Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which tools do I need?

  2. What are single rolls, double rolls, and bolts?

  3. Is it best to overlap the seams when hanging wallpaper?

  4. Why am I having trouble removing wallpaper from my wall?

  5. Should I use additional paste on the back of wallpaper?

  6. Don’t I need to rent a steamer to remove old wallpaper?

  7. Can I wallpaper over wallpaper?

  8. The paper facing on my drywall tore when I removed the old wallpaper. What can I do?

  9. What is a pattern match?

  10. Can I Repair a small tear in my wallpaper?

  11. My wallpaper seams are showing, or have separated, or I would like to avoid any wallpaper seam issues.

  12. What is the difference between Paste-the-Wall wallpaper, pre-pasted wallpaper, and un-pasted wallpaper and which one is best for my decorating project?

  13. Do I really need to prime the wall before I wallpaper?

  14. I hung a Paintable wallpaper! How long do I have to wait before it is ready to be painted?

  15. Do I have to use special paint to paint over my Paintable wallpaper, and do I need to prime the paper first?

  16. What is "Booking"?



  1. Which tools do I need? Here is a list of wallpaper tools that you should have on hand to make your project a success.

    • Tape Measure
    • Water Bucket
    • Primer Sealer
    • Water Tray
    • Clean Sponge
    • Level
    • Razor Knife and Blades
    • 6" Putty Knife
    • Wallpaper Smoother
    • Work Table

  2. What are single rolls, double rolls, and bolts?

    Wallpaper is commonly priced by the single roll, but is usually sold only in double roll or bolt increments (double rolls and bolts are interchangeable). This is because wallpapers are packaged in bolts (double rolls), and therefore they need to be sold in those increments. So if you order 10 single rolls of wallpaper, you can expect to receive 5 bolts when your order arrives.

  3. Is it best to overlap the seams when hanging wallpaper?

    No, we do not recommend overlapping your wallpaper seams. Seams should be "butted" tightly together and smoothed down with a wallpaper seam smoother. Properly "booked" wallpaper does not shrink on the wall, so you do not need to overlap. For more information on booking, read the How to Hang wallpaper section.

  4. Why am I having trouble removing wallpaper from my wall?

    Unfortunately, not all wallpaper removal projects are easy. The adhesive behind the wallpaper is formulated to release when wet. When removing wallpaper, many people do not get the backing wet enough. Using a wallpaper perforation tool, and allowing enough time for the wallpaper removal solution to loosen the paste makes the process much easier. If you are mixing the wallpaper removal solution yourself, make sure to use very hot water. For more information see our How to Remove Wallpaper guide.

  5. Should I use additional paste on the back of wallpaper?

    When wallpaper is properly applied over walls that have been prepared with a wallpaper primer, additional paste is not needed. Applying extra paste to pre-pasted wallpaper can be especially problematic if you ever decide to redecorate because it can make it more difficult to remove the wallpaper from the wall. By getting the walls ready and following the hanging instructions, your wallcovering should stick to the wall just right without extra wallpaper paste.

    However, some decorators still prefer to use extra paste. Some claim that, especially in a bathroom, where the wallpaper will be exposed to steamy moisture, this extra paste creates a fool-proof bond with the wall. Others prefer this method of wallpaper installation to using a water tray. They will brush a thin paste solution on to the wallpaper in lieu of submerging the paper in water, thus activating the pre-pasted backing with the moisture of the paste. While this is not necessary, if you truly feel the need to add extra paste to your pre-pasted wallpaper, or simply prefer this method, be sure to use a thin, watery coat of paste, applied evenly to prevent uneven expanding or contracting of the paper.

    Also, as always, be extra conscientious to "book" the wallpaper to allow for the adhesive and paper to be evenly activated, before it is applied to the wall.

  6. Don’t I need to rent a steamer to remove old wallpaper?

    Steamers are rarely necessary. A good wallpaper removal solution and a wallpaper perforation tool should do the job. Just follow the manufacturer’s directions, and be patient. For more information see our How to Remove Wallpaper guide.

