Add us to your Favorite Sellers list and be sure to sign up to receive our monthly Newsletter!
The Wallpaper Co.
How To Hang Wallpaper
Items You Will Need
-Wall Preping Materials:
Sandpaper, spackling compound, putty knife, Oil based Primer/Sealer,
Wallpaper sizing, paint roller and tray, paint brush, wallpaper remover (for previously papered walls only), and a drop cloth.
Plumb bob or level, pencil, water tray, wallpaper adhesive (for unpasted wallcovering only), good sized work surface, scissors, razor blade, straight edge, smoothing
brush or tool, seam roller, sponge or soft rag, and a bucket with clean water.
Before You Begin
Open and inspect each roll for printing or shading defects. Make sure that all rolls are from the same run number
or dye lot. Read the instructions packaged in each roll for specific hanging information. If you are also working with
border, you should inspect those items as well, before beginning.
Your walls need to be prepared to receive wallcovering. Even in new homes, most walls need some prep. Take some time
with this step as this will help ensure that you do a good job and that it lasts a long time. Before beginning the wall prep,
remove all nails, screws, electrical plates and any other wall fixtures. You should
also remove old wallcovering. Make sure the surface is free of any loose paint, mildew, grease, or stains.
New walls: should have a primer/sealer. This seals the wall and creates a smooth surface. Note that fresh plaster must be allowed to cure
for 90 days before priming. The primer should be white
pigmented because colored primers could bleed through the wallcovering. Follow the manufacturer's directions for drying
and curing, then apply a wallpaper sizing solution which makes it easier to
hang and position the wallpaper as well as helping to ease removal when the time comes. Allow the sizing to
dry for about 30 minutes before hanging the wallpaper.
Previously Papered Walls: It is always best to remove old
wallcovering, but if that is not
possible, be sure that the old wallcovering is tightly secured to the wall. Sand the seams, then prime with an oil-base
primer and after drying to manufacturer's recommendations, apply a wallpaper sizing solution.
If the wallpaper
can be removed, it should be stripped and the walls should be cleaned with a mild detergent solution, an ammonia and water solution, or adhesive
remover. Rinse with clear water and let dry. Apply the wallpaper sizing solution.
Previously Painted Walls: should have any rough spots scraped and sanded. Holes and cracks should be filled with spackling
compound. Let dry and sand smooth. Be sure to rinse the walls and let dry. Then apply an oil-base primer to spackled areas and let dry. If your walls have glossy
paint, sand with fine grit sandpaper and rinse to remove residue. Let dry and apply a wallpaper sizing.
Determine Your Pattern Match
Patterns that do not have specific match points, such as textures.
Drop Match/Offset Match:
The pattern runs diagonally across the wall so that every other strip is the same along the ceiling line. The
design may form a diamond grid effect..
Straight Across Match:
Forms an overall design motif. The same elements of the design in each strip are an equal distance from the
Matches between the design elements should align in a diamond configuration, not side by side. The design
elements may be separated by the trim going between strips. Design motifs must, however, be aligned to maintain
consistence of form.
Establish A Plumb Line
You must first establish a straight vertical line. Most homes have settled, and the floors and
ceilings are not always "plumb". This step is very important and will ensure that you hang the strips straight. You
should repeat this as you begin each new wall. You can either use a chalked line with a plumb bob, or a level and a pencil.
You will need to start by measuring the width of you wallpaper. Choose an inconspicuous
corner, preferably one behind a door (this is your starting point and will be your ending point as well). It is usually
best to work around the room clockwise. Measure out from the starting corner the width of your
wallpaper minus ½ inch and mark the wall. If your room has a definite
focal point, such as a fireplace, you may want to position the first strip so that a prominent section of the design
is centered over the mantel. If so, Hang this strip first, then work towards your inconspicuous start/stop point.
Then return to the first (focal) strip and continue in the other direction - again ending at the start/stop point.
Now, place either the chalk line or the level on this mark and make a vertical line on the wall. This
line is the edge you will use as a guide to hang your first strip of wallpaper. Approximately ½ inch will wrap into
the corner and onto the next wall. The wrapped portion is where you will end up as you work your way around the room.
Measuring Height & Cutting Lengths
Walls are seldom exactly the same height all the way around a room, so you must take several measurements and find the
maximum height. Add four inches (two for the top and two for the bottom); you'll need this extra for any unevenness and
for trimming at the top and bottom of the walls. Cut your first
strip. When using a set design motif, cut the first length of wallcovering so that after final trimming, the
entire motif will be placed at the top of the wall.
Before cutting more strips remember to allow for the proper pattern match. Match dry strip to dry strip or wet
to wet. Save remnants, as they are often useful for small areas such as above windows and doors.
Types Of Wallcovering
Use the type of paste recommended in the instructions that came with the wallcovering. Brush or roll the back of the wallcovering with paste. Apply plenty to the edges. Fold the strip (or "book")
pasted side to pasted side, that is bring in both edges toward the middle. Be careful not to crease the paper. Strips should be booked to allow for sufficient absorption of moisture and
for the wallcovering to become supple. Approximate time is 3-5 minutes (see individual instructions
for recommended booking time).
Prepasted (most wallpaper is prepasted):
Fill water tray with luke-warm water and roll the strip pattern side in. Immerse in water tray for the time
recommended in the instructions supplied in each roll. Then take the top end of the roll and pull sheet out
of water allowing it to unroll as it is drawn from the tray.
"Book" the strip by gently folding the pasted side of the strip to the pasted side. This is best performed by bringing
the ends of the strip to meet in the middle - paste to paste. Do not crease the folded ends. Leave the strip in this
position for the manufacturer's recommended amount of time - for a maximum of three minutes.
