Decorating Tip: How to Wallpaper Around an Electric Socket or Light Switch

The finishing touches when decorating and wallpapering a room can make all the difference to a professional looking job. Taking the extra time to paper around a socket or switch can really pay dividends.

It's easy to wallpaper around a light switch or socket – just make sure you follow basic safety precautions by turning off the electricity supply at the main fuse box first.

With this handy 5 stage guide we'll teach you how to safely and easily wallpaper around a light switch or electrical socket.

1. Turn Off the Power!

You will need to make sure the electricity is off before decorating around the socket or switch. Not doing so can be very dangerous.

2. Loosen the Switch

With a screwdriver, the loosen the screws in the switch or socket so there is a space around the edge. Hang the wallpaper as usual, letting it cover the switch or socket.

3. Cut Out the Hole

Gently press the wallpaper onto the switch and lightly mark the edges. Make a cut in the center of the paper and then outwards to the corners, stopping about a centimetre inside the edge markings.

4. Tidy the Edges

Smooth the paper onto the wall, gently pulling the socket or switch away to tuck the edges of wallpaper behind it. Use a wallpaper hanging brush to smooth out any bumps near the socket edges.

5. Screw the Switch Back

When the wallpaper paste has discharged, the socket or switch can be screwed back into place. You might need to clean excess paste off the socket but do this very carefully, with only a slightly damp cloth, to prevent water running behind the socket. When you have finished you can turn the power back on.

TOP TIP: Do not use a knife or Stanley knife to cut the paper. You might end up teasing the paper or worse still scratching the surface of the socket or switch. Always use scissors to cut the hole.

So in summary, turn off the power, loosen the switch, gently press the paper on the switch, cut out the hole in the paper, tuck the edges of the paper behind the switch and then when the paste is dry screw the light switch back on the wall.

That's it, you should now be able to paper around a socket or switch without any problems at all, giving you a professional finish every time.