Sometimes you just need to go with wallpaper to get the decorating effect you want. But how many rolls should you buy?

In calculating the number of wallpaper rolls required to complete your room, a lot does depend on whether the pattern will need careful matching, and on how likely you are (like me) to mess up a length when trying to put in on in an awkward corner.

It’s essential to try to make some kind of reliable estimate, however: If you’re buying a discontinued line of wallpaper, you may not be able to return any extra that’s not needed to finish the job. And it’s vital to get all your rolls from the same print run or “lot” as there can be subtle (or not-so-subtle) color variations between lots — if you need to go back to the store for :just one more roll” there’s a risk that the colors won’t match exactly with what you already have.

Fortunately, the wallpaper-makers of this world have come up with some fairly standard guidelines to help you estimate the number of rolls. All the charts are a little bit different, I’ve found, but here’s the one that works for me:

Single Rolls of Wallpaper
8’x10′ 9 10 11 12 13
10’x14′ 12 14 15 16 18
12’x16′ 14 16 17 19 21
14’x16′ 15 17 19 20 22
16’x20′ 18 20 22 24 27

So, for an 8’x10′ room with a 9-foot ceiling, you’d need 10 single rolls of wallpaper. For double rolls you would need half that number, usually, but do check with the most experienced clerk you can find at your wallpaper shop, because this will differ from one manufacturer to another.

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Again, remember to allow for matching patterns if necessary, and err on the side of too many rolls rather than too few — if you can’t return the extra to the store, you can always use it to paper the walls of a closet or powder room, or to line your shelves and drawers.

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