Wallpapering 7 - Hanging the Wallpaper Wallpapering 7 - Hanging the Wallpaper

Start Straight Marking a Level Line

Starting at the inconspicuous corner you have chosen, measure to a point with your tape that is a distance from the corner of one inch less than the width of the wallpaper roll. Make a mark at this point. If your wallpaper rolls are 20" wide, make a mark 19" from the corner.

At this mark you will need to make an exactly plumb (vertical) line. There is a good chance that the corner is not plumb, so this process guarantees that you will be working from a plumb line. A common, and drastic, mistake in hanging wallpaper is to hang it out of plumb.


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You can use a 4' level or a wallpaper level (a straightedge with a level bubble) to mark this line on the wall. Also, a chalk line can be used. Be sure that the level bubble is reading true level, and then mark the line from the ceiling to the floor.

Tip: When cutting wallpaper with large repeating patterns be sure to check alternate rolls as you may be you'll save many feet when trying to match the pattern.

Hanging the First Sheet

You are now ready to hang your first piece. Apply it so that one edge is exactly vertical and aligned with your plumb mark. Leave the bottom fold folded and, at first, work only with the upper part of the sheet. Be sure the mark for the ceiling is aligned so that there is a pattern break at the ceiling line, if you are working at an inside corner, which is often the case, wrap the one-inch overlap into the corner. See the section on inside corners.

Use a wallpaper brush to work out any bubbles, stroking the brush from the inside to the outside to push the air out. Start at the top and work your way down the paper. Keep working with the brush until all the bubbles are out and the paper is perfectly smooth on the wall. Be sure you stay aligned with your plumb mark as you work with the brush. Gently lift the bottom edge of the strip to free the sheet of any wrinkles. After the upper part is smooth, release the bottom fold and position, using the palms of your hands. Then use the smoothing brush as you did above. Be sure there was no debris on the wall that you now see poking through. You will trim the paper after the next sheet is hung.

Tip: When removing non-porous wallpaper such as vinyl, be sure to score the paper to allow the steam of the wallpaper steamer to penetrate.

Hanging Subsequent Sheets

Before cutting the second sheet, be sure that you have allowed for the pattern matching at the seam lines. To avoid waste, you can alternate between two different rolls with the larger patterns.

This second sheet butts snugly against the first. Do not overlap seams. Apply this sheet as you did the first and maneuver it against the first with your hands. After this sheet is in place you can go back and trim the first. Use your straightedge or broad knife to assure a good trim job, changing the razor blade for each strip of wallpaper applied.

After the sheets are in place, go over them with a large damp sponge to get out all the small bubbles and paste. Be sure to wipe up any excess paste at the seams and ends with the sponge before they dry. After 20 to 30 minutes, use a seam roller at the seams to be sure they are well secured. Press the roller lightly to avoid a glossy area. This step is omitted with raised and flocked wallpaper.

Intro - Materials - Planning - Prep - Removal - Cut, Paste, Soak - Hanging - Corners - Obstacles

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