How To Wallpaper Walls

How To Wallpaper Walls

How To Wallpaper Walls

Introduction to Wallpapering: An Overview

Transforming the walls of your room can drastically shift the overall aesthetic and can be accomplished through the process of wallpapering. This upgrade, although simple in theory, requires understanding various components and steps involved in order to ensure a pleasing and durable result.

The Basics of Wallpaper

The first thing to understand is that wallpapers come in a variety of designs, patterns, and materials. They can be decorative or plain, offering a multitude of aesthetic choices. The material used influences the durability and the ease of application and removal.

Types of Wallpaper

These include vinyl, flock, foil, grasscloth, and more. Vinyl is a popular choice due to its durability and ease of cleaning. Foil wallpapers add a metallic sheen, whereas flock wallpapers offer a velvet-like texture. It's important to understand the type of wallpaper that would suit your needs best.

Wallpapering Tools You'll Need

You will need certain specific tools and materials for wallpapering. This may include a seam roller, wallpaper scorer, wallpaper smoother, wallpaper adhesive, and a utility knife among others. Be sure that you have all of the necessary tools before beginning the wallpapering process.

How to Choose the Right Tools

Tools may vary based on the type of wallpaper you choose. For instance, if you're opting for pre-pasted wallpaper, you'd need a water tray to activate the glue. It's crucial to acquaint yourself with all the tools needed for your specific wallpaper choice.

Steps Involved in Wallpapering

Wallpapering involves several steps from the initial preparation of walls, measuring and cutting your wallpaper, applying the adhesive, hanging the wallpaper, to completing the finish. Each of these steps requires patience, precision, and careful execution.

Preparing Your Walls

Surface prep is critical for every wall-covering project. Clean, smooth, and primed walls help in better adherence of the wallpaper, which prolongs its life and makes replacement easier if needed.

A Word on Safety

Lastly, remember that safety should never be overlooked in any DIY project. Always use the right protective gear and accessories to prevent accidents while wallpapering.

Tools and Materials Required for Wallpapering

Wallpapering your home can upgrade its allure, offering a fresh, stylish appearance. However, to do the job correctly and efficiently, it's essential to have the right set of tools and materials.


The main material needed is the wallpaper itself. Select a design that suits your room's aesthetic and buy more than required to compensate for any mistakes. It's a good idea to purchase an extra roll or two, just in case you run out or need to replace any damaged area in the future.

Pasting Tools

You'll need a variety of pasting tools. A paste brush or roller is used to apply adhesive to the wallpaper, while a pasting table offers a large, flat surface on which to prepare the wallpaper. Buckets are necessary for mixing wallpaper paste.

Wallpaper Paste

To adhere the wallpaper to the wall, you'll need wallpaper paste. Ensure to follow the manufacturer's guidelines when mixing.

Trimming Tools

Quality wallpaper scissors are vital for trimming excess wallpaper, ensuring a clean, smooth finish. A trim guide will also be helpful in producing accurate cuts.

Wallpaper Smoother

A wallpaper smoother helps to press the wallpaper against the wall and remove any air bubbles, ensuring a flat, professional-like finish.

Preparation Tools

Maintenance tools such as sandpaper and a scraper are necessary for preparing the wall before wallpapering. It's recommended to fill any holes or cracks in the wall and sand it smooth for the best wallpaper adhesion.

Step Ladder

Depending on the height of your walls, you may need a step ladder. This will help you reach the top of the wall with ease and ensure a fully covered wall from top to bottom.

Gathering these tools and materials in advance will make your wallpapering project go smoother and faster. Remember to take your time and carefully measure everything to ensure a perfect fit and a stunning finish.

Preparing Your Walls for Wallpaper: Step-by-Step

The quality of your wallpaper installation is largely dependent on the time and effort spent on wall preparation. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

Firstly, gather all the necessary tools and supplies. These might include a wallpaper steamer or stripper, sandpaper, a scraper, and a sponge. You may also need to purchase wallpaper primer and sizing, which helps the wallpaper adhere to your wall.

