The Best Methods for Hanging Wallpaper

Line an area with background and you’ve got instant decoration. From blah to bold in a matter of hours, newspaper could push boundaries beyond what paint can do. It enlivens walls with stripes or patterns or both–your choice.

But as frequently as homeowners attempt to hang paper themselves, they seldom get it right, cursing their peeling seams and mismatched patterns–it’s enough to drive you up a wallsocket. Enter John Gregoras, a pro paper hanger out of Somers, New York, with nearly two decades’ experience. We asked Gregoras to demonstrate a few of his best wallpapering tips and tricks for pasting, hanging, aligning, and trimming. And, boy, did we learn a great deal – everything from the way he plans the layout to how he lines up the last seam. With this type of insider know-how, papering only got a whole lot easier.

Best Wallpaper Techniques Overview

Layout is the secret if you’re learning how to hang wallpaper. Paying attention to the order in which the paper