The Best Techniques for Hanging Wallpaper

Line a room with background and you’ve got instant decoration. From blah to daring within a matter of hours, newspaper could push boundaries outside what paint can do. It enlivens walls with textures or patterns or your choice. And as a bonus, it masks minor imperfections in plaster and drywall, too.

But as frequently as homeowners attempt to hang paper themselves, they rarely get it right, cursing their peeling seams and mismatched patterns–it is enough to drive you up a wall. Enter John Gregoras, a pro paper hanger from Somers, New York, with nearly two years’ experience. And, boy, did we learn a lot – everything from how he plans the layout to how he traces up the last seam. With this type of insider know-how, papering only got a whole lot simpler.

Greatest Wallpaper Techniques Overview

Design is the key if you are learning how to hang wallpaper. Paying attention to the order in which the paper goes up ensures your pattern will remain well-matched and look straight. John Gregoras recommends working in one direction around the room to keep the pattern consistent.

But regardless of how good your strategy, the routine between the first and last strip will seldom match up. Because of this, Gregoras always starts his job behind a doorway, papering out from the corner until he reaches the distance above the doorway — at the least conspicuous spot in the room.

Frequently, the last strip of paper onto a wall is not a complete sheet. Another wallpapering tip Gregoras uses is to constantly paper the corners with broken sheets.

Click button on top right to enlarge illustration.

Apply Wallpaper Paste

Paint the entire room with a wall primer/sizer.

Unroll the wallpaper. As you do, check for defects and haul the paper against the border of your worktable to remove the curl.

Cut at precisely the same place on the repeat so patterns on adjacent sheets will line up.

Lay a cut sheet onto the table, face down. Using a paint roller, apply a thin film of clear premixed wallpaper glue on the back of the newspaper.

Tip: Do not allow paste to get on the desk or it will mar the next sheet (wash it off with a barely damp sponge when it does). Slide the paper all the way into the border of this table to use paste to the ends and edges.

Novel the Paper

Fold the glued back of this paper on itself, top and bottom ends meeting in the center. Guarantee the side borders line up perfectly. Smooth the paper onto itself as much as possible without creasing the springs.

Place the paper apart to allow the paste to soak in and also the paper to relax. Be sure to adhere to the exact booking time recommended on the background’s label, which differs based on its material (more for vinyl-coated wallcoverings, less for uncoated papers).

Align First Strip

Start in a corner near a doorway. In case the door is nowhere near the corner, draw a reference line parallel to the door near the corner.

Unfold the top of the reserved paper and hang it on the wall. Overlap about 2 inches in the ceiling and also 1/8 inch at the corner. Lightly press it in position.

Unfold the bottom of the book and let it hang. Check the dimension between the newspaper and the door casing or reference line. Fix the paper to help keep it parallel to the door but nevertheless overlapping at least ⅛ inch at the corner.

Tuck and Reduce the Paper

(Do not press so hard that you push glue.)

Trim the excess paper in the ceilingPush a 6-inch taping knife into the joint between the ceiling and wall. With a razor, cut over the knife to cut the excess. Work slowly. Alternate between moving and cutting the knife. Do not slide the knife and razor together. Continue papering to a point above the door.

Continue Papering

On the adjacent wall, draw a plumb line (if there is no door or window).

Hang a strip at the corner. Overlap the present bit on the adjoining wall by 1/8 inch. Quantify to the plumb line and correct the paper to keep the distance equal. Smooth the newspaper. Lean in the ceiling and trim the corner.

Hang the next strip of paper. Unfold the surface of the novel and place it at the wall. Match the pattern as tightly as you can, leaving just a hair’s width between sheets.

Tip: Push air bubbles out by sweeping the paper simpler from the center out to the edges. Wipe off paste on the surface with a sponge.

Close to the Seams

Gently press the top of the paper to the wall. Then gently roll the seam with a seam roller to flatten down the edges. Now use the tips of your fingers to push the seam shut.

Unfold the bottom of the sheet and finish fitting and shutting the seam. Then tightly roll down the whole seam, working a full 3 inches from the edge. This shields the seam, keeping it from opening as you smooth the newspaper.

Smooth the whole sheet. Continue papering the space, overlapping and trimming corners as shown in Step 5.

Tip: If the reserved end of the strip begins to dry out before you hang it, then wipe the wall with a damp sponge. This will remoisten the paste when you hang the paper.

Cut in Around Moldings

At doors and windows, allow the paper overlap the molding by at least an inch.

Using the razor, make a relief cut from the newspaper. Carefully run the razor out of the molding corner out to the edge of this paper. Use the molding for a guide.

Press the cut edge tight in the joint between the molding and the wall.

Smooth down the whole sheet.

Hide little cutting errors on darker papers by bleach the wall or the white border of the paper using a mark that matches the newspaper. Some pros even colour all of the paper’s edges so seams are not as evident should the newspaper shrink as it dries.

Cover Alter

Paper the cover plates of electrical fixtures to make them disappear. Cut a piece of wallpaper bigger than the plate. Cut out of the part of the pattern that matches the paper on the wall around the switch.

Hold them both on the wall and then adjust the paper to match the pattern on the wall.

Hold the paper and turn the plate . Cut off the corners 1/8 inch away from the plate. Wrap the paper above the plate and tape it on.

Cut out the switch or receptacle holes with a razor. Make Xs in the screw holes. Screw the plates back to the wall.