Step 2: Wall Preparation

Start by removing any existing wallpaper. This can be accomplished using a wallpaper steamer or stripper. Be sure to protect the floor by spreading a drop cloth beneath your work area. Once the wallpaper is removed, use a scraper to remove any remaining paste and backing residue.

Step 3: Sand and Repair

Once the wall is clear of old wallpaper, it's time to sand and repair. Sanding the wall will remove any remaining backing residue and create a smooth surface for your new wallpaper. Following this, attend to any cracks or holes in the wall with wall patch compound. Sand these repaired areas once the compound is dry.

Step 4: Cleaning

Once all repairs are done, clean your wall thoroughly. A sponge and warm water will do the trick, removing any dust and loose particles. Allow the wall to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 5: Priming Your Wall

Applying a primer to your wall will provide a surface that wallpaper can easily adhere to. It also prevents any color from the wall bleeding through the new wallpaper. The primer should be applied evenly, and you should allow it to dry completely before proceeding.

Step 6: Applying the Sizing

Wallpaper sizing prepares the wall further by creating a uniform texture. It's a specially designed product that helps the wallpaper stick better and makes future removal easier. Apply it as directed on the product packaging and let it dry.

Step 7: Let the Walls Dry

Let your walls dry completely after each step before proceeding to the next. This will help ensure a smooth, bubble-free wallpaper finish.

Step 8: The Final Inspection

Before you start hanging your wallpaper, give your walls a final inspection. Check that they are completely dry, clean, and free from any dust or bumps. Only when you're satisfied should you proceed with hanging your new wallpaper.

Now that your walls are impeccably prepared, you're ready to hang your wallpaper and transform your room.

Choosing the Perfect Wallpaper for Your Space

Choosing the right wallpaper for your space can have a major impact on the overall aesthetics and mood of your room. An important aspect of this process is to understand that there are endless choices in the realm of wallpapers. To simplify your decision making process, the following sections will give you practical insights about aspects you should consider.

Analyzing Your Room

The first step in the selection process is to analyze the room you're planning to décor. Are there small or large windows? Does it get a lot of natural light or is it generally darker? What's the size of the room? These details can significantly influence the type of wallpaper suited for your room.

Size of The Room

An important detail to consider while choosing wallpaper is the size of the room. If the room is small, it's advisable to select wallpapers with smaller patterns or light colours as these can visually enlarge the room. Conversely, for a large room you have the flexibility to go for bold patterns and darker colors.

Natural Light

If the room is well-lit with plenty of natural light, you can play around with darker shades or vibrant colors. On the other hand, for rooms with lower light levels, go for wallpapers with light colours to help enhance the brightness of the room.

Choosing the Right Pattern and Color

Another crucial aspect is the selection of patterns and colors. Do you want a subtle or bold pattern? Do you want bright or neutral colors? Striped patterns can help to create an illusion of height while floral or abstract patterns can add a playful or modern touch to your space.


While aesthetic appeal is significant, it's also important to consider the durability of the wallpaper. Consider the room's humidity levels, the chances of the wallpaper getting stained and the ease of maintenance when choosing a wallpaper.

Personal Style

Last but not the least, your wallpaper should reflect your personal style and taste. Only then will the space truly feel like your own. Therefore, while you should consider expert tips and advice on current trends, ultimately, it should resonate with your unique style and preference.

Test Samples

Given the sheer volume of choices available, it might be difficult to visualize how a particular wallpaper might actually look in your room. In such cases, don't hesitate to order test samples. This will give you a chance to see how the color, texture, and pattern look against your room's specific conditions.

How to Measure and Cut Your Wallpaper

The next important step in the process of wallpapering your walls is the measurement and cutting phase. This can seem daunting, particularly if you're new to wallpapering. However, once you understand the process and practice a bit, it becomes fairly straightforward.

Preparing for Measurements

Before you start throwing numbers around, it's worth gathering everything you'll need. You will need a metal measuring tape - for this task, one that measures in inches and feet will be the most suitable. You'll also need a pencil to mark your measurements and scissors or a knife to cut your wallpaper.

