How To Apply Wallpaper Paste To Wall

How To Apply Wallpaper Paste To Wall

How To Apply Wallpaper Paste To Wall

Introduction to Wallpaper Application

Redecorating your home isn’t complete without addressing your walls, and applying new wallpaper is an innovative and practical way to add life to your space. In this section, we'll understand the basic principles of wallpaper application, focusing on one vital element: the wallpaper paste.

Understanding Wallpaper Application

Applying wallpaper may seem intimidating to many homeowners due to the precision it demands. However, with the right knowledge and tools, it can also become an easy and enjoyable DIY project. The key to a successful application is understanding the process and preparing ahead. It begins with calculating the amount of wallpaper needed, properly preparing your wall, and deciding the appropriate paste type.

The Importance of Wallpaper Paste

Wallpaper paste is the adhesive that bonds the wallpaper to your wall. A good paste not only ensures a solid adherence but also impacts the longevity and finish of your wallpaper application. Selecting the right adhesive and applying it correctly is a crucial step that can’t be overlooked in the process.

Types of Wallpaper Paste

There are three major types of wallpaper paste: readymade, flake, and wheat paste. Each has its pros and cons, and are designed for different types of wallpaper. Your wallpaper type, weight, and the type of wall can determine which one is most suitable.

Preparing the Paste

Understanding how to properly mix and prepare your chosen wallpaper paste is the next stage. Wallpaper paste consistency is crucial - if too thick, it might not spread easily, and if too thin, it might not adhere adequately. Getting the paste consistency right is crucial for a smoother application process and a better finish.

Application of Wallpaper Paste

When it comes to applying the wallpaper paste, different techniques can be used. The ‘paste-the-wall’ method is popular for modern non-woven wallpapers, where the paste is applied directly to the wall instead of the paper. However, for more traditional wallpapers, you might need to paste the wallpaper instead.

Post-Application Tips

Once the wallpaper and paste have been applied, some touch-ups may be necessary for a perfect finish. After the wallpaper dries, checking for bubble formation, uneven patches, or the wallpaper peeling can provide an idea of the quality of the paste job. If such issues occur, they can usually be fixed with minor adjustments.


Applying wallpaper is a practical and affordable way to renovate your home. With a basic understanding of the paste's role, types available, preparation, and application process, you can enjoy a successful wallpaper project. The efforts made in this simple process can have long-lasting and significant impacts on the overall aesthetics of your home.

Necessary Tools and Materials for Wallpaper Pasting

Applying wallpaper to your wall requires some essential tools and materials to ensure a smooth and efficient process. This section highlights the necessary items you'll need for successful wallpaper pasting.

Wallpaper Paste

The critical element in wallpapering is the paste. The paste sticks the wallpaper to the wall. Make sure to select high-quality wallpaper paste - it should be strong enough to hold the wallpaper against the wall for a long time without peeling.


An obvious requirement, but worth mentioning, is the wallpaper itself. The wallpaper should be chosen taking into account both design and quality, to ensure it will look appealing and last for a long time on your wall. Also, ensure that you measure your space accurately to buy the right amount of wallpaper.

Brushes and Rollers

You'll need a wallpaper brush and roller for applying the paste on the wall and on the wallpaper. Brushes are used to spread the paste evenly across the surface, whilst rollers help to make sure there are no bubbles or uneven spots on the wall.

Additionally, a smaller brush (known as a cutting-in brush) can be helpful for getting into corners or other hard-to-reach places.

Knife and Scissors

A sharp utility knife and a pair of scissors are required for cutting and trimming the wallpaper. Cut your wallpaper to size, then use the knife to trim off any excess after applying it to the wall.

Wallpaper Smoother

A wallpaper smoother, or a wallpaper squeegee, is a tool used to smooth out wallpaper, removing any wrinkles or bubbles after application. It helps create a seamless and professional look.

Level and Measuring Tape

A level and measuring tape are essential for ensuring your wallpaper is placed accurately and evenly. This is particularly important for patterned wallpaper, where it can be noticeable if the design is not lined up correctly.

