Calculating Wallpaper Quantities

There’s an art to ordering the right amount of wallpaper. Running out midway through your project is incredibly frustrating but you also don’t want piles of leftover rolls cluttering up your spare room either. It’s all about striking that perfect balance.

The best way to work out how much wallpaper you need is to ask your decorator, if you’re using one. If you’re planning to put up the paper yourself, you can email us at — we’ll be happy to help. Just let us know the height and width of the surface you’re papering and which wallpaper you want to use.

In the meantime, we’ve put together this handy guide to estimating how much you need — and we do mean estimating. 

1. Measure the height and width of the surface you’re papering — whether that’s an alcove, one wall or a whole room — and note any areas that don’t need wallpaper, like doorways.

2. Find the pattern repeat* of your chosen paper, which will be listed on our website or your sample. For example, Check has a pattern repeat of 62.3cm.

3. Use the measurements of your surface, pattern repeat and wallpaper roll (every roll is 10m long and 53cm wide) to calculate how many rolls you’ll need. In general, for a standard, 2.4m high room, we estimate:

- Three drops per roll for small pattern repeats e.g. Samphire

- Four drops per roll for striped papers e.g. Closet Stripe

- Two drops per roll for large pattern repeats e.g. Helleborus

As an example, for Closet Stripe on a wall measuring 2.5m wide in a standard room, you’ll need approx. five drops, so roughly two rolls.

4. Add one more roll! Whatever you estimate, we recommend adding one more roll to allow for trimming or mistakes when hanging. This is especially important because our traditional techniques mean the pattern and colour can differ oh-so-slightly between batches. You can always return unopened wallpaper rolls to us if you have lots left over (except Archive papers).

* Wondering what a pattern repeat is? We’ve got you covered.

A pattern repeat is the distance between the pattern starting, finishing and starting again. It’s important to be aware of so you can line the pattern up properly. Some papers, for instance our stripes, don’t have a pattern repeat, making these papers more straightforward to hang.


Here’s everything we recommend you have to hand — not including your lovely new wallpaper, of course.

Product Advice Sheet (PAS)

We have one of these handy sheets for every wallpaper pattern. With detailed advice on how to prepare and hang your chosen wallpaper, do read it carefully before you start. You can find them here.

Step Ladder

If you’re papering walls or a ceiling, you’ll almost certainly need a step ladder to reach everything safely. Of course, if you’re papering something a little lower down, like the back of a small bookcase, you can probably do without one.

Dust Sheets

Accidents happen, so we always recommend putting down dust sheets (or old bed sheets) to protect your floors and furnishings from spills, splashes or drips.

Decorating Table

A decorating table gives you a clean, flat and stable surface to measure, cut and apply paste to wallpaper. We know you’ve likely seen people try an ironing board, but ideally you want straight, square edges to line your paper up against, so we wouldn’t recommend that.

Wallpaper Paste

Our starch wallpaper paste and handcrafted wallpapers are simply meant to be together. It’s non-acidic to protect the pattern you love and a tube that doubles as a handy measuring jug for the amount of water you need. One tube of Farrow & Ball Wallpaper Paste can hang up to five rolls of our wallpaper.

Bucket and Stir Stick

Two essentials for mixing your wallpaper paste with water to create just the right consistency.  

Wallpaper Scissors

These aren’t any ordinary scissors. Wallpaper scissors are particularly long and particularly sharp, to make sure you can cut your paper in a straight line.

Plumb Line

A plumb line is a weight suspended from a string. Simple but effective, it creates a perfectly straight, vertical line for you to reference when hanging your wallpaper. It’s a far better comparison than a doorway or window, as these are rarely actually straight.

Wallpaper Hanging Brush

These wide brushes are the best way to smooth out wallpaper once it’s been hung and remove any pesky air bubbles.

Seam Roller

This small tool flattens the joins between wallpaper drops, helping create that seamless look we’re aiming for.

Utility Knife and Straight Edge

A sharp knife with a straight edge tool for guidance is the best way to trim excess paper and cut around light fittings or plug sockets — don’t be tempted to try scissors.

Sponge or Microfibre Cloth (with a bucket of clean water!)

Last but by no means least is a clean, damp sponge or microfibre cloth. This is perhaps the most important step for a flawless finish, but one people often forget about. Any paste left on the face of your wallpaper must be cleaned off, otherwise it can damage the pattern over time. And nobody wants that.

Make sure to wash your sponge or cloth in clean water between wiping each section.

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