How To Put Wallpaper Up

How To Put Wallpaper Up

How To Put Wallpaper Up

Introduction to Wallpaper Installation

Installing wallpaper can dramatically change the look and feel of any room. With a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures available on the market, it's easy to make your space uniquely yours. Before starting this project, there are several key points to understand to ensure a successful, pleasing result.

Understanding Wallpapers

The first step in the process is to understand the diversity of wallpaper types available. They come in various materials including vinyl, fabric, grasscloth and foil, each having its own unique attributes. You should select a type based on factors such as durability, ease of application, room type, and personal style preference.

Vinyl Wallpaper

Vinyl is one of the most popular choices due to its durability and ease of cleaning. It's an ideal choice for high traffic areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, or children's rooms.

Fabric Wallpaper

Fabric wallpaper adds a touch of elegance and softness to a room. Available with various prints, fabric wallpaper may however be more sensitive to wear and tear.

Grasscloth and Foil Wallpaper

Grasscloth and foil wallpapers offer unique textural details that other types don't. Grasscloth is a natural element which brings warmth to a room, while foil is a contemporary option that reflects light in a distinctive way.

How Wallpapers Are Sold

Wallpapers are typically sold in rolls. The amount you need depends on the area you want to cover as well as the pattern repeat of the wallpaper design. Always buy more than you think you would need to account for errors and pattern mismatches.

Prepping Your Walls

Preparing the wall is critical to achieving good wallpaper installation. The wall should be clean, even and primed properly. For best results, it may be necessary to remove any old wallpaper or paint.

Choosing the Right Adhesive

Different types of wallpaper require different types of adhesive. Make sure to consult the wallpaper manufacturer’s instructions when choosing the right adhesive for your chosen wallpaper.

The Installation Process

The actual process of wallpaper installation involves careful application of the wallpaper to the wall, ensuring straight lines, smooth finish, adhesion, and proper pattern alignment. Patience and careful handling of the materials is key to a successful installation.

Tools Needed for Installation

Finally, having the right tools can make the job much easier. These include a wallpaper table, pasting brush, plumb line, smoothing brush and a trimming knife among others.

Once you have a basic understanding of the different types of wallpaper, how to prep your walls, the type of adhesive needed, and the actual process of installation, you are well on your way to transforming your space into something truly unique.

Evaluating and Preparing Your Walls

When looking to install wallpaper, the preliminary steps of evaluating and preparing your walls are crucial. This process sets the foundation for a successful wallpaper fitting process and ensures the wallpaper adheres properly, retains its texture, and stays fresh over time.

Inspection of the Wall

Start by conducting a thorough inspection of your wall. Look out for cracks, loose plaster, flaky paint, and other signs of wall damage. These need fixing before you go ahead with wallpaper installation. Substantial damage may necessitate professional intervention. Small dents, holes, or cracks can be fixed using a good quality filler.

Wash Your Walls

Next, a thorough cleaning process is critical. It is advisable to use a mixture of warm water and mild detergent to wash your walls thoroughly. This removes dirt, grease, and other impurities which can prevent the wallpaper from sticking onto the wall properly. After washing, let the walls dry completely.

Prep the Walls

After the patching and cleaning is complete, apply a sizing solution. This helps the wallpaper adhesive to adhere better to the wall. It also allows for easier adjustment of the wallpaper during the hanging process.

Priming the Wall

Following the application of sizing, priming the wall is standard practice. A shellac or oil-based primer helps to provide an additional protective layer and cater to a smoother application of the wallpaper. Make sure to let the primer dry completely before proceeding.

Sanding the Wall

The next step in the preparation phase is sanding your wall. Sanding helps to achieve a smooth surface which is the key to an excellent finish. Use medium-grit sandpaper for this task and sand in circular motions for an even finish.

Measuring Up

The final element in this phase involves measuring your wall accurately. Using a metal tape measure, note down the height and width of the wall in exact measurements. Remember to account for doors and windows.

