How to Wallpaper Like a Pro!


Article by: Sharyl Calhoun

The first time I gave a wallpapering demonstration, my knees were knocking together and my hands were trembling as violently as my aging grandfather's. I was standing before a class of peers in my college speech class, and my "wall" was a refrigerator box!

Speaking to an audience will never be my forte. Wallpapering, however, is an experience not to be feared. You can beautify any room , Shower Filters Reducing Risks in your home , Knobs, Hinges and More Now Offers Kitchen and Bathroom Faucets or office, simply by applying wallpaper. It is easy to do, and the results are always magnificent!

Before you jump in with both feet, however, you do need to know a few basics about how to , Prefabricated Office Buildings wallpaper.

Preparing Your Walls

Wallpapering over painted walls:

Clean walls , The Top Five Do It Yourself Home-improvement Tips are a necessity. Use a mild cleaner to wipe the walls , Ionic Air Purifier - What Is It? down with a damp cloth. In the kitchen, , Purchasing a Vacuum Cleaner especially clean walls , Prefabricated Office Buildings near the oven to remove any grease.

Fill in any holes or dings with spackling and allow it to dry.

If paint , How To Detect Water Leaks is loose, use a paint , Why Purchase A Shrink Wrap Machine? scraper to remove those areas.

If flat paint , 5 All Natural Spring Cleaners was used, and is in good condition, no further preparation is needed.

If painted walls , Vacuum Pump Repair are shiny with glossy enamel or oil based paint, , DVR: Digital Video Recording. What You Need To Know you can either roughen it up with sandpaper or apply a coat of wallpaper primer.

If the wall , Commercial Pressure Washers is slightly bumpy and textured, you can either sand , Cooktops And Introduction it down or use a wallpaper liner. The liner looks like a roll of stiff interfacing and is applied to the walls , Home Inspectors - Are They Worth It? with a special adhesive that is painted directly onto your wall. , Mattress Selection - A Practical Approach The liner lessens the bumpy appearance of your walls. , Is This Your Dream Home?

Water stains and smoke stains cause headaches whether you choose to paint , Cooktops And Introduction or wallpaper. If the water , Architect Spa Design Floor Plan - Relax and Chill out stain is old and dry, you'll need to apply a primer/sealer that prevents stains from bleeding through. If anyone has smoked in your home, , The Baby Boomer Nightmare you may notice a yellow film on your walls. , The Top Five Do It Yourself Home-improvement Tips If not thoroughly cleaned or painted over with a wallpaper primer/sealer, the nicotine stains could cause problems with your wallpaper adhering to the walls. , The Top Five Do It Yourself Home-improvement Tips

Removing Old Wallpaper:

While it is possible to paper right over existing wallpaper, please realize that your newly-papered walls , Purchasing a Vacuum Cleaner will not have a sleek, smooth appearance if there are several old layers of wallpaper underneath. Every seam and bump will show through.

If the old wallpaper is loose anywhere, or if there are several old layers of wallpaper, you probably need to remove it all.

Sometimes, especially if the old wallpaper is a heavy vinyl, you get lucky and can strip the dry wallpaper off by loosening from the ceiling and pulling gently downward.

In my experience, however, removing several layers of wallpaper can be a real chore. You can rent a wallpaper steamer from your wallpaper store and use a paint , Simple Flat Roof Leak scraper to scrape away the old wallpaper. If the old paper isn't very porous, you may have to roughen it up or etch the surface so that the hot , Concrete Cutting: Don't Let a Little Bit of Concrete Stop You steam can penetrate adequately. This can be hot, , Concrete Cutting: Don't Let a Little Bit of Concrete Stop You tedious work, but is so rewarding when you see the naked walls , How to Replace Your Windows Like a Pro ready for your designing touch.

Chemical wallpaper strippers are also available at wallpapering supply stores.

