How to wallpaper round light switches and plug sockets

How to wallpaper around light switches and plug sockets

Thinking about wallpapering a room in your home? Before jumping right in, it’s important to scope out the walls and make a note of anything that might need a little more attention. You’ll probably need to navigate at least one or two plug sockets and light switches. Here’s our guide on how to wallpaper around electrical fixtures.


What tools do I need for wallpapering?

When wallpapering around light switches and plug sockets, you’ll need a few specific tools to get the job done. They are:

  1. Plumb line
  2. Wallpaper paste
  3. Roller, tray and brush
  4. Smoother
  5. Knife
  6. Scissors
  7. Clean, damp cloth


How to wallpaper around plug sockets

  1. Loosen the light switch plate or plug socket box. If you do need to fully remove the fixture, always take care or get a qualified electrician to do this for you.
  2. Paste the wall section you are covering.
  3. Wallpaper over and feel for the edges of the plate, making an indent as you go.
  4. Puncture through the middle of the indents you made in the wallpaper. This can be done with wallpaper scissors. Be careful if you have chrome sockets not to scratch the surface. We wouldn’t advise using a knife as you may mark the switch plate.
  5. From the puncture, cut straight, diagonal lines out towards the edges of the indents using scissors. This is called an envelope cut.
  6. Fold the triangles back and cut them off making sure to not go past the fold line. Leave a little bit of wallpaper as this is what you will tuck behind the socket.
  7. Using your hands, manipulate the wallpaper around the edges of the socket.
  8. Continue to smooth out the surrounding wallpaper using a smoother.
  9. Once you’ve smoothed out the rest of the wallpaper, go back to your socket and use the smoothing tool to gently tuck in the wallpaper behind the socket. You can use your hands for this if you’d prefer, but if your socket has small screws, it may be difficult to loosen it to the point where you can properly tuck the wallpaper in. This is when using the smoothing tool can come in handy.
  10. Wipe away any paste that may have transferred onto the paper or fixture in the process.
  11. That’s it, job done. 

Common plug socket wallpapering mistakes and how to fix them

 While mistakes can be frustrating, they aren’t the end of the world and there is probably a simple fix. If you do make an error, don’t worry, here’s how to fix some of the most common mistakes.

 Peeling edges around the fixtures

If you’ve spotted that the edges of the wallpaper are peeling away from the fixture, it’s because you didn’t use enough paste. Carefully lift away the peeling edges and using a small brush, apply some more paste underneath. Grab a clean, soft cloth and smooth the paper back down. This should do the trick.

Air bubbles around the fixtures

 Air bubbles are common, especially around light switches and plug sockets. It’s mostly because you are spending a lot of time working around the wallpaper before smoothing it down. If you notice air bubbles appearing around fixtures, gently peel off the wallpaper but don’t remove it completely. Start again and make sure to properly smooth out the wallpaper as you work this time.


Hopefully you’ve found that wallpapering around plug sockets and light switches isn’t as difficult as you may have thought. Just remember to take your time and don’t worry if you run into a little mistake. Now you know how to do this on your own, will you be giving it a go? Share your decorating tips and photos with us!