Installing Wallpaper

Installing or hanging wallpaper so your finished project ends up with a professional look is a multi step process. First you need to understand your wallpaper options (Understanding Your  Wallpaper Options) then after choosing the type and style of paper you need to prepare your room,(Preparing a Room for Wallpapering). Your project will also flow along much smoother if you know some of the tricks to installing wallpaper properly (Wallpapering Tips and Tricks) Finally, after that, you actually get to install your wallpaper. Here's how to install wallpaper.

Installing your first strip

  • After prepping and sizing your walls plus drawing a plumb line as your alignment aid, its time to install your first wallpaper strip.
  • Unroll some of the wallpaper and hold it against the wall to determine where you want the pattern to fall at the ceiling (you want to start with a full pattern rather than a partial pattern at the ceiling to give your walls a finished appearance). Mark the ceiling spot on the back of the wallpaper with a pencil.
  • You want to cut your wallpaper strips so they are about 4” longer than your floor to ceiling wall height, (2” at the top and 2” at the bottom to be trimmed later).
  • Use a straight edge and a sharp pair of scissors or a razor knife to ensure a clean, straight cut.
  • Using prepasted wall paper, roll the cut strip from bottom to top with the glue facing out then dip it into your water tray to activate the glue. Keep the paper submerged for the time recommended on the package then holding the paper by a corner, gently unroll it from the tray.
  • Now it's time to “book” the wallpaper. You do this by folding the top half of the wallpaper strip down towards the middle of the sheet so the pasted side is facing the pasted side. Fold the paper gently making sure you don't crease the paper (you won't be able to get any creases out later). Book the bottom half of the sheet the same as the top, folding the bottom up to the middle, with paste side facing paste side, and keeping the sides aligned.
  • Booking the wallpaper allows time for the glue to activate and gives the paper time to “relax” or expand to its original size.
  • Now unbook the top half of the sheet and place the marked spot at the ceiling while letting the paper hang down, then slide the wallpaper into position beside the plumb line mark.
  • Use a dampened sponge or a brush to gently press the wallpaper against the wall and remove any bubbles or small creases.
  • Unbook, align and smooth the bottom half of the wallpaper strip in the same way and that's it, you have installed your first wallpaper strip.
  • Install two or three strips along a wall before going back and trimming the excess from the top and bottom edges of your first strip using a razor knife and a straight edge.
Murray Anderson is a veteran freelancer whose work has been appeared in books, newspapers and newsletters as well as on numerous web sites in both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics including home, consumer, and personal subjects as well as general business and Marketing specific topics.