Cleaning Supplies

Lastly, you should have some cleaning supplies at hand. These include a sponge and bucket of water for cleaning any paste that gets onto the front of the wallpaper or any other spills and drips.

Being prepared with the above mentioned tools and materials will make your wallpaper pasting experience easier and more efficient, yielding the best results for your redecorated space.

Preparing Your Wall for Wallpaper Application

When it comes to applying wallpaper, preparation is key. Having a clean, smooth surface to work on will make the process easier and result in a more professional-looking finish. Here are some tips on how to properly prepare your wall for wallpaper application.

Inspecting the Wall

Before you start, take a close look at the wall. Note any areas of damage, such as scratches, dents, or holes, as well as any loose plaster or paint. These imperfections can interfere with your wallpaper's ability to adhere to the surface, leading to bubbling or peeling down the line.

Cleaning the Wall

Next, clean the wall thoroughly. Start by dusting with a clean, dry cloth to remove any dust or cobwebs. Then, use a mild detergent and warm water to wash the wall, removing any leftover residue or grease. Make sure to rinse the wall well and allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step. This step is important to ensure the wallpaper paste can evenly adhere to the wall.

Repairing the Wall

If your wall inspection revealed any damage, now is the time to repair those defects. Fill in holes or scratches with a suitable filler, sanding the surface smooth once it has dried. If the wall has peeling paint or loose plaster, strip these areas back to a stable surface. Sealing the wall with a primer-sealer can also help create a uniform surface for the wallpaper to stick to.

Wall Sizing

Once your wall is clean, smooth, and dry, it's time to apply the size - a solution that prepares the wall for wallpaper, helping it adhere better and making it easier to adjust the paper during application. Apply it to the wall and ensure it completely dries before applying the wallpaper.

Measuring & Marking the Wall

The last step before applying the wallpaper is to measure and mark the wall. Use a tape measure and a pencil to measure out the size of your wallpaper, marking small, lightly-drawn lines to guide you as you apply. This will help ensure your paper goes on straight and covers the entire wall.

The Importance of Proper Wall Preparation

Though it can be tempting to skip the prep work and get straight to the fun part of wallpapering, taking the time to properly prepare your wall will pay off in the long run. It will help ensure a smoother, more professional finish, improving the longevity of your wallpaper and saving you time and money on potential repairs in the future.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper Paste

To achieve the best results when applying wallpaper, it's crucial to choose the right wallpaper paste. This adhesive determines how well the wallpaper adheres to the wall, the ease of application, and the longevity of the wallpaper. Here we'll explore the various types of wallpaper paste available and guide you on how to select the most suitable one for your project.

Different Types of Wallpaper Paste

Usually, there are three main types of wallpaper paste that you might come across in any home improvement store. These include wheat paste, cellulose paste, and vinyl-based adhesive.

1. Wheat Paste

Wheat paste is the traditional choice for most wallpaper job projects. It's known for its strength and tough bonding with the wall's surface. However, it's most suitable for paper-backed wallpapers.

2. Cellulose Paste

Cellulose paste, on the other hand, is preferred for its quick drying time. It's best for thin, delicate types of wallpaper such as silk or linen.

3. Vinyl-Based Adhesive

The third type is vinyl-based adhesive which is durable, waterproof and great for heavy-duty types of wallpaper such as vinyl or foil.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Wallpaper Paste

Several factors can guide you in identifying the most suitable wallpaper paste for your project. All wallpaper types aren't the same; they all have different absorption rates and thicknesses, and they respond differently to the presence of paste applied. Understanding these factors will help you make an excellent choice again.

Wallpaper Material

The type of wallpaper you're using significantly dictates the type of paste you should purchase. Vinyl and foil wallpapers require a sturdy, waterproof adhesive whereas silk and linen wallpapers require a gentle adhesive like cellulose paste.