The Importance of Evaluation and Preparation

The evaluation and preparation of your wall is crucial to achieve a long-lasting wallpaper application. By ensuring the wall is structurally sound, clean, primed, and accurately measured, you are poised for a successful wallpaper application process.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper for Your Space

With a plethora of different designs, colors, and patterns available, selecting the right wallpaper for your space can be a daunting task. However, a few key aspects can guide you through this process, ensuring that the paper you choose will harmoniously blend with your existing décor and accentuate the features of your room.

Consider the Room Size

First and foremost, consider the size of the room you're wallpapering. Light colors and subtle patterns can make a small room appear larger and more open, while darker shades and bold patterns can add depth and richness to a larger room. Don’t forget about the ceiling - wallpaper is not solely limited to the four walls, it can dramatically transform your ceiling too.

Evaluate the Room’s Function

The room's function will also greatly influence your choice of wallpaper. A calming pattern with subdued colors might be ideal for a bedroom or bathroom, whereas a lively, high-energy motif might be better suited for a living area or kitchen. Keep in mind, high-traffic areas require wallpaper that’s more durable and easy to clean.

Match Wallpaper to Your Existing Décor

Take into account the colors and styles in your current décor. Ensure the wallpaper you choose complements your furniture, curtains, and other existing design elements. You can opt for contrasting colors or styles, but make sure they balance and create harmony within the space overall.

Keep the Wallpaper Style in Mind

Just like other design elements, wallpapers also come in a variety of styles. From classic vintage to modern minimalistic, there’s a style to suit every preference. Your choice of wallpaper style should stay true to your personal aesthetic and the overall design theme of your home.

Types of Wallpaper

Wallpapers are not all created equal. They vary greatly in their material and installation method. Some popular types are vinyl, non-woven, and prepasted wallpaper. Choose the one that best fits your budget, skill level, and longevity requirements.

Test Samples at Home

Before making a final decision, it’s wise to order a sample and try it out in the chosen room. The lighting conditions in your home may drastically change how the patterns and colors of the wallpaper appear, and this can help ensure that you will still love your selection once it’s on your walls.

Seek Professional Advice

Ultimately, if you still feel unsure about your selection, you can always seek professional advice. A seasoned interior decorator or wallpaper expert can offer guidance and help you find the perfect wallpaper to transform your space into the room of your dreams.

Necessary Tools for Wallpaper Installation

Installing wallpaper is a task that requires attention to detail and the right set of tools. While it may seem straightforward, missing out on even a single tool can hamper your progress and undermine the quality of the installation. Therefore, here are the necessary tools for wallpaper installation:

Wallpaper and adhesive

The first and most vital supplies are, of course, the wallpaper itself and the adhesive. Make sure to purchase high-quality wallpaper that matches the room’s aesthetics and an adhesive that works well with your chosen wallpaper. There are different types of adhesives available in the market; ensure you choose an adhesive that aligns with your wallpaper's material type.

Scissors and a Knife

Next on the list of necessary tools are scissors and a utility knife. These tools will be used for cutting the wallpaper, both before the installation and during the trimming process. The scissors are excellent for cutting the wallpaper into strips before hanging, while the knife sharp, clean cuts after the wallpaper is installed to ensure a perfect fit around doors, windows, and plug sockets.

Brushes and seam rollers

Brushes and seam rollers are also essential for wallpaper installation. They are used for smoothing the wallpaper and ensuring that it sticks properly to the wall. Brushes help spread the adhesive evenly, while seam rollers remove the bubbles that may form when applying the wallpaper.

Tape Measure, Straight Edge, and Level

These tools are critical for correct alignment and precise cutting of your wallpaper. A tape measure will provide the correct measurements for cutting the wallpaper strips. A straight edge tool helps in making precise cuts, and a level ensures your wallpaper application is perfectly vertical.

Buckets, Sponge, and Clean Cloths

The post-installation cleanup is an essential part of the process. For this, you will need buckets for mixing adhesive and rinsing sponges, sponges for wiping off any excess adhesive from the wallpaper, and clean cloths for drying and buffing the installed wallpaper.


