How To Apply Wallpaper Paste

How To Apply Wallpaper Paste

How To Apply Wallpaper Paste

Introduction to Wallpaper Paste: What It Is and Its Importance

Wallpaper paste is the adhesive used to secure wallpaper onto walls. It's a vital component of any wallpaper project, contributing significantly to the wallpaper's longevity and aesthetics. In this section, we'll delve deeper into what exactly wallpaper paste is, its components, and the pivotal role it plays.

Underlying Components of Wallpaper Paste

Wallpaper paste is primarily composed of a combination of starch or cellulose, clay, and sometimes fungicide. This mixture helps the wallpaper stick to the wall while allowing for adjustments during application. The paste is usually available in powder form that must be mixed with water before use, though some prefer premixed pastes for convenience.

Significance of Wallpaper Paste

Wallpaper paste plays an indispensable role in home decorating. It provides the wallpaper with the grip it needs to stick to different wall surfaces. Its' adhesive ability allows the wallpaper to stay attached for years without peeling or loosening, ensuring that your efforts pay off in the long run.

Making Adjustments Easy

One unique characteristic of wallpaper paste is its ability to maintain a 'slippery' state for a short period after being applied to the wallpaper. This feature allows decorators to adjust the wallpaper positioning to ensure straight lines and a perfect pattern match. Once the paste dries, the wallpaper is unmovable, ensuring durability.

Fighting Fungus

Wallpaper paste often contains a fungicide, helpful in damp environments where mould can thrive. By discouraging fungi growth, wallpaper adhesive adds longevity to the wallpaper and maintains a healthier living space.

Types of Wallpaper Paste

There are various types of wallpaper paste available on the market, each catering to different needs. Some are specifically designed for heavy wallpapers, while others are better for lightweight or delicate papers. Understanding the specifications and right usage of each type is vital for the successful adhesion of the wallpaper.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, wallpaper paste is the secret ingredient that brings your wallpaper project to life. It serves not only as an adhesive but also helps in adjusting the wallpaper, fighting fungus growth and enhancing the wallpaper's durability. Choosing the right type of paste for your specific wallpaper type is also crucial to achieving the best results. Consequently, learning about wallpaper paste is a key step in mastering the art of wallpapering.

Understanding Different Types of Wallpaper Paste

The right selection of wallpaper paste can make a significant difference in the success of your wallpapering project. The type of paste you choose depends on various factors such as the type of wallpaper, its weight, and the surface where it will be applied. Wallpaper paste is not a one-size-fits-all, and thus you must choose the correct one based on your specific needs. Let's understand the distinct types of wallpaper paste.

Standard Wallpaper Adhesive

Standard wallpaper adhesive is the most commonly used paste in most wallpapering projects. It works well with most types of wallpaper including standard, heavy and embossed wallpapers. It usually comes in powdered form that needs to be mixed with water before use.

Vinyl Adhesive

This type of paste is specifically designed to hold up heavy, vinyl wallpapers. Vinyl adhesive can handle the additional weight of these wallpapers and ensure a strong, durable bond. It is also moisture-resistant, ideal for use in rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Cold Water Paste

Cold water paste, as the name implies, can be mixed with cold water, unlike many other pastes that require warm water. It is a quick solution for last-minute wallpaper tasks, when haste is of the essence and there is no time to wait for warm water to cool down.

Ready Mixed Paste

Ready mixed paste, often more expensive than standard adhesive, saves time as it's already combined with water, and can be applied directly. However, you often pay a premium for the convenience.

Fungicidal Adhesive

Fungicidal adhesive includes a fungicide that helps prevent mold and fungus growth. This type of paste is perfect for rooms with high humidity levels such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Border and Repair Adhesive

This paste is specifically formulated for sticking down loose edges and corners of wallpaper, and for applying borders. It's a great handy adhesive to keep for your minor wallpaper repair needs.

Choosing the Right Paste

Take into account the type of wallpaper you are using as well as the room conditions before selecting a paste. Consulting with a wallpaper professional can be helpful if you're unsure which paste will work best for your specific project.

