Wallpaper Trim 101

A woman installs wallpaper trim.

Wallpaper used to be the bane of every homeowner’s existence, but this versatile material is steadily making a comeback. From adding a splash of color in your bathroom to accenting a door or window, there are plenty of ways in which wallpaper trim can transform a room. If you are on the fence about buying wallpaper, here is a quick guide on everything you need to know about wallpaper trim.

What Is Wallpaper Trim?

Wallpaper trim, also referred to as a wallpaper border, is simply a scaled down piece of wallpaper that runs along the trim of a wall. These trim sections come in a variety of widths, colors, and designs. Like traditional wallpaper, trim sections can be installed anywhere in your house and are used to create unique patterns that you cannot get with traditional wood trim.

Advantages of Using Wallpaper Trim

Blue patterned wallpaper.

One advantage of wallpaper trim is that it can hide imperfections on the surface of the wall, such as scratches and dings. Wallpaper trim also features patterns and color combinations that you cannot get with traditional paint or trim. Lastly, wallpaper trim is more affordable than buying wood trim and it is much easier to install. All you have to do is measure it out, make sure everything is straight and glue it into place. No nails or hammering required.

What Are the Best Types of Wallpaper Trim?

Vinyl is the most popular type of wallpaper trim on the market — and for good reason. Vinyl wallpaper is affordable, durable, and easy to install and remove if necessary. Wallpaper trim also comes in a variety of other types, such as flocked, grass cloth, embossed, and foil, though these options are generally more costly and difficult to apply than vinyl. Make sure you research what type of wallpaper trim you are buying beforehand because some varieties cannot be washed.

Where Should You Install Wallpaper Trim?

Wallpaper trim can be installed in just about any area of the house. You can hang this material along the top of the wall, in the middle of the wall (referred to as a chair rail border), or around doors and windows. Installing trim around doors is a little trickier because you have to cut the paper at 45-degree angles. Other than that, wallpaper trim is super easy to install.

How To Install Wallpaper Trim

Wallpaper trim in a dining room.

Wallpaper trim comes in three different options: non-pasted, self-adhesive and pre-pasted. Non-pasted wallpaper requires you to apply the paste before installing. Pre-pasted usually entails soaking the wallpaper in water to activate the adhesive while self-adhesive features removal paper over the layer of glue. If you are using vinyl wallpaper trim over a vinyl surface, you will need to use a special adhesive.

Step 1 - Prep Surface

Wallpaper does not adhere well to dirty surfaces. Prep the wall by cleaning it with soapy water to remove any grease or dirt. Once it has dried, sand the area to get rid of any loose paint or obstructions. This step is not necessary if you are applying the border on a wall that has not been finished.

Step 2 - Draw A Guideline

Wallpaper above a chair rail.

Drawing a guideline will help ensure the wallpaper trim is hung in a straight line. If you are installing the paper along the ceiling, just follow the natural curve of the ceiling. You can also use a tape measure to calculate how much wallpaper trim you will need to complete the project. This will also help you plan out where to place your seams on the wall.

Step 3 - Install Trim Pieces

Follow your guidelines to successfully install each piece of trim. Use a smoothing tool to remove any surface bubbles before the adhesive fully dries. When installing a new piece of trim, cut it in a place where it will easily blend with the previous piece. Continue to work your way around the room until the entire surface is covered.

You can install wallpaper trim in no time following these easy steps. The trim will be an interesting decor item in the room, giving it some added interest.