Last but not least, a sturdy stepladder is a must when installing wallpaper, especially for reaching the upper parts of the walls. Ensure the ladder is stable to avoid accidents and smooth installation.

Prepared with the right tools, you are now well-equipped to embark on your wallpaper installation project. Remember, the key to a successful wallpaper installation lies in careful planning, meticulous execution, and patience.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying Wallpaper

Applying wallpaper on your own can seem daunting, but don't worry. By following a few simple steps, anyone can do it. Here's a foolproof method:

Materials Needed

Before you begin, you'll want to gather the necessary materials. This includes: wallpaper, a level, a smooth roller, wallpaper paste, a utility knife, a straight edge, a tape measure, and a sponge.


First, you must prepare your walls. This means cleaning them with soap and water, removing any old wallpaper, and sanding down any rough spots. Then, measure the width of your wallpaper and add an inch. This length is what you will cut your wallpaper into. After cutting, label each strip in order to keep track of where they will be placed on the wall.

Paste Application

Next, apply the paste to the wall. Use your level to ensure a straight and even application. Once the paste is applied, allow it to sit for about 10-20 minutes. Keep in mind that each wallpaper may have a slightly different paste-setting time.

Wallpaper Application

Starting from the top, carefully apply the wallpaper to the pasted part of your wall. Smooth the wallpaper onto the wall using the roller, ensuring there are no bubbles. Begin at the centre and work your way out to the edges. Apply more paste to the wall as needed to continue applying strips. Line up the patterns as best as you can for a seamless look.

Trimming and Cleaning

Once the wallpaper is applied, use your utility knife and straight edge to trim the excess paper. Be sure to move slowly and carefully to avoid cutting into the wall or ripping the wallpaper. Finally, use a sponge to gently wipe away any excess paste.

Wait for It to Dry

Allow the wallpaper to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions. It is normal for the paper to contract slightly as it dries, pulling the seams tight. After it is dry, go over any visible seams with a seam roller to make them less visible.

Maintaining Your Wallpaper

Finally, maintain your new look by dusting regularly and spot cleaning as needed.

By following these steps, you'll have a freshly wallpapered room that you'll be proud to show off! Remember, patience and preparation are key to a smooth wallpaper application.

Tips for Handling Tricky Areas

While installing wallpaper can often be a straightforward process, there can be some areas in your room that are particularly challenging. These can include corners, windows and doors, fixtures like outlets and light switches, and areas with imperfect or textured walls. However, with the right techniques and a little patience, you can ensure a smooth and professional-looking finish for your wallpaper installation, no matter how challenging the space. Here are some tips for handling these tricky areas.


Corners can be one of the biggest challenges when hanging wallpaper. To handle corners, always measure the distance from the last full width of paper to the corner and add an inch. Cut the paper to this width. Apply the wallpaper, smoothly wrapping it around the corner. Then, use the next strip to overlap the piece in the corner, ensuring a seamless look. Trimming excess paper using a straight edge and a sharp utility knife can provide a clean finish.

Window and Door Areas

When you're wallpapering areas around windows and doors, you'll want to ensure the wallpaper is as smooth as possible. Hang the wallpaper as usual and make relief cuts in the areas where the wallpaper overlaps the window or door trim. Carefully trim off the excess paper using a sharp utility knife. Use a wallpaper smoother to make sure the paper is adhered tightly to the wall.

Fixture Areas

For outlets and light switches, always make sure the power is turned off at the breaker before you begin. Hang your wallpaper as usual, but when you reach to the fixture, make a small cut in the center of the box and make diagonal cuts to the corners. Trim away the excess, leaving just enough to tuck behind the fixture. Once the wallpaper is smooth and tightly adhered, replace the fixture.