Now that you're informed about the different types of wallpaper paste, you'll be more equipped to choose the right one for your needs.

Necessary Tools and Materials for Applying Wallpaper Paste

Applying wallpaper paste to hang your new wallcovering requires some basic tools and materials. This is a straightforward process, but it's crucial to have everything you need on hand to ensure a smooth application and professional results. Here is a list of what you need:

Wallpaper Paste

The first and the most important ingredient for this DIY project is the wallpaper paste itself. There are various types of wallpaper pastes available in the market and the choice depends on the type of wallpaper you are planning to install. For instance, some wallpapers, due to their weight or material, require a specific type of paste.

Measuring Cup and Mixing Bucket

Measuring the correct proportions of water and wallpaper paste is critical for a proper consistency. For this, you would need a measuring cup and a good-sized plastic bucket for mixing the paste. Always remember to clean your tools thoroughly after use to avoid much hassle in your future projects.

Pasting Brush or Roller

A pasting brush or a roller is used to apply the paste on the wallpaper. While you can use any good quality paintbrush for this purpose, a specialized pasting brush or a heavy-duty roller can make the process easier and more efficient.

Wallpaper Table

A wallpaper table, while not entirely necessary, is a helpful tool that provides a flat, clean surface to apply the paste. It makes the process less messy and more accurate.

Utility Knife

A utility knife is used for trimming and cutting the wallpaper once it has been pasted and applied to the wall. A sharp knife ensures clean and accurate cuts, saving a lot of time and effort in the application process.

Sponge and Clean Water

After the wallpaper is hung, it's necessary to clean off any excess paste that may have gotten onto the front of the wallpaper. A sponge and clean water are necessary for this clean-up process.

Seam Roller

Finally, a seam roller is useful for flattening the seams between strips of wallpaper. Rolling the seams helps establish a better bond with the wall and ensures a smooth finish.

Equipped with these tools and materials, you’re well prepared to start the wallpaper pasting process. With attention to detail and patience, you'll have an end result to be proud of.

Prepping the Wall: A Crucial Step for Wallpaper Pasting

Wallpaper paste adheres best to smooth, clean surfaces. Therefore, it is important to prepare the wall properly before applying the wallpaper paste. Here are the steps to do that:

Determine the Wall Surface

Identify the material of your wall. Plastered walls and drywall each have their own preparation methods. For plaster, the wall should be sealed to ensure the paste doesn't soak in too much. Drywall needs to be prepared with a sizing to make the paste adhere better and ease future wallpaper removal.

Inspect and Clean the Wall

Thoroughly inspect your walls for any imperfections. Fill in holes and cracks with a suitable filler, allowing it to dry and then sanding smooth. Create a clean canvas by removing any dust or cobwebs. Wash your wall with a mild detergent to remove oils and grease that could prevent the wallpaper paste from sticking.

Dry the Wall

Let the wall dry completely before applying any paste. Any moisture can cause wallpaper paste to lose its stickiness, which may lead to the wallpaper not sticking properly.

Prime the Wall

Apply a suitable primer to your wall. This seals the wall and prevents paste from soaking in, which allows the wallpaper to stick better and last longer. It also eases removal of the wallpaper in the future.

Mark Vertical Guide Lines

Last but not least, before pasting, it's a good idea to mark vertical guide lines on your wall. Use a plumb line or a level to ensure your wallpaper will hang straight. This provides a guideline to follow when applying your strips of wallpaper.

Following these steps will leave your wall ready for wallpaper paste application, ensuring a long-lasting and professional looking finish on your wallpapering project.

The Proper Way to Mix Wallpaper Paste

Perfectly applying wallpaper to your walls is dependent not only on the wallpaper itself but also on the paste used to adhere it. The wallpaper paste's consistency can greatly impact how effectively the wallpaper sticks on the walls. Hence, mixing the wallpaper paste correctly is extremely crucial. Let's dive into the steps involved.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper Paste

First, select a wallpaper paste that's appropriate for your wallpaper type. There are ready-mixed pastes available in the market, but if you are going for a traditional powdered flake adhesive, ensure you select the one that suits your wallpaper material. For heavy or textured wallpapers, go for a paste designed especially for this purpose, as it can hold the weight and handle the texture the best.

