How to Apply Wallpaper Wall Coverings

What You'll Need
Warm water
A sponge
Stanley knife
A pencil
Wallpaper paste
Clove oil
A ladder
A large paintbrush
A ruler
A plumb line
A trim knife

Applying your own wallpaper wall coverings does not have be a challenging job. The process can be completed in a short amount of time and will leave you feeling satisfied in giving your wall a refreshing makeover.

Step 1 - Prepare Walls

You need to prepare your walls so that the wallpaper coverings hang smoothly and evenly. Any rough or dirty areas which are ignored now will be visible after the final finish. Wash the walls down with some warm water and a sponge. This will loosen any flaky paint and current wall coverings. Peel and remove these until you have a bare wall and allow the water to dry. Remember to remove old adhesive as well if the wall was previously covered in wallpaper. Remove the covers from any electrical sockets as this will make it easier to cut space for them in the wallpaper.

Step 2 - Cut Wallpaper

Cut your wallpaper with an excess of roughly 2 to 3 inches at each end. If you are using any thing other than plain wallpaper, you will need to mark where the patterns start and stop. This will allow you to apply each sheet of wallpaper in sequence. If you do not mark where the patterns are, your handy work will be immediately noticeable to anyone who enters the room.

Step 3 - Mix the Paste

If you are using a wallpaper paste straight from the manufacturer, use a small amount of water and follow any instructions on the packet of the paste mix. To make your own, mix some alum and flour over a steady heat until the mixture thickens, add water at regular points. Add a few drops of clove oil at a time after the mixture has cooled. The mixture should have the consistency of thick adhesive glue.

Step 4 - Apply Paste

Apply the paste all over the back of one sheet of wallpaper, a large paintbrush will do the job. Be very careful not to damage the patterned side. Fold the printed side inwards to protect the pattern and try not to crease the wallpaper. Fold over again if possible. Doing this will stop the paste from going dry in a quicker amount of time. This means that you can have three or four sheets of wallpaper ready to hang on the wall, which will save you time later on.

Step 5 - Hang Wallpaper

Start hanging wallpaper from the center of the largest wall in the room. Mark the position because where you start will also be where you finish. Hang the top of the wallpaper so it is perfectly parallel to the edge of the ceiling and wall, this will ensure the paper hangs evenly. Use a plumb line to create a perfect vertical line as this will form the basis for completely level hanging. Gently unfold the wallpaper and use a small amount of pressure to stick the paper to the wall with your hands. Use a trim knife to press wallpaper into corners and cut away any excess before papering the next wall. Make sure the patterns match where two individual pieces of wallpaper meet.

Step 6 - Smooth and Finish

Smooth out any rough or lumpy areas until the surface of the wallpaper feels smooth under hand. Trim off any excess from the bottom and use a small ruler to check that top and bottom edges are even. Repeat the total process until you have finished applying wallpaper wall coverings to the entire area.