Taking Room Measurements

The first step is to measure the heights and widths of your walls. It's also handy to make note of any windows or doors, as these areas won't be covered in wallpaper. Measure the height from the floor to the ceiling and the width from one corner to another. Once you have these measurements, write them down and keep them somewhere safe for later reference.

Considering the Wallpaper Factor

Every wallpaper roll comes with its measurements clearly marked, usually in yards or meters. This includes the width and length of the roll, and the pattern repeat. The pattern repeat can be important to consider if your wallpaper has a distinct pattern that needs to be aligned.

Calculating the Number of Rolls Needed

Once you've got your room and wallpaper measurements, you can calculate the number of rolls you'll need. To do this, divide your room width by the wallpaper width. Round this number up to ensure you have enough to cover any discrepancies or errors. Keep in mind that it’s always better to have a little extra than not enough.

Cutting the Wallpaper

When it comes to cutting your wallpaper, care is needed. Unroll the wallpaper on a flat surface and mark your measured length on the back. Use a straight edge and a knife or scissors to carefully cut along your marked line. Aim for a clean, smooth edge.

Handling Extra-Length Wallpapers

If your wallpaper is a bit longer than your wall height, that is not a problem. It is always easier to trim extra paper once it’s installed. The extra length also allows for any error in measuring or for walls that aren’t perfectly straight.

Final Thoughts

Measuring and cutting wallpaper might seem like a daunting task, but with proper preparation and patience, you'll be a pro in no time. Always remember to double-check your measurements before making any cuts, and never rush the process. The result will speak for itself when seeing your beautifully wallpapered walls.

The Right Way to Apply Wallpaper Paste

Applying wallpaper paste correctly plays a crucial part in ensuring your wallpaper sticks well to the wall and looks its best. The application process varies depending on whether you're using pre-pasted or unpasted wallpaper. However, the fundamental principles remain the same. Below, we delve into detailed steps for each type of wallpaper.

Steps for Applying Paste to Unpasted Wallpaper

To start, gather your tools. You'll need a wallpaper brush or roller, a trough for the paste, the wallpaper itself, and of course, your wallpaper paste.

Lay the wallpaper pattern-side down on a clean, flat surface. Use your brush or roller to spread the paste evenly on the back of each strip, covering every inch. Pay special attention to the edges, as they are more prone to lifting and peeling.

Once the strip is entirely covered with paste, fold it pasted sides together — this process is known as 'booking.' Let the booked paper rest for a few minutes to allow the paste to activate. Lastly, apply the wallpaper to the wall, smoothing out any bubbles with a wallpaper smoother or brush.

Applying Paste to Pre-Pasted Wallpaper

Before starting, you will need a water tray, a damp sponge, and a clean work surface in addition to your pre-pasted wallpaper.

Roll your strip of wallpaper pattern-side inward until it forms a manageable coil. Submerge the coiled strip in the water tray for the manufacturer's recommended amount of time.

Remove the paper and unfold it on a clean surface. Use the damp sponge to activate the paste, evenly distributing it across the back of the strip. After letting it rest for a few minutes, you can hang the wallpaper as usual.

Additional Tips

Regardless of the type of wallpaper you're applying, always keep a clean, damp cloth handy to wipe off excess paste that may ooze out when smoothing the wallpaper.

Additionally, remember to check the manufacturer's instructions before starting. They often provide useful tips and guidelines that can make the process easier and ensure the best possible results.

Undeniably, applying wallpaper paste may appear intimidating at first. However, with time, patience, and practice, it becomes a fairly straightforward task.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

One common mistake in wallpapering is failing to apply an even layer of paste. Applying too much paste can leave a mess on your walls, while too little will not hold the wallpaper properly. Always make sure the paste is evenly and thoroughly spread.

Another common pitfall is not allowing the paste to activate and the paper to relax before hanging, which can lead to bubbles appearing in the wallpaper.

Finally, always remember to clean the surface area before wallpapering. This promotes better adhesion between the wallpaper paste and the wall, ultimately making your wallpaper look beautiful and hang more durably.

Hanging the Wallpaper: Techniques and Tips

Wallpapering may seem like a daunting task to many, but with the right technique and a few crucial tips, the process can be simplified. This section aims to provide a comprehensive guide for hanging wallpaper, ensuring a smooth and flawless finish.

