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How To Hang Wallpaper

Tools: Ladder, measuring tape, level, wallpaper brush, paste brush if you are not using pre-glued paper, razor, scissors, water tray, seam roller, wallpaper taping knife

Wallpapering can be a tiresome job, so be sure you take a whole day to do it right. If you are hanging floor to ceiling pieces, it will be much easier to have two people; one to hang the paper and one to guide the paper and keep it from adhering to the wall before you are ready for it.

1. Always start in a corner. Measure the width of your paper. From the corner, mark a pencil line ½” less than the width of your wallpaper on your wall. This is your guideline and should be perfectly vertical. If you are papering the entire length of the wall, measure your wall height from floor to ceiling and cut a piece of wallpaper 4” longer than that measurement.

2. If you are papering only the bottom half or the top half of your wall, draw a pencil line at the height you want the wallpaper to be. Use a level to draw the line the entire width of the wall and use this as your guideline. From the corner, mark a pencil line ½” less than the width of your wallpaper. This is your vertical guideline and should be perfectly straight. Measure your wall from the floor to the height you want the wallpaper to be and cut a piece of wallpaper 4” longer than that measurement.

3. Most paper today is pre-glued. Roll up the cut piece of wall paper and immerse it in the water tray filled with warm water. Read your wallpaper directions for immersion time. This will activate your wallpaper paste. A short strip can be applied directly to the wall. If your strip is long, lay the strip glue side up on a table. Fold the lower third of the paper onto the middle third, paste sides together, taking care not to crease it.

4. Using the vertical guideline, lay the paper on the wall, leaving a 2” strip above the ceiling and near the floor, going from top to bottom. When you are sure the strip is in place, use your wallpaper brush to gently brush out any bubbles. You will have 2” of paper that will go right into the corner and onto the next wall. Brush the paper right around the corner and pressing into the corner to avoid gaps.

5. Using a wide wallboard taping knife as a guide, trim the top and bottom edges of the paper with a razor or sharp utility knife. Hold the knife in place and cut at an angle.

6. Follow the same instructions for the second strip of paper, but make sure you match your pattern together. Let the edges of the paper just touch along the seam. After about 15 minutes, use a seam roller to flatten the seam edges.

7. If your corners are not square, you may want to draw your guideline as you turn the corner of each wall. Cut the last partial strip on the first wall to only a Ό” overlap, and draw a new guideline on the next wall. If they are fairly plumb, you can just keep going with the paper.

8. When going around windows and doors, measure the opening and allow yourself 2” extra so you can just cut into the door or window with a razor after the paper is applied.

9. Light switches should, of course, be removed before you begin. Just cut a slit where the switch is and paper right over it, then razor out the opening.

10. Keep brushing over your wall and use your seam roller. If you find an edge that won’t stick, apply a little glue to it and brush it out.

11. Go over your entire wall with a damp sponge to remove any excess glue before it dries onto the paper.
Also See Wallpaper Tips in the right column of this page.


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Wallpaper tips:
Prepare your walls before you begin. Look for any holes and fill in with spackle. Sand out any large bumps in your wall.

It is a good idea to size your wall before you begin. Sizing is just a powder mixed with water that will help the glue to adhere to the wall and will also make it easier to remove someday.

If you are wallpapering over colored walls, paint the wall with tinted primer close to the color of your wallpaper to avoid dark seams showing through.

When choosing your wallpaper, look for the pattern repeat. If it is a big pattern, you will have more waste and should order more walllpaper.

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