The Condition of Your Wall

The condition of your wall also plays a significant role. For example, if your wall has a lot of moisture, you might need to use a more robust, waterproof adhesive. Conversely, if your wall is dry, a water-based adhesive might be the most suitable choice.

Drying Time

Another factor that will influence your choice is drying time. If you're working on a large project, or you need to finish quickly, choose a paste with a quick drying time.

Choosing the right wallpaper paste will improve the outcomes of your wallpaper project. Ensure to consider the factors mentioned above before making a decision. The right paste will make the process easier, and the end result more impressive.

Step-by-Step Process of Applying Wallpaper Paste

Applying wallpaper paste to a wall correctly determines how well the wallpaper will stick. It's the critical step in wallpapering. Here are the steps to do it correctly:

1. Gather Your Materials

Ensure that you have all the necessary materials needed for the job — the wallpaper paste, applicator brush, water, bucket and a utility knife. Having everything within reach makes the process smoother.

2. Preparing the Paste

You'll need to prepare the paste unless you're using ready-mixed wallpaper paste. Mix the paste according to the instructions on the packaging—usually, it's a ratio of paste-to-water. Make sure to mix thoroughly until it creates a consistent texture without any lumps.

3. Applying the Paste

Make use of the applicator brush to apply the paste on the wall. Start from the top and work your way down. Don't be afraid to apply liberally as the wallpaper needs a good amount to stick to the wall effectively. Moreover, ensure you spread the paste evenly.


It's essential to apply paste to the wall and not on the wallpaper, unless the wallpaper instructions specify otherwise.

4. Let it Cure

After covering the whole wall with paste, let it cure for about 10-15 minutes. This allows the paste to achieve maximum stickiness, ensuring your wallpaper will adhere securely.

5. Applying the Wallpaper

Once the paste is ready, you can now unroll the wallpaper, align and stick it to the wall. Smooth out any bubbles with a wallpaper smoothing tool or a dry sponge.

6. Trimming Excess Wallpaper

Use the utility knife to trim off excess wallpaper around the ceiling, baseboard, and corners. Be careful to make clean cuts to maintain a professional look.

7. Cleaning up

Don't forget to clean up your workspace as soon as you're done hanging the wallpaper. Wash off any adhesive residue from your tools and dispose of your rubbish appropriately.

Follow these steps to ensure your wallpaper adheres correctly and lasts longer. Remember, patience and careful preparation are key to successful wallpapering.

Tips on Applying Wallpaper Paste Evenly

Applying wallpaper paste evenly is key to achieving a professional-looking finish when hanging wallpaper. Incorrect application may lead to air bubbles, peeling edges and uneven surfaces. Here are some expert tips to ensure a smooth application:

Prepare the Surface

Before you even begin to apply wallpaper paste, it's essential to prime the walls. Free the surface from dust, grease, and old wallpaper. Fill any holes or cracks to facilitate the paste's even distribution.

Use the Correct Tools

Ensure you have a wallpaper brush or roller suitable for the job. Brushes are great for precision, while a roller can cover large surfaces more quickly. A trailing edge or spreader can aid in achieving a uniform paste layer.

Mix the Paste Correctly

Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the paste packet thoroughly. The paste should be of the consistency of custard. If it's too thin, it will fail to adhere properly. Conversely, if it's too thick, it will be challenging to spread evenly. Allow it to settle for the recommended time before using.

Apply Paste Generously

Don't skimp on the paste. Apply enough to thoroughly cover the wall or wallpaper, depending on whether you're 'pasting the wall' or 'pasting the paper'. Remember, it's better to apply a little extra than not enough.

Work in Sections

To maintain consistency, it's helpful to divide the wall into sections and work on them one at a time. This will help to manage the drying times and ensure an even distribution of paste.

Smooth Out the Paste

After application, smooth over the pasted surface before hanging the wallpaper. This will eliminate any air bubbles and ensure that the paste is distributed evenly. Use a wallpaper brush or smoothing tool for this purpose.

Let it Dry

Finally, let the wallpaper sit for at least 24 hours to ensure the paste dries thoroughly. This will help prevent peeling and curling.