Wallpapering over wood , How To Choose The Right Art For Your Home paneling:

The previous owners of our home , builders can help you Build your own Energy Efficiency Homes were sorely lacking in creativity. A cheap wood , Reinventing The Speaker Bracket - The Conductive Speaker Mounting System paneling covered one kitchen , Candle Scents To Enhance the Season: Fall Into Winter wall and a thickly textured paneling ran halfway up the family room , Cooktops And Introduction walls. 'Twas not my idea of "pretty". I wanted to lighten up both rooms. , Tarahumara Indian Crafts for Southwest Decor & Lighting The family room , Vacuum Pump Repair took 2 coats of stainkiller and 3 thick coats of paint , Tarahumara Indian Crafts for Southwest Decor & Lighting to camouflage that oppressively dark, textured paneling. But my heart was set on light, , Used Air Compressors airy wallpaper for the kitchen. , Vacuum Pump Repair

When we wallpapered the kitchen, , Mattress Selection - A Practical Approach we did not want to rip off the paneling for fear that a more costly remodeling job might lie beneath. But three beautifully-papered walls , Mold Test Kit How It Can Help You get Rid of Your Mold with a fourth unsightly wall , Is This Your Dream Home? was simply not the kitchen , Shower Filters Reducing Risks of my dreams. So we explored the possibility of wallpapering right over the wood , Choosing a Vinyl Replacement Window Contractor paneling.

Luckily the research informed me that wood , Shower Filters Reducing Risks paneling has usually been stained or treated, and would soon bleed through my new wallpaper. So let me pass along this simple little secret for papering over paneling.

You'll need to paint , Commercial Pressure Washers the paneling thoroughly with a stain-preventing primer/sealer. Then, if there are grooves in the paneling, fill them with spackling and let it dry thoroughly. And lastly, apply a wallpaper liner over the paneling to smooth out the grooves.


Save yourself , Shower Filters Reducing Risks time and headaches. My recommendation is that you"¦

Measure your room , Decorative Metal Tile and take these measurements with you to the wallpaper store.

_____Length of room

_____Width of room

_____Height of walls

_____Number of doorways

_____Number of windows

Remember to describe any unusual features , Candle Scents To Enhance the Season: Fall Into Winter of the room , Architect Spa Design Floor Plan - Relax and Chill out (partial paneling, cathedral ceiling, etc).

If the clerk has been in the wallpaper business very long at all, he or she will be able to use your correct measurements to rapidly calculate how many rolls (or double rolls) your wallpapering project will need.

She will also be able to look at the specific wallpaper you have chosen and make allowances for any additional yardage you will need for matching a pattern. It is so much easier to have it figured for you, and calculating wallpaper needs is her daily job!

The clerk will also be able to suggest what type of wallpaper paste is best for that particular wallpaper, and to calculate how much paste you will need. Save , Commercial Pressure Washers your receipt and any unopened wallpaper rolls or paste can be returned for a refund.


Table to paste on
Large paintbrush or pasting brush
Large bowl or pan for the paste
Paperhanging brush
Large sponge or washcloth
Trimming utility knife with sharp blades
Metal , Prefabricated Office Buildings yardstick
Tape measure

Are you ready to wallpaper now?

How to Make a Plumb Line

Use a 4-5 foot string and tie a small weight (a bolt or pencil) to one end. Tie the other end to a small tack or nail. , Concrete Cutting: Don't Let a Little Bit of Concrete Stop You Attach the tack to the wall , Used Air Compressors near the ceiling and let the string hang freely. Gravity will give you a straight line to guide your placement of the first strip of wallpaper. Older homes , Shower Filters Reducing Risks have settled and moved quite a bit. But even walls , Decorative Metal Tile in a new home , Add Luxury In Your Bathroom With The Curved Shower Curtain Rods are rarely straight.

How to Hang Wallpaper Like a Pro

First strip:

Start the wallpaper against an inconspicuous corner or doorway. Hang a plumb line approximately 1/8" from the right side of where the first strip will be placed. Measure from ceiling to floor , Finding Your Dream Kitchen Cabinets and add another 3" to allow for wall , Wrought Iron, the Newest House Guest imperfections. Unroll the wallpaper on a table, measure it, and use a yardstick to draw a straight line across back side of paper. Cut and reroll the strip of wallpaper in reverse (wrong-side out) to lessen the paper's curling.

For pre-pasted wallpaper:

Completely submerge rolled-up strip of wallpaper in lukewarm tray of water , Mold Test Kit How It Can Help You get Rid of Your Mold for 15 seconds. Fold one end of the pasted side to the middle, Do the same with the opposite end, so that the two ends are touching. Loosely roll the strip and leave it alone to set up for 5 minutes. Then hang immediately, beginning from the ceiling.

My own recommendations for pre-pasted or nonpasted wallpaper:

Mix wallpaper paste as directed on label. Turn the cut strip of wallpaper wrong-side up on table. Apply paste using a large paintbrush. Make sure you cover every square inch of the back side of the wallpaper strip. Especially make sure the edges are pasted. If you leave a tiny spot anywhere unpasted, it will bubble up when drying on the wall. , Repairing Your Own Machine Components Spread the paste smoothly and evenly with the paintbrush.

