How to Hang Wallpaper - Best Practices for Applying Wallpaper

How to Hang and Apply Wallpaper

If you are looking to wallpaper a room in your house there are some tips and helpful knowledge we can provide you to minimize time spent on mistakes and maximize time spent on efficiency. This guide will teach you how to hang wallpaper effectively. First off, you need to figure out what kind of wallpaper you are using, whether it is prepasted or you need to apply the paste to it, how long it needs to sit in water for. These are questions you need to answer before beginning your project. The first and most important aspect is preparing your wall.

Preparing your Wall

While many people use new wallpaper to cover up a hole or nick in the wall, this is something you DO NOT want to do as it leaves the paper less area to cling to. Be sure to plaster any holes in the wall before hanging wallpaper. This will allow your wallpaper to stick easier as there is much more surface for your paper to hang to. In addition to covering up any and all nicks and holes in the wall, be sure to sand to the wall to make sure no small protrusions stick through and rip your paper. Lastly, make sure your wall is dry before you begin. Any wet spots could prove problematic when trying to get the wallpaper to stick efficiently. While preparation seems like a lot of unnecessary work, it could save you from repapering an entire wall farther into the future. See our complete list of wallpaper by collection to help you choose what wallpaper you should use!

Measuring the Wall and Paper

Measure out the length of the wall and leave 2-3 inches on the top and the bottom of the wallpaper to allow yourself some breathing room to trim the wallpaper down. It is much easier to overestimate the amount you'll need and then trim the paper down, then trying to get it exactly right only to find out you're a quarter inch short on the bottom.

Once you've measured the wall and your paper and cut it out to the right size, do a quick test of the paper on the wall WITHOUT any paste or water to make sure it measures out accurately. Be sure to account for the 2-3 inch overhang on the top and bottom of your wall.

Applying Adhesive

Now that you have your wall prepared, your paper measured and cut, it's time to apply the adhesive. This is where you need to read about whatever wallpaper you have to determine if you are using an adhesive that you mixed or if the wallpaper has come prepasted for you. Before you apply any adhesive to the wallpaper it is a good idea to fold the paper back over the opposite way it was originally folded. This provides you with a flatter wallpaper rather than one that is half rolled up.

If you are using prepasted wallpaper be sure to use water that is lukewarm, just a few degrees higher than room temperature. If it's too cold the adhesive won't mix properly with the water leaving you with nothing more than damp paper. On the contrary, if it's too hot it will melt all the paste off and then you will be just left with paper. Room temperature is where you want to keep the water at so that the paper catches with the wall and creates a smooth stick. You want to make sure you spread evenly across the edges, whether it is with water or paste. If you are using self-adhesive wallpaper, you won't need to worry about either paste or water, you will just need to worry about how you apply it.

Hanging the Wallpaper

When you apply the paper you want to have it start from the top, including the 2-3 inch overhang, and push outwards from the middle to the sides all the way down to the bottom. Be sure to use a slider to push out as many air bubbles as possible. As long as it is flat with the service, leftover bubbles will naturally push out over time. Use a damp sponge at the bottom, top, and side edges of a wall to make sure everything sticks properly.