Wallpapering Tips: Papering around Electrical Outlets and Switches

Any homeowner is a little worried about working around electrical outlets and light switches when wallpapering. And it is not surprising to be so, because a combination of something wet and electricity can be dangerous.

Nevertheless, once the worry has passed and some general rules applied to the method, wallpapering will become an easy and safe job to do.

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Let’s see together these common sense rules:

1| Turn Off the Electricity

This should be the first and the most important measure that everyone should take.

Therefore, always turn off the electrical circuit for the room where you work. Check the electrical outlets and switches to be sure that the electrical power is indeed off. However, if you are still in doubt, use the main breaker switch to turn off the power entirely since this extreme measure is just needed for a short period.

2| Wallpapering

Paper the room walls according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using the brush in a circular motion to eliminate any air bubble that can form between wall and paper. When you reach an electrical socket stretch the paper over the socket and try to configure its edges. Press against the socket with your fingers and mark the wallpaper. Do not remove the plate of the switch or outlet. In fact, you can use the plate as support for paper cutting.

Use a utility knife or a putty knife with a new blade and cut just inside your marks, then tuck carefully the cutting edge into the plate. Proceed the same for the other three sides.

The biggest mistake is to cut up the paper to the socket edge creating in this way, the possibility for tearing in the near future. Tucking the cutting edges into the plastic plate eliminate that to occur.

3| Tucking the Paper

Once you have cut all the four edges prepare to tuck them. Electrical outlets and light switches have plastic covers. You need now to remove them. It is extremely easy. Use a small bit for your screwdriver and unscrew the plate. Tape the little screws behind the plate to find them easier later.

Now you can place the paper around the hole, behind the plate. Using your brush paste carefully the wallpaper in place. Make sure there are no left creases. Use a clean cloth to wipe away any moisture excess.

4| Clean the Plastic Cover

You have now the opportunity to clean thoroughly the cover of the power outlet or light switch. Clean them with soapy warm water and let them dry on a piece of paper towel.

5| Put Back the Plates and Turn On the Power

The electrical switches and power outlets will look great and your wallpaper will be perfectly flat under the covers. This is indeed the easiest and simplest method to cut the paper around the sockets that gives also the best results.

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