Fold one end of the pasted side to the middle (pasted sides together). Do the same with the opposite end, so that the two ends are touching in the middle. Loosely roll the strip and leave it alone so that the paper has time to expand for 5 minutes. Then hang the strip immediately, beginning from the ceiling.

Hang first strip against the corner where you've chosen to begin. Leave 1 ½" allowance at the ceiling. Use the plumb line to insure a straight edge--because chances are, your walls , Art and Design are NOT straight! Start by laying the pasted side against the prepared wall , The Top Five Do It Yourself Home-improvement Tips at the ceiling and stroke with the wallpaper brush from center to outward edges, working your way down toward the floor, , How To Detect Water Leaks gently brushing out air , Knobs, Hinges and More Now Offers Kitchen and Bathroom Faucets bubbles and excess paste.

Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe off any excess glue from the edges. Also, use wet cloth to wipe the table top after pasting and hanging each strip.

If the wallpaper starts going crooked, just peel it off gently to where the problem begins, and start again. If any edges have dried and are not sticking to the wall, , Shower Filters Reducing Risks use the pasting brush to touch it up now.

Unpatterned paper:

Moving clockwise around the room, , Shower Filters Reducing Risks measure the next strip of wallpaper (remember the 3" allowance for ceiling and floor). Follow the steps above for each strip.

Patterned paper:

Holding the uncut roll near the ceiling, match the pattern and determine how much excess will need trimmed from the top. Remember to leave that 1 ½" allowance at the top as you cut. Then proceed as in step 1. You will have to match the pattern like this for each strip of wallpaper.

Cutting around doorways and windows , Basement Remodeling - Utilize Existing Space With a Basement Renovation work the same way--but you will have to use scissors to trim as you hang those strips. These pieces require more time and careful measuring.

If you decide to finish trimming edges with a utility knife while the wallpaper is still wet, use a sharp blade and a straight edge yardstick as a cutting guide. If the paper starts to wrinkle or tear, either use sharp scissors or brush it back in place , Home Inspectors - Are They Worth It? and wait 6-8 hours until the paper is fairly dry.

Use extreme caution when papering around electrical outlets or fixtures! Turn electricity , Water Purifiers - How Safe is the Water You Drink? off at the breaker box. Remove outlet cover or light , Countertops 101 - Basics on Choosing a Kitchen Countertop Material fixture plate. When you have hung that strip of wallpaper, immediately cut out the needed hole using scissors. Then adjust the wallpaper strip on the wall. , What is Cabinet Refacing?


Walls are always moving and settling. It is recommended that when you reach a corner, you will cut the wallpaper strip vertically and paste it to the two joining walls , Used Air Compressors in two parts. If you just curl it around the corner, the wallpaper will pucker and wrinkle badly as the days and months go by.

Hanging a Wallpaper Border

Borders can be applied to the top of the wall , Ionic Air Purifier - What Is It? with ease! They can also break up a humdrum wall , The Baby Boomer Nightmare like a chair , Candle Scents To Enhance the Season: Fall Into Winter rail, but for much less expense. I like to cut my borders into 8-foot strips, because it is easier to handle in smaller strips.

Use the same steps above, as far as pasting and applying the border.

If you apply border on top of vinyl wallpaper, experts advise you to use vinyl-to-vinyl adhesive.

If you wallpaper in a bathroom , Cozyin' Up to Winter that is not vented, I advise you not to use wallpaper border on vinyl wallpaper. The border eventually curls up.

Be creative--use borders in kids' rooms, , Prefabricated Office Buildings under shelves, around a window, , Cozyin' Up to Winter or as a chair , Home Inspection: A Doctor Visit for Your Home rail. You can dress up a room , Repairing Your Own Machine Components by putting the border at the top of the wall , Countertops 101 - Basics on Choosing a Kitchen Countertop Material or be different and apply it down by the baseboard.

You really can wallpaper like a pro! Each room , Mattress Selection - A Practical Approach you tackle gives you more experience and a greater feeling of satisfaction. Your house , DVR: Digital Video Recording. What You Need To Know will be much more comfortable as it begins to take on your personality.

Sharyl Calhoun.

Visit for many fresh, creative ideas for decorating , Purchasing a Vacuum Cleaner every room , Used Air Compressors in your home--and garden. , Cozyin' Up to Winter For fitness and weigh loss, see our NEW Home , The right small appliance for you Fitness page at

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