By following these tips, you'll be able to apply wallpaper paste evenly, creating a professional and high-quality finish.

Troubleshooting Common Problems with Wallpaper Paste

Now that we have covered the basics of applying the wallpaper paste to the wall, it's time to delve into some common problems that many people encounter. Here are a few troubleshooting steps to guide you through overcoming these challenges.

1. The Wallpaper Paste is Too Thin

Should your wallpaper paste appear too thin or runny, chances are that you've added too much water during the mixing process. This might cause the wallpaper to not adhere properly to the wall. In such a situation, you can add more paste concentrate to the mixture, stirring slowly until the paste regains its viscosity.

2. The Wallpaper Paste is Too Thick

Conversely, if your paste seems too thick and hard to spread, it means there's not enough water in the mix. To fix this problem, gradually add more water while stirring continuously. Be careful not to add too much water as this will render the paste ineffective.

3. Wallpaper Not Sticking to the Wall

If your wallpaper fails to stick to the wall despite applying a sufficient layer of paste, it might be due to the wall’s surface. Dirty, greasy or poorly prepared walls can often resist wallpaper adhesive. The solution to this problem is thorough wall preparation; ensure that your wall is clean, dry, and primed before beginning the wallpapering process.

4. Bubbles Beneath Wallpaper

Bubbles and air pockets appearing under your wallpaper is another common problem. This usually results from not smoothing out the wallpaper completely after applying it to the wall with paste. To avoid this, use a wallpaper smoother or a dry sponge to press out any bubbles, moving from the center outwards.

5. Wallpaper Paste Dries Out Quickly

If the paste seems to be drying too quickly, you might be spreading it on the wallpaper and letting it sit for too long before applying it to the wall. Remember, once the paste is applied, you should install the wallpaper on the wall as soon as possible to prevent the paste from drying out.

6. Mold Growth on Wallpaper

Mold growth on the wallpaper is usually a sign of excessive moisture and inadequate ventilation. To prevent this, ensure that your room is well ventilated before and after the wallpaper application, and consider using a paste that contains a mold inhibitor for damp areas.

Overcoming these common problems with wallpaper paste requires patience and a bit of practice. With these troubleshooting solutions, you'll soon become a master in the art of wallpapering, capable of dealing with any challenge that comes your way.

Maintaining and Cleaning Wallpaper after Application

Now that the wallpaper is applied perfectly, it's important to pay attention to the maintenance and cleaning aspects to ensure your wallpaper looks good for a long time.

Regular Maintenance

Regular care can significantly extend the lifespan of wallpaper. Gently dust the surface every couple of weeks using a feather duster or wipe the wallpaper with a soft cloth. Remember, extreme conditions like heat, moisture, and high humidity can damage the wallpaper. Therefore, it's essential to immediately fix any damp spots or peeling edges once noticed.

Cleaning Different Types of Wallpaper

The cleaning method depends on the type of wallpaper you have installed:

Vinyl Wallpaper

Vinyl wallpaper is water-resistant, so you can use a damp cloth or sponge to clean its surface. However, avoid soaking it to avoid water seeping under the edges.

Non-Vinyl Wallpaper

This type of wallpaper is more delicate and should be dry cleaned. Use a soft-bristle brush or wallpaper dough, a special cleaning product available at many home supply stores. Avoid using any cleaning agents as this may stain or discolour the paper.

Removing Stains from Wallpaper

For stubborn stains, try dabbing gently with a clean sponge soaked in a solution made of water and dishwashing soap. Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry promptly. For tougher stains like ink or markers, you might need to use a specialized cleaning agent designed specifically for wallpapers.

Repairing Damages

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, damages do occur. You might notice peeling edges, holes, or tears. In such cases, first try to repair the damage. You can use wallpaper adhesive to fix minor peeling or curling edges. For larger damages, replacing the damaged strip with a matching one might be the best option.

Remember, gentle and regular maintenance is the key to preserving the appearance and longevity of your wallpaper.