How to Hang Wallpaper

Want to incorporate a creative pattern into a room? Hang wallpaper!

Pick a bold pattern for an accent wall or encase a whole room for an almost instant transformation.

There are two types of wallpaper: Pre-pasted and unpasted. 

Pre-pasted wallpaper has adhesive applied to the back of it. To activate, simply wet the back and begin to apply the wallpaper to the wall once it’s sticky. 

Unpasted wallpaper requires you to add the adhesive to the back in order to paper to the wall (or in this case the wall) in order for the wallpaper to stick.

Here’s how to hang wallpaper. 

Tools for hanging wallpaper: Tape measure, ruler, wallpaper
You don’t need special tools to hang wallpaper. (3 Echoes Content Studio)


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Steps to Hang Wallpaper

Chelsea Lipford Wolf makes a plumb line on a wall using a level
The plumb line is where two sheets of wallpaper meet. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

1. Establish a Plumb Line

Before you begin hanging wallpaper you’ll want to establish a plumb line adjacent to a corner. This straight, vertical line marks where the ends of two pieces of wallpaper will meet. Mark this line in an inconspicuous spot so the transition from one sheet of paper to the next is not as noticeable.  

Scissors cutting through wallpaper
Cutting wallpaper is much like cutting gift wrap. You’ll need a sharp pair of scissors. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

2. Prep Wallpaper

Cut the paper itself an inch or so longer than the vertical dimension so it can be cut top and bottom. 

Tip: Roll the paper backward before you hang it so it lays more flat on the wall.

Roman wallpaper and border adhesive in a paint tray and a paint roller
A paint roller ensures an even coat of wallpaper adhesive. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

3. Apply Glue

Some wallpaper has self-adhesion and others require you to put the glue on the paper or wall while installing. This wallpaper specifies for the glue to be applied to the wall, rather than the paper, before hanging. 

Use a paint roller to roll the glue onto the wall, and apply the first sheet of wallpaper.

A smoother runs against wallpaper
A smoother removes air bubbles and keeps the wallpaper surface even. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

4. Remove Bubbles

To remove air bubbles while you’re hanging the wallpaper, use a smoothing tool. 

Matching a pattern on wallpaper
Pay close attention to the pattern so you’ll have a seamless transition from one sheet to the next. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

5. Match Pattern

Because there’s a pattern on this paper, we have to match up the pattern for each new piece. We line it up and mark the point where the top meets the ceiling so we can cut it to the proper length. 

Overlapping the seams of a patterned wallpaper
A slight overlap will accommodate any shrinkage after the glue dries. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

6. Overlap Seams

Overlap the seams by a little less than an eighth of an inch. This will eliminate any gaps if the wallpaper shrinks as the glue dries. 

Using a smoother and utility knife to trim wallpaper
A sharp utility knife creates a clean cut. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

7. Trim Excess Paper

To trim any excess wallpaper, use the smoothing tool as a straight edge along the top and bottom of each piece. This gives the paper a clean, sharp look to complete the installation.

Further Reading


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