Imperfect or Textured Walls

If you have walls with imperfections or texture, it's best to treat them before you begin the wallpaper application. Sandpaper can be used to smooth down minor rough spots, and a thin layer of joint compound can fill in small holes or cracks. Remember, a smooth, clean wall surface is key to a successful wallpaper installation.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Patience and precision are key when it comes to handling tricky areas. Be sure to take your time and not rush the process. It's also a good idea to have some extra wallpaper on hand in case mistakes happen. Always use the right tools for the job - sharp blades for trimming, and good quality wallpaper paste and brushes for application.

Fixing Common Wallpaper Mistakes

While installing wallpaper might seem simple enough, it is not uncommon to encounter a few problems along the way. Here are some common wallpaper mistakes and helpful tips on how to remedy them.

Bubbles and Wrinkles

Bubbles and wrinkles often form if your wallpaper doesn't adhere properly to the wall. To get rid of these unsightly imperfections, use a utility knife to puncture the bubble, making sure not to cut into the wall. Release the trapped air and apply wallpaper paste onto the punctured spot. Smooth the wallpaper back into position with your hands or a wallpaper smoother.

Edges Peeling Off

If the wallpaper edges begin to peel off, use a thin applicator to spread some wallpaper paste beneath the peeling section. Use a damp sponge to clean any excess paste. Always ensure that you pat the wallpaper dry.

Mismatched Patterns

If your wallpaper patterns don't line up, it means you may have hung the strips too far apart. To fix it, carefully peel back the strip and reposition it so that the patterns align, applying additional paste as needed. This problem is easier to avoid than to fix, be sure to carefully match your patterns before you start applying the wallpaper.

Stains and Discoloration

Wallpaper can easily become stained or discolored due to a variety of reasons such as humidity, physical contact or exposure to sunlight. If your wallpaper gets stained, try cleaning it with a damp cloth. However, for discoloration, you may need to replace the problematic section or even the entire strip.

Difficulty Removing Old Wallpaper

If you're having difficulties removing old wallpaper, consider using a wallpaper steamer for easier removal. Gently guide the steamer over the old wallpaper to break down the adhesive. Remove the loosened paper with a scraper, making sure not to damage the underlying wall.

While these tips will help you correct the most common wallpaper installation mistakes, the best defense is always a good offense. Therefore, proper preparation and patience before the wallpaper application can save you a lot of headaches later.

Proper Care and Maintenance for Your Wallpaper

Understanding how to undertake proper care and maintenance for your wallpaper is key to extending the life of the wallpaper, preserving its appearance and enhancing the aesthetics of your room. Whether it's about cleaning your wallpaper or dealing with wear and tear, following the right procedures can make a significant difference.

Regular Cleaning

Your wallpaper stands up to a lot of wear invariably. However, regular cleaning can keep it looking crisp and fresh. It would be best if you dusted it weekly with a static brush or dry cloth. However, for wallpapers in high-traffic areas, you may need to do a more thorough cleaning. In such cases, use a damp sponge or cloth and a mild detergent, but ensure not to soak the wallpaper. Always start from the top and work your way down to avoid streaking.

Handling Stains

Wallpapers may occasionally incur stains. When this happens, it's crucial to tackle the stain immediately. Use a clean, soft cloth and mild soap detergent. Rinse thoroughly to avoid any soapy residues. For stubborn stains, a special wallpaper cleaner may be necessary, but always test an inconspicuous area first.

Deal with Wear and Tear

Over time, your wallpaper may exhibit signs of wear and tear such as curling edges or minor tears. These can be fixed easily by applying a small amount of adhesive under the loose area and pressing it back into place. Always ensure to remove any excess adhesive with a damp sponge to maintain the wallpaper's appearance.

Preventing Damage

Lastly, while cleaning and fixing wear and tear is important, preventing damage in the first place is essential. Keep furniture slightly away from the walls to prevent abrasions. Limit exposure to sunlight as it causes wallpaper to fade. Avoid hanging wallpaper in high humidity areas like bathrooms, if not specifically designed for such environments.

Managing Wallpaper Longevity

With proper care and maintenance, your wallpaper can stay beautiful and vibrant for years. If you treat your wallpaper well, it will add character and style to your home for a long time.