  7. Can I wallpaper over wallpaper?

    We do not recommend hanging new wallpaper over existing wallpaper. The tension exerted by the new layer on the old can cause the original bond to fail and the paper could come off the wall, or bubble dramatically.

  8. The paper facing on my drywall tore when I removed the old wallpaper. What can I do?

    Damaged drywall is a common side effect of wallpaper removal, especially when removing stubborn or old wallpaper. After removing wallpaper, it is often necessary to repair walls before redecorating. Kilz Oil Based Primer works well, or ask your retailer to recommend a primer formulated for repairing drywall. Kilz has an odorless formula, and also has high building capabilities, which aid in filling in imperfections. Depending on the condition of your walls after priming, you may also have to "skim coat" walls, or fill in imperfections by hand with a smoother.

  9. What is a pattern match?

    Most wallpapers will indicate the pattern match on the back. A random match wallpaper is the easiest to work with. This means that the strips of wallpaper may be hung together without worrying about the pattern matching up at the seams. A vertical stripe wallpaper, grasscloth, or textures are all good examples of random match patterns. A straight match matches across the wallpaper, or in other words it matches the pattern from the other side of the strip. It is not complex and you will easily be able to see how the strips need to be hung to make a seamless pattern across the wall. A drop match wallpaper has a design that matches up across strips both vertically and horizontally. There are multiple types of drop matches (most are half-drop or a quarter drop). This simply means that the pattern will match up with a different spot in the design for the next strip. You can think of a half drop as half of a straight drop because it will match the same spot in the design every other strip. Both drop and straight matches will cause some extra waste as you will need to remove more excess from the top as you would with a random match. Patterns with a matches, 24" or more, may require you to buy additional wallpaper rolls to complete the project.

  10. Can I Repair a small tear in my wallpaper?

    Yes, you can fix a small tear in your wallpaper, and if you do it right, you will hardly be able to tell! Sometimes, if you still have the torn piece of wallpaper you can smooth it out and glue it back into place. Use a small brush to apply paste to the piece, re-affix it firmly to the wall with a smoother and wipe away any extra glue with a damp sponge. If you don’t have the original piece, or it is too damaged to replace, don’t worry, you can still repair your torn wallpaper. As long as you have some of the wallpaper to use as a patch, you should be able to fix the tear. Trim off any loose bits of wallpaper from the damaged area with a utility knife. Cut out a piece of the new paper that is larger than the hole or tear you are trying to cover, where the pattern exactly matches the area you are trying to repair. Line the patch wallpaper over the damaged area and cut out a shape that is larger than the torn area, cutting through your patch piece and the wallpaper underneath. Gently scrape away the wallpaper from the wall that is inside of this new shape you have created. Apply glue to the patch piece and apply it like a puzzle piece to the area. Wipe away any glue from the seams and you are done! Step back and appreciate your handiwork.

  11. My wallpaper seams are showing, or have separated, or I would like to avoid any wallpaper seam issues.

    Creating a smooth and seamless wall of wallpaper is the goal. First off, if you have selected a natural grasscloth wallpaper, the seams are going to show and this is part of the eco-chic allure. Because grasscloth wallpaper is made of all natural grasses like bamboo, jute, and sea grass, there are bound to be imperfections and inconsistencies. Grasscloth wallpaper is designed to add intrigue and texture and the exotic look of nature. There is no absolutely perfect match between the seams and this is something you will have to take into account when choosing wallpaper. For all other types of wallpapers, here are a few tips on wallpaper seams. 1. Booking. If you are using pre-pasted or un-pasted wallpaper, you need to let it rest before applying it to the wall. Read the section called what is booking. Booking gives the wallpaper a chance to relax and evenly absorb the moisture from the adhesive and/or wetting process. Properly booked wallpaper will not shrink after applied to the wall so you should not wake up to discover that your wallpaper strips have shifted slightly away from their neighboring strips. 2. Smooth the wallpaper into place as you put up each strip, taking care to smooth along the seam. You should be using a wallpaper smoother when installing the paper. Either a rolling seam smoother, or a plastic wallpaper smoothing tool, will help you to achieve a good seal so that your wallpaper will not separate at the seams.

