Renovating for profit: DIY wallpaper splashback with Cherie Barber

Read this exclusive extract from the renovating queen's new book
Kate Nutt

A step-by-step guide to transforming your kitchen – with tiles!

What you’ll need


Measuring tape



Wallpaper paste


Paint stirring stick

Paint roller tray

38 mm paintbrush

Wallpaper smoother or squeegee

Utility knife

Clear heat-resistant tempered glass (available from any glazier, made to your required custom size)

Glass cleaning spray and newspaper

1 tube of clear silicone

Masking tape

DIY wallpaper splashback with Cherie Barber

Get ready

Step 1: Calculate your wallpaper

Measure the length of your splashback wall to be wallpapered.

Divide the length of your wall into your wallpaper roll width.

For example: If your splashback wall was 3600 mm wide and your wallpaper roll width was 580 mm, your splashback wall would require 6.20 strips (3600 ÷ 580 = 6.20), which would round up to 7 strips of wallpaper at whatever height your splashback is.

Step 2: Smooth surface

Make sure your wall is clean and smooth. That means no lumps or bumps in old plaster or previous paintwork. If required, sand your wall, then remove any dust and particles.

Step 3: Get a straight line

To start your first wallpaper strip, you need to draw a straight vertical pencil line using a level. This will ensure your wallpaper goes on straight and does not end up sitting on an angle.

I suggest you draw your starting line at least half a wallpaper strip in from the edge of one wall. Alternatively, you can draw your starting line in the centre of your wall and work your way outwards.

Get set

Step 4: Wallpaper paste

Your wallpaper paste packet will have instructions on how to get the best consistency. In a bucket, add the paste to the required amount of water. Then mix this with a paint stirring stick until the paste has a nice thick consistency. Pour a small quantity of paste into your paint roller tray.

Use your paintbrush to apply your wallpaper paste to the corner and outer edges of your splashback, then coat the rest of your wall, ensuring a nice consistent film over the entire area.

And go

Step 5: Get the hang of It

Line up the edge of your first wallpaper strip with the pencil line you’ve drawn on your wall. Push your wallpaper into position with your hands. Grab your wallpaper smoother/squeegee and smooth out any creases or bubbles by pushing those out from the inside to the outer edges of your wallpaper. Do this gently so you don’t tear or damage your wallpaper. This process also helps your paper stick to the wall.

Repeat this process for all your other strips of wallpaper, overlapping the edges if needed. Once all the wallpaper is applied, trim the wallpaper edges off with a utility knife, using the straight edge of your wallpaper smoother or your spirit level to get a straight line.

Step 6: Cover it up

Give your wallpaper a day to dry, then grab your tempered heat- resistant glass. Clean the side that will sit against the wallpaper thoroughly before you place the glass against the wall. It’s best to clean glass with a good glass cleaner and newspaper, not a cloth. Cloths tend to leave lint behind. If your glass is not cleaned properly, it will show.

Move your sheet of glass into position, being extremely careful not to chip any of the corners. You may need a second person to help you lift the glass into position. Run a bead of clear silicone around the edges of your glass to hold it in position.
You may need to apply a few strips of masking tape over the glass and onto another surface to hold the glass in position until your silicone dries overnight.

Once dry, remove all masking tape. Clean the front of your glass, then stand back and be amazed!

Renovating for Profit by Cherie Barber

This is an edited extract from Renovating for Profit by Cherie Barber published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $39.99 and is available in stores nationally.

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