Measuring and Applying Adhesive

The first step of wallpapering is accurately measuring the wall and the wallpaper. It's important to account for windows, doors and any other architectural details. Once measured, it's time to apply the adhesive. A roller tends to be the best tool for this, allowing for an even coat. Ensure the paste is not too thick, nor too thin.

Cutting the Wallpaper

After the paste has been applied, measure and cut the wallpaper. Always add an extra few inches at the top and bottom just in case that any adjustments need to be made. A sharp utility knife is the best tool for this process.

Hanging the Wallpaper

Lay the wallpaper strip at the top of your wall and then unroll it downwards. Make sure it's lined up correctly and smooth it out as you go, removing air bubbles. Keep a paperhanger brush on hand for this specific task.

The Use of a Plumb Line

One crucial tip is the use of a plumb line or a laser level to ensure that each strip of wallpaper is hung straight. This tool can save a lot of time and prevent mistakes even for the most seasoned wallpaper experts.

Seaming and Trimming Excess

Seaming the wallpaper is an essential step that calls for precision. The seams should be tight and not overlap, for the most professional look. Use a seam roller to ensure smooth and non-visible seams. After aligning and smoothing the wallpaper, trim the excess from the top and bottom using a sharp utility knife.

Troubleshooting Tips

It’s common to run into issues while wallpapering, such as air bubbles or misalignments. For bubbles, try smoothing them out towards the edge of the wallpaper. If this does not work, a small incision can let the air out, followed by repasting and smoothing. For misalignments, removing and rehanging the strip is the best course of action.


Post papering, clean up is important. Wipe down the wallpaper with a damp cloth to remove excess paste and clean the tools. Finally, enjoy the fruits of your labor and the beautiful new addition to your home!

Caring for Your Wallpaper: Maintenance and Longevity Tips

Once you have installed your beautiful wallpaper, it is essential to know how to properly care for it to ensure it maintains its appeal for a long time. Proper wallpaper care begins with good installation, but also involves regular maintenance and some damage control know-how. Below are some tips on how to maximize your wallpaper's lifespan and keep it looking fresh for as long as possible.

Maintaining Clean Wallpaper

Even the most durable wallpaper can lose its appeal due to dirt and grime if it is not cleaned regularly. This does not mean you have to clean it daily, but make a schedule for a gentle wipe down with a soft, dry cloth or sponge. Avoid using harsh cleaning agents as they can affect the wallpaper's color or texture. For non-vinyl wallpapers, especially delicate ones like silk or grass-cloth, avoid water and use a vacuum with a brush attachment instead.

Protecting against Sunlight and Heat

Sunlight and heat can cause the color of your wallpaper to fade and the adhesive to dry out, which could lead to peeling corners. To prevent this, try to keep direct sunlight off the wallpaper by using curtains, blinds, or UV window film. Also, ensure that there is adequate ventilation in the room. If wallpapers are to be used near heat sources, like around fireplaces or stovetop backsplashes, use vinyl wallpapers that are heat resistant.

Addressing Wallpaper Damage

Wallpapers are not immune to damage. Minor rips or tears can occur, as well as bubbling due to humidity. For small tears, use wallpaper adhesive applied with a small brush to the tear on the back side and then smooth it out. If bubbles occur, you can use a utility knife to make a small slit, and then apply adhesive and smooth it flat. You can patch larger damages using extra wallpaper, just ensure the pattern aligns.

Reversing Wallpaper Fading

Some wallpapers, especially those subject to direct sunlight, can fade over time. An effective remedy for this is to rotate your art or photos on your walls periodically to keep the wallpaper shaded in different areas. For patterns or solid colors that have faded unevenly, consider coloring with a matching marker, or even lightly sponging on some pigment.

Wallpaper Longevity

Ultimately, the lifespan of your wallpaper depends on how well you take care of it. With adequate preventative measures and proper care, your wallpaper can look fresh and crisp for many years. Following these basic maintenance and longevity tips can help make your wallpaper investment worthwhile and long-lasting.