Gathering Your Supplies

Gather a bucket, a mixing stick, and cold water. You'll need these to create your paste. Remember that the size of the bucket should be enough to hold the paste required for the entire wallpapering job.

Creating Your Mixture

Next, pour the recommended amount of cold water into the bucket. Then, slowly start to sprinkle the wallpaper paste into the water while constantly stirring. It’s important to add the paste to the water instead of vice versa to avoid creating lumps. Gradually adding the wallpaper paste and stirring prevents the formation of clumps, which can hinder a smooth application. You will need to stir until the mixture acquires a thick, creamy consistency.

Waiting and Stirring

After you’ve initially stirred the mixture, it's crucial to let it sit for a specified period, typically around 3 to 5 minutes. This allows the paste to fully absorb the water, thickening into a gelatinous consistency. After this waiting period, give the paste another good stir to ensure an even consistency.

Checking the Consistency

Consistency is key when it comes to wallpaper paste. It should be thick enough to adhere to the wallpaper and wall but thin enough to spread easily. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a consistency akin to thick custard. If the mixture is too thick, add a small amount of water and stir. If it's too runny, add more paste flakes and stir until the desired consistency is achieved.

Usage and Storage

Use the paste immediately after mixing for the best results. If you have some paste left over, cover the bucket with a lid to prevent it from drying out. Remember to stir the paste well before using it again.

Ensuring Longevity

To ensure the longevity of your newly wallpapered walls, double-check the consistency of your paste, apply it evenly, and make sure the wallpaper is smoothed out properly. These steps will help your wallpaper look professional and last for a longer time.

How to Apply Wallpaper Paste: A Step-by-Step Guide

Applying wallpaper paste is an essential step in the process of applying your wallpaper smoothly and effectively. Moreover, implementing this process correctly will improve the longevity of your wallpaper. Here's a simple guide to help you through the process.

What You Will Need

To start, gather all the necessary tools for the project:

  • Paste - Ready-mixed is easier for beginners, but paste that you mix yourself can be more cost-effective for larger jobs.
  • Paste Brush or Roller - Depending on the size of your wallpaper, choose a wider brush or roller for larger areas, and a narrower one for edges and corners.
  • Bucket - This will be used for mixing the paste if you're not using ready-mixed paste.
  • Tray - For holding the paste that you are currently using.
  • Water - This is needed to mix the paste or clean brushes.


Before you begin applying paste, ensure that your wallpaper is cut to the correct size, matching the height of your wall, add an extra couple inches for trimming. If you're using paste that needs to be mixed, follow the instructions on the packaging to prepare your paste.

Applying the Paste

Once you have your paste prepared and your wallpaper cut to size, you're ready to start applying the paste.

  1. Dip your brush or roller into the paste.
  2. Start brushing or rolling the paste onto a section of the wallpaper, ensuring an even application. Be mindful to cover all edges and corners.
  3. Once you have a full section coated in a thin layer of paste, fold the wallpaper onto itself, paste side in. This is known as "booking" and it helps the paste to activate. Leave it booked for the amount of time recommended on the paste packaging.
  4. Unfold the booked wallpaper and apply it to the wall, using a smoothing tool to eliminate any bubbles and creases.

Tips and Suggestions

Always clean your tools after finishing your work to extend their lifetime. Pay special attention to corners and edges while applying paste, as these areas often demand more attention. And most importantly, have patience. Wallpapering is a task that can't be rushed.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

There are a few common mistakes that people make when applying wallpaper paste. Here are some you should be aware of:

  • Not booking your wallpaper. This can lead to paste that isn't fully activated, resulting in a weaker bond to the wall.
  • Applying too much paste. More isn't always better. Applying too much paste can lead to seeping, staining, and curling edges.
  • Not cleaning excess paste off your wallpaper surface immediately. This can cause staining, especially on lighter colored wallpapers.


If you find problems such as loose edges or bubbles in your wallpaper after applying, these can usually be fixed with a little extra paste and a smoothing tool. For harder-to-fix problems or if your wallpaper won't adhere to the wall, it might be an issue with the type of wall or paste - check with a wallpaper professional in such cases.

