How to Hang Wallpaper

Tools you will need to hang unpasted wallpaper:

  • Paste
  • Paste Brush or roller
  • Knife or snap off blade
  • Level
  • Sponge & bucket of clean water
  • Smoothing brush or plastic smoother
  • Tape Measure
  • 4" - 6" inch Putty knife and or straight edge
  • A pencil
  • Step stool
  • Drop Cloth

GETTING READY TO HANG WALLPAPER

Wondering how to wallpaper a wall? Let us help you!

  1. Make sure the walls are clean of all debris and that the surface is smooth. Spackle and smooth out any holes or rough areas on the walls as they may affect the final finish of your wallpaper. You should also remove all faceplates and socket covers before beginning, taking care to turn off power first for safety.

  2. When deciding where to begin, if hanging wallpaper on all four (4) walls you ideally want to start in the most inconspicuous corner of the room. Some examples of an ideal place to start would be in the back corner of the room, behind a door or a large piece of furniture.

  3. The most crucial step in hanging wallpaper is making sure the first strip is straight and level. This will impact the rest of the room so it is important to take your time and do this first step correctly.

  4. Measure out from the corner the width of the paper minus 1/2 inch and mark with a pencil.

  5. Place a level at the mark and draw a straight, vertical line (plumb line).

  6. Every time you reach a corner or start a new wall, follow this procedure to make sure you are hanging the wallpaper straight.

PREPARING WALLS FOR WALLPAPER

Before hanging wallpaper, it is important to prepare your walls to ensure the success of the project. We recommend hanging wallpaper on smooth, clean and dry walls that have been primed. In general, hanging wallpaper over old wallpaper is not a good idea. For information on removing wallpaper, please see the How to Remove Wallpaper section. Take the time to fill in holes and imperfections before putting up your new wallpaper. For heavily textured or damaged walls, hanging a wallpaper liner may be the key to your success. Heavy duty lining paper is available in most paint and wallpaper stores. It evens the wall imperfections, providing a smooth surface for your wallpaper.

Cut wallpaper

  1. Measure the height of your wall and add four (4) inches before you cut the first strip. You will need an extra two (2) inches at the top and bottom for trimming.

  2. ALWAYS use a sharp knife or blade for every cut. Try too not to lift the knife when making long cuts. We suggest that you move the hard edge and then follow with the knife.

  3. See the section on pattern match before cutting additional strips! Depending on the "match" of your wallpaper pattern, you may need to account for the repeat to make sure that your wallpaper matches up horizontally and vertically.

HOW TO HANG UN-PASTED WALLPAPER

Check the instructions that came with your wallpaper. Unless otherwise noted, we recommend hanging unpasted wallpaper by the paste-the-wall method.

  1. If you need to mix the paste first, follow the manufacturer’s instructions

  2. Use your brush to apply paste to the wall, evenly distributing it across an area just larger than one (1) strip at a time

If you are using unpasted wallpaper that requires applying the paste directly to the backing:

  1. If you need to mix the paste first, follow the manufacturer’s instructions

  2. Lay the strip of wallpaper face down on your work surface

  3. Brush paste on to the top half of your paper and gently fold that section back to meet the middle. Brush paste on the remaining half and fold the bottom end in to meet the middle.

  4. Allow the paper to rest in this "booked" position for 10 minutes while the glue becomes fully activated and the paper is prepared.

Hanging your first strip of wallpaper

  1. Start on the least conspicuous wall of the room, where you have previously used a level to draw your plumb line.

  2. Unfold the top half of the strip and apply to the wall, letting a little bit of the wallpaper overlap the ceiling and adjoining wall. Make sure your pattern is right side up!

  3. Slide the paper into position so it lines up on the plumb line that you created.

  4. Using a wallpaper smoothing tool, gently press the strip to the wall. Be careful not to stretch the wallpaper while positioning.

  5. Unfold the bottom half and smooth into place.

  6. Smooth the entire strip, working diagonally from the top down and from the center outward, forcing out any air pockets.

  7. Wash off excess paste with a damp sponge and clean water. Remember always to use clean water.

Trim wallpaper

  1. Using the 6" putty knife as a guide, trim the excess paper along the ceiling and baseboard with a sharp razor knife. Always use a sharp knife or blade for every cut and do not to lift your knife when making long cuts.

  2. Wash paste off ceiling and baseboards with a wet sponge and clean water.

Continue

  1. Using the same procedures to cut and apply more wallpaper strips, matching the pattern to the previous strip.

  2. Touch the edges tightly together, but don’t overlap the strips.

  3. Make a new plumb line on each new wall.