How To Hang Wallpaper

Wallpaper is back in style! With all the new styles and wallpaper patterns to choose from, this once dated decor trend has been resurrected. A fun area to spruce up with wallpaper is your powder bathroom (as we’ve shown in each photo below). Although, if you don’t feel comfortable committing to wallpapering an entire room, create an accent wall by covering only one wall with wallpaper in any area of your home. 

_AOK1789Powder bathroom at Giverny’s Picasso district

Here’s a 10 step guide to help you hang wallpaper in your home.

First, what you’ll need:

-Enough wallpaper to cover your wall (selecting pre-pasted wallpaper will make this job a bit easier)

-Measuring tape


-Wallpaper primer

-Paint roller brush

-Carpenter’s level

-Six inch plastic or metal putty knife

-Utility knife


-A bucket of water and a sponge if your wallpaper is pre-pasted.  If not, a small paint roller and wallpaper paste

1786410_bathroom-one_1800x1200Powder bathroom at Hamptons

Step 1 – Measure & Clean Your Walls

Before you do anything, measure your walls to determine how much wall paper you will need. Once you’ve chosen a style you like and bought your rolls, you’re ready to get started.

Make sure your walls are clean and that they have been coated with a wallpaper primer. A coat of primer applied with a paint roller will help the paper adhere to the wall and make it easier to remove, if needed.  Let the primer base dry.

Step 2 – Find Your Center & Create A Plumb Line

Using a measuring tape, measure to the center of the wall, vertically and horizontally. Mark this point with a pencil. Using a carpenter’s level, carefully draw a straight vertical line through the point. This plumb line will be where you line up the edges of your wallpaper.

Step 3 – Line Up Your Pattern

If you are using a solid color, you can skip this step. If your wallpaper has any sort of pattern on it (stripes, stars, etc.) lay two rolls side-by-side and line up the patterns. Then, on one sheet, mark where you want the bottom of the pattern to lie. Measure about four inches down from that point to give yourself a little wiggle room. Using your carpenter’s level again, draw a line across the width of the paper, and carefully trim along this line. Repeat this process with your other rolls of wallpaper.

Step 4 – Measure The Length & Cut Your Wallpaper

Starting at the bottom of the roll you just trimmed off, roll out the rest of the paper and measure out the height of the wall. Using a straight edge, cut the paper horizontally along this point. Make a mark on the back of the paper, letting you know which end is the top and which is the bottom. Repeat this process with your other rolls of wallpaper.

Step 5 – Prepare The Paper

Lay out your strips of wallpaper on a long table or on the floor with the backside facing up. If your paper is not pre-pasted, apply wallpaper paste over the entire surface. If it is pre-pasted, simply use a damp sponge to moisten the entire back surface.

Step 6 – Booking The Paper

With the paper still moist, pick up one edge of the paper and fold it over to the center, without creasing the paper. Do the same thing with the other edge. You should not be able to see the back of paper. Don’t worry; it will be easy to separate later. Fold the paper in half again and another time, if necessary, taking care not to create any sharp creases. Let them sit for about 5-7 minutes.

Step 7 – Start Hanging The Paper

Starting at the ceiling, unfold the top half of one of your strips and stick it to the wall, lining up the side of the paper with your center plumb line. Gently smooth the strip against the wall using a smoothing tool or six inch plastic putty knife. Unfold the bottom half of the paper and smooth it against the wall. There should be about four inches of excess paper hanging off the bottom. We’ll get rid of this later.

Step 8 – Trim Excess

Hold a six inch putty knife against the bottom of the wall or along a baseboard, and using the utility knife, cut away the excess paper.

Step 9 – Remove Air Bubbles & Excess Glue

Sweep a clean, slightly damp sponge over the paper to get rid of any extra adhesive and to remove any air bubbles that may have popped up. Work from the ceiling down and from the center outward.

Step 10 – Repeat

Unfold your second piece of paper and line it up against the first sheet, paying careful attention to line up the patterns. Place edges of paper so that they are touching, but not overlapping. You shouldn’t be able to notice a break in the pattern. Repeat the process with the rest of your strips.

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