Dos and Don’ts for Successful Wallpaper Application

Wallpaper offers a wide variety of wall covering design options, but there are a few basic steps that must be followed to ensure the best outcome. The process involves more than simply cutting the correct lengths from the roll and pasting each one next to the last on the wall.

Wall preparation is the first and perhaps the most important step. If the wall is uneven the problems are likely to show all the way through the wall covering. Any holes should be filled with drywall compound and dried for 24 hours. The wall should then be sanded to remove rough areas before vacuuming to remove all traces of the remaining dust. Go over the wall with a damp sponge before applying the recommended primer.

Once the wall is primed and allowed to dry for at least two hours, the wall is ready for the process of hanging the new wall covering. Care should be taken to protect any wood door or window frames when applying the primer.

Do not begin hanging the paper in a corner on the wall may not be perfectly plumb. Use a level and weighted plumb line to mark where the edge of the first sheet should be placed. Once this is done, the paper should be unrolled, measured and cut into lengths that are four inches longer than the height of the wall. Reverse rolling each section will help to remove the curl from the paper and make it easier to handle.

Professional wallpaper hangers use a paste table to spread the sections on before applying the paste. Some wallpaper is pre-pasted, but it is wise to apply additional adhesive after moistening each section. This will ensure the paper will not release in various areas after time.

Once the adhesive has been applied to the first sheet, fold it over on itself for ease in carrying the sheet to the wall. Place the section of the wall at the guideline, allowing two inches extra at the top. Allow the sheet to unfold and hang down to the floor; making sure the edge follows the guideline all the way down. Use a stiff wallpaper brush to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles beginning at the top and working down to the bottom edge.

This process should be repeated until all the walls to be wallpapered are covered. Some people trim the top and bottom edges of each piece as they are placed. It may be a better idea to wait until all the sections are hung before trimming because sometimes minor adjustments need to be made in order to match the pattern along the seams. If the sections are trimmed too soon, these adjustments may result in gaps at the top of the bottom. A seam roller should then be used on each seam.

Wallpaper was very popular years ago, but most people preferred to simply paint their walls until the past couple decades. The many types and designs of wall coverings now available have inspired many homeowners to include an accent wall in their home decor.