The water in the water tray should be changed often (every 4 to 6 strips) to avoid transferring paste residue to the
surface of the wallcovering.
Paste The Wall:
For this method, simply apply the recommended wallpaper paste to the wall before hanging each strip.
Hanging Your Wallpaper
Carry the folded strip to the wall. Check which is the top end of the strip, and holding the top corners, open
the top fold and line up to the right of your plumb line. Establish your ceiling line and allow the 2" overlap.
The extra ½ on the left edge will go into the corner
and onto the adjacent wall. You do not want to wrap more than this, because corner walls are usually not perfectly parallel,
and wrapping wide strips can cause major wrinkling and tearing. To help the wallpaper wrap, you will need to slit it in the corner at the top and bottom.
Smooth down the middle of the strip using a smoothing brush or soft sponge working out toward the edges removing
the wrinkles and air bubbles as you go. Open the bottom fold and continue to smooth the strip into place.
When you move to the next wall, you will be hanging the balance of the strip. Measure this portion of the strip and make
a new plumb line by measuring out from the corner….this time the same width as the strip. Make a new vertical plumb line
on the wall. Here you will place the right edge of the strip against the marked plumb line and slide the left edge into
the corner, overlapping the half inch that wrapped around the corner - this time overlapping is good! - and match the
pattern as well as you can. You now are assured that the wallcovering will be plumb.
Position the next strip on the wall and slide it precisely into position against the first piece so that the
pattern matches at normal eye level. Butt edges, do not overlap. If need be, move entire piece by sliding it
over. Do not push or pull seams into place. Do not
use a seam roller on raised or embossed designs.
After you finish each strip, immediately sponge off any extra paste
with clean water. Wipe paste off of ceiling and baseboards before it dries. Wipe dry with a clean cloth. Approximately 20 minutes after hanging,
if necessary, use a seam roller to gently flatten the joints between strips.
To ensure your satisfaction, hang three strips and inspect for your overall approval. After you have three strips up, trim them at the ceiling and baseboard using a broad knife or wall scraper as a
guide and cutting, with a very sharp razor blade. Go slowly and change your blade often.
Sometimes rooms have outside corners as well as the more common inside corners. You should follow the
same basic instructions for outside corners, because wrapping around them can be just as problematic as inside ones.
Measure to allow for a ½ wrap, and split the strip. Hang the first portion, and then after marking a new plumb line,
hang the balance of the strip on the new wall.
Papering Around Doors & Windows
Hang wallcoverings right over the windows and doors. Then cut away excess with scissors, leaving a few inches of
overlap all around. Make diagonal cuts into the corners and then smooth the wallcovering into the edge of the
frame and trim as usual with your blade and straight edge.
Papering Around Switch Plates & Electrical Outlets
Remember to turn off the electricity. Remove switch plates and outlet covers if you haven't already. Hang wallpaper and simply smooth
strip gently over the outlet or switch area. With a sharp knife, pierce paper at the center of the fitting and
make diagonal cuts toward each corner. Press paper against wall around edge. Trim away surplus. *TIP* You can cover
the outlets and switch plates with leftover wallcoverings.
Applying a border is simple. If you are hanging on a painted wall, you will need to follow the same prep instructions
as for wallcovering. If the border is to be applied over wallcovering, you will need to use vinyl-to-vinyl adhesive or
another recommended adhesive, even if the border is prepasted.
Prepasted borders that are not hung over other wallcovering can be loosely rolled with the pattern on the inside, and
immersed in water. Be sure to follow the directions for the temperature of the water and the length of soaking time.
As you pull the border from the water, place it on a flat work surface. "Book" the border by accordion folding.
(Take approximately 6 inches and loosely fold paste side to paste side, then, do the same with pattern side to pattern
side.) Allow the border to rest or "book" for the suggested amount of time - not longer than three minutes.
For unpasted borders you should apply the recommended adhesive with a narrow paint roller or a brush.
Start hanging the border in an inconspicuous corner, overlapping it ¼ inch into the corner on the adjacent wall.
Gradually unfold the border as you smooth it into place. Rinse thoroughly so that no paste residue is left on the
When you reach a corner, cut the border so that about ¼ inch goes onto the next wall. Start the next wall by hanging
the rest of the border, overlapping the ¼ inch that went around the corner.
When you come to the end of a spool of border, match the pattern with a new spool. Overlap the borders at the pattern
match and using a razor knife and a straight edge, cut through the two borders on a diagonal. Peel back both edges
and remove the overlap. Smooth back into place and you will find that you have a perfect match from spool to spool.
If you are planning to use a border around windows or doorways, you will need to measure accordingly. Since you will
need to overlap at each corner, you will need to take into account that you will need to add the depth of the border
to your measurements in order to allow for the overlapping or mitering. To avoid pattern mismatches at the corners,
you might want to consider selecting a border that does not have a strong directional print.
To create a miter cut
at the corners of a window or doorway, simply overlap the two border ends where they meet at the corners. Use a
razor knife and a straight edge to carefully cut through both layers at a 45 degree angle. Gently peel back and
remove the excess, then press flat. The seams should butt perfectly. Rinse with clean water to remove all paste
from the border, wall and molding.
If you want to use a border to create a chair rail, measure and mark the height that you prefer. Use a level to draw
a line on the wall or walls. This will be your guide for the horizontal edge of the border.
Repairing Any Damage
Cut a piece of extra wallcovering slightly larger than the damaged area. Paste it in place over the damaged spot,
carefully matching the pattern. Using a straight edge and sharp blade, cut through both layers of wallcoverings
around the damaged area. Remove excess paper and position new patch into the opening.