Troubleshooting: Dealing with Wallpaper Pasting Mishaps

Despite taking precautions, anyone can encounter mistakes while applying wallpaper paste. However, knowing how to troubleshoot these issues can make the process smoother and ensure a more successful outcome.

Incorrect Paste Consistency

One common mishap is achieving incorrect paste consistency. If the paste is too thick, it may not spread easily and can cause air bubbles or even rip the wallpaper. Conversely, if the paste is too thin, it might not hold the wallpaper properly and could result in peeling or sagging.

Overlap the ratios of water to paste as described on the product package and stir it well. If it's too thick, add a little more water. If it's too thin, add more paste. Strive for a consistency similar to that of a thick soup or whipped cream.

Uneven Application of Paste

Another typical mistake is applying the paste unevenly. This can cause parts of the wallpaper to stick better than others, leading to an uneven finish and potential peeling.

To prevent this, always start applying paste from the center of the wallpaper strip and work your way out towards the edges. Make sure to cover every inch. Using a pasting brush can make this easier.

Wallpaper Bubbles

Wallpaper bubbles are another common issue. These can be caused by a number of factors, such as applying paste unevenly, not smoothing the wallpaper properly, or allowing too much time to pass before hanging the wallpaper.

One can often fix this by using a wallpaper smoother or a credit card to press the bubble towards the nearest edge to release the trapped air. If the bubble doesn't disappear, one can puncture it with a pin at one end, press the air out towards the hole, and then apply more paste if necessary before smoothing it down again.

Wallpaper Peeling Off

If wallpaper peels off, it's often due to inadequate preparation of the wall, the paste mix being too thin, or the wallpaper was hung before the paste had an ample time to get tacky.

Paste can be re-applied to the peeling section and smoothed back into place. However, if the peeling continues, you may need to carefully remove the entire piece and start again.

Tips for Dealing with Other Common Issues

  • If the wallpaper tears while hanging, a patch can be made from leftover paper. Try to match the pattern for the best results.

  • If paste gets on the front of the wallpaper, it should be wiped off immediately with a clean, damp cloth to prevent staining.

Remember that practice makes perfect. Becoming proficient at wallpaper pasting may take time and patience, but by avoiding these common mistakes, you'll soon be achieving professional-looking results.

Maintenance Tips: Ensuring Long-Lasting Results with Wallpaper Paste

Application of wallpaper is one thing, ensuring that the results last long is another. Below, we discuss tips on how to maintain your wallpaper and the paste for long-lasting effects.

Taking Care of Faded Wallpaper

Wallpapers tend to fade over time, especially if exposed to direct sunlight. To prevent this from happening, ensure your curtains or blinds are closed during peak sun hours. You may also consider using a UV resistant paste that can significantly reduce the rate of fading.

Avoiding Damage from Moisture

Condensation and humidity can wreak havoc on your wallpaper and its paste. Applying a water-resistant adhesive can prevent too much moisture from getting into the wallpaper, helping to prolong its lifespan. Always ensure there's enough ventilation, especially in moisture-rich rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom.

Cleanliness and Gentle Care

Always keeping your wallpaper clean will extend its life. However, be cautious when cleaning; too much water can damage the adhesive, while scrubbing too hard can tear the paper or fade the design. Use a mild soap and a sponge or soft cloth to clean your wallpaper gently.

Dealing with Peeling Corners or Edges

After some time, your wallpaper might start peeling off at the edges or corners. You can use a small paintbrush to apply a thin layer of paste under the loose edges then press it back into place. Ensure you take care not to use too much paste as it may leave a noticeable residue.

On Wallpaper Repairs

Accidents can occur; things can get knocked into your wallpaper causing rips or punctures. To fix this, simply realign the torn pieces and apply a thin layer of paste at the back, then press it into place. For significant damages, you might need to replace the entire wallpaper panel.

Proper use of and care for wallpaper paste is key to ensuring your wallpaper's longevity. By following these maintenance tips, you stand a good chance of enjoying your beautiful walls for years to come.