will really set off the white units. There is a great paper from Ferm Living on wallpaperdirect.co.uk which is called "Fashion FW141" which has silhouettes of people or you could go for a digital image such as "Eternal 30730" again black and white. There are some great murals too so for one wall you could really have some fun. There is a new digital collection being launched in May on the website where you can even upload a photo and get it printed to the size of the wall! Too much choice maybe but in my experience start with a colour.

[Comment From JennyJenny: ] I really like all the flock designs that have now come back into fashion, but I'm really nervous about hanging one because of the flock testure. What's the best way to hang flock wallpaper? And, how do I care for it once it's up?

melanie adams: Hi Jenny, I put up some flock myself last weekend and it was much easier than I thought it would be! The most important thing is to use the correct adhesive and to keep it off the surface of the paper. Albany Speciality Wallpaper Adhesive is good as it isn't too wet and you paste the wall first. Don't be frighted of it and take your time.

Housetohome: Thanks so much for joining our lunchtime webchat, we hope to have Helen back soon for some more fab tips but in the meantime, check out Melanie’s blog (http://wallpaperdirect.wordpress.com/melanie-adams/) and Wallpaperdirect (http://www.wallpaperdirect.uk/) for some fabulous designs and ideas.

Continued below.

And if you’re looking for more ways to create ‘wow-factor’ walls, check out our ultimate guide http://www.housetohome.co.uk/articles/advice/style_ideas/20_ways_to_liven_up_your_walls_384393.html?subslug=

Chosen by

House to Home