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  • Matt Brooke

Six Easy Steps to Wallpaper Around Electrical Sockets

Whilst spending a little of my time off the other week, my little boys bedroom got decorated for the for the first time since we moved in. Since we bought the house I've found a number of simple ways to get nice crisp finishes when decorating which I thought I'd share. This article is about how to get that nice new wallpaper easily fitting round a power socket. Same idea applies when cutting round light switches too!

Step 1 - Loosen socket from the wall

Don't remove the screws entirely for the socket as it's largely unnessary and also you'll be exposing the wiring. You are well advised to switch the power off at the fuse board before doing this to avoid hurting yourself or the wiring. You just need to loosen the socket enough that you can work behind it

Step 2 - Line up wallpaper as normal over the top of the socket

Be careful not to damage the paper but hang the wall paper as you normally would until you get to where the socket is

Step 3 - Cut an X shape into the wall paper over your socket

Using your fingers to gently work out where the corners of the socket are, pinch the paper in the middle and using scissors cut an X shape which goes no close than 1cm from the corner. I tried using a blade for this during a previous decorating session which left a big scratch on the socket so I'd very much recommend scissors!

Step 4 - Trim the paper to create a rectangular hole

Again, make sure not to go any closer to the edge of the socket than 1cm, ensure the rectangle is smaller than the actual socket behind the paper

Step 5 - Lift the paper from the wall so it can be tucked behind the gap between socket and wall

This is the most difficult bit and depending on the paper you are hanging, can be easy to tear the paper if it's rushed. Carefully, lift the paper away from the wall around the socket and tuck one of the top corners behind the paper.

Continue with the opposite top corner being careful not to rip the paper. You may need to wiggle the socket or switch a little to get the paper behind it or run your finger along the edge to tuck the paper behind. Once you've done the top, you can now do the bottom. Depending on how flexible the paper is, you may get some small tears but these should be straightforward to repair with wallpaper paste and difficult to spot if the socket is low down

Step 6 - Smooth everything out and tighten the socket back to the wall

Continue as normal to smooth out the paper as you would normally and secure the socket back on the wall. Wipe the excess paste from the socket and restore power before admiring your work!

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