Tips for Hanging Wallpaper

Prep the Walls to Trimming the Paper

The trick to hanging wallpaper correctly is to establish a good plumb line at the start. Most walls are not straight and plumb, so snap a chalk line to get a good reference point. Cut the paper longer than needed for the wall. How much excess will depend on how much is needed to match up the paper’s pattern.

Prep the walls prior to applying wallpaper by repairing holes and cracks with spackle and washing the walls with soap and water. A typical wallpaper roll is 36 feet long, but when calculating how many rolls are needed, only count on getting 30 feet out of each roll.

Soak Pre-pasted Paper – Some wallpapers require that you apply paste while others come pre-pasted and just need to be soaked in a pan of water. Pre-pasted wallpaper should be soaked for at least 15 seconds.

Fold the Paper Into Position – Fold the paper onto itself so that the ends meet in the middle with the glue side in. Folding both ends of the pasted wallpaper into the middle is called booking. When booking make sure all of the pasted areas are covered so it doesn’t dry out as you paste other wallpaper strips.

Once the paper is in position, smooth it out with a brush. Roll the seams of the paper until smooth, but don’t roll so hard that the adhesive seeps out.

Remove Air Bubbles and Trim the Paper – When brushing or sponging the air bubbles from wallpaper, start at the top by the ceiling and brush down and out toward the sides. Stubborn air bubbles can be popped with a pin. You should overlap two strips of paper slightly for corners and trim both layers with a razor blade. Switch to new razor blades often so you don’t tear the paper.

Using a straightedge and a sharp utility knife, trim the top and bottom of the wallpaper even with the ceiling and baseboard. If your wallpaper has a repeating pattern, look on the package to find the length of the repeat and add that to the length of each subsequent piece of wallpaper you cut.

What is needed for the job
  • Pre-pasted Wallpaper
  • Pan of water
  • Chalk Line
  • Roller
  • Razor blades
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