  12. What is the difference between Paste-the-Wall wallpaper, pre-pasted wallpaper, and un-pasted wallpaper and which one is best for my decorating project?

    Everybody has their own decorating style and preference, so there is no right or wrong type of wallpaper. In general, we find that paste the wall wallpaper is the easiest to apply. Paste is brushed on to a section of the wall before applying each strip of paper. This method eliminates the need to add paste directly to the paper, or to soak and "book" the paper, so it is faster to apply. Always refer to the instructions that come with your wallpaper. Some un-pasted wallpaper recommends pasting the wallpaper before applying it to the wall. Lay the strip of paper face down on your work surface and apply paste to the top half of the paper, then gently fold (without creasing) the top of the paper to meet the middle. Then apply paste to the bottom half and fold in to the middle. Allow the paper to sit like this for about 10 minutes while the glue cures and then apply the strip to the wall. Pre-pasted wallpaper already has glue on the back. The adhesive is activated when you dip the wallpaper into your water tray. After wetting your pre-pasted wallpaper, gently "book" the wallpaper by folding each end in towards the middle and let it sit for 10 minutes. This allows the paper to expand and contract and the glue to fully activate. For more information on applying each type of wallpaper, please see the How to Hang Wallpaper section.

  13. Do I really need to prime the wall before I wallpaper?

    Yes, we do recommend priming the wall first. Sometimes referred to as the old fashioned process of "sizing", priming is an important part of the wallpapering process. Primer makes an ideal and uniform surface for your wallpaper to stick to, and is also an important part of making the wallpaper removal process easier. Priming the wall properly will also help in the removal of the wallpaper when it’s time to update your room with a fresh new wallpaper.

  14. I hung a Paintable wallpaper! How long do I have to wait before it is ready to be painted?

    First of all, congratulations on hanging your Paintable wallpaper! It probably already looks spectacular. In fact, just because it is called a Paintable wallpaper does not mean that you have to paint it. It works very well as a clean, white textured wallcovering and does not need to be painted. Paintable wallpaper is a great way to add texture to your walls, and can also be a great solution for ugly or imperfect walls. Paintable wallpapers are great for creating a customized look in the color of your choice and have designs that mimic carved wood, stucco, plaster reliefs, and fabric. Paintable wallpaper can be painted over several times if you change your mind or redecorate in a new color scheme. If you are going to paint your wallpaper with a customized hue, please wait at least 36 hours after hanging it. This will allow the adhesive to fully dry and set. If you try to paint too soon, the wallpaper can bubble.

  15. Do I have to use special paint to paint over my Paintable wallpaper, and do I need to prime the paper first?

    We get a lot of inquiries about what kind of paint to use with a Paintable wallpaper, and whether or not you need to prime Paintable wallpaper before painting it. You do not need to use a special paint to paint over wallpaper. Paint the wall just as you would a regular wall, in the color of your choice. If you change your mind or redecorate with a new color scheme, you can paint it again, just as you would any other wall. You should not need to prime the Paintable wallpaper before painting, although you can if you want to. In some cases, people have reported that priming first filled in some of the texture and lead to a less dramatic relief. Have fun with your paintable wallpaper and enjoy the freedom to pick your paint!

  16. What is "Booking"?

    "Booking" wallpaper is an industry term that refers to the position the wallpaper should rest in while the glue is activated.

    Wet the strip of wallpaper, or brush the paste to the back, depending on whether you are using pre-pasted wallpaper, or applying the glue directly to the strip. If you are using unpasted wallpaper with the paste-the wall method, you do not need to "book" your wallpaper. Gently fold both ends, paste side in, towards the center of the strip, without creasing the folds. This is known as "booking". You should see the pattern.

    Let the strip rest for the amount of time recommended in the manufacturer’s hanging instructions, usually about 10 minutes.