How to Hang Wallpaper Like a Pro

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How to Hang Wallpaper Like a Pro

Staff Writer · Sep 14, 2010

You can hang wallpaper like a pro even if you’ve never undertaken the task before. It just takes a little know-how and determination and you’ll find it isn’t the major chore you first thought it would be.

Prepare the Surface

Before you hang one strip of wallpaper, you’ll need to prepare the surface. Make sure you’ve turned off the electrical power and remove any electrical face plates. Strip the old wallpaper from the walls if there is any. Use hot water and detergent and and dip a paint roller in the soapy water before rolling it over the wall and scraping. Or, you may need to rent a wallpaper steamer. Remove any remaining adhesive with a steel wool pad. Sand away bumps and fill in holes with spackling compound. Wash the wall to remove any dirt and leftover residue.

Mark the Wall and Cut the First Strip of Wallpaper

Use a four-foot level to denote where you’ll hang your first strip of wallpaper. Cut the first strip four inches longer than the height of the wall and face the wallpaper pattern-side down on a pasting table or in front of the area it will be hung if pre-pasted. If you need to match the pattern, make sure you match the first strip with the second strip before you paste or wet the first strip you’re going to hang.

Paste or West the Strip of Paper

If you need to paste the paper, mix the paste according to label directions making sure it’s not lumpy. Use a brush and apply the paste to the center of the strip working outward, spreading the paste evenly over the back of the paper. If the paper is pre-pasted, place the water tray beneath the area where you plan to hang the paper and fill the tray about two-thirds full with water. Roll the strip so the wallpaper’s pattern is on the inside and dampen the paper. Unroll the strip from the tray and hang on the wall.

Repeat the Procedure for Each Strip

Repeat the aforementioned procedure for each strip that you hang on the wall making sure you match the pattern. Set each succeeding strip against the wall and next to the previous strip. Leave about two inches at the top for trimming. Make certain the bottom of each strip is aligned before trimming the top.

Smooth Each Strip and Correct Small Mistakes

Correct mistakes in placement by repositioning the paper and smoothing over the surface with a sponge. Set the seams so they fit tightly with no overlap. Use a seam roller to make sure that the seams and wallpaper are adhering well to the wall.

Paper over Outlets and Around Doors and Windows with Care

Paper over outlets as if they’re not there, then take a sharp knife and trim the paper away from the holes when you’re finished. Any ragged edges will be covered by the face plates. To wallpaper around a door or window set each pre-cut strip into place above or around the door or window just as you would a strip that is full-length.

Follow the above guidelines and you’ll be able to do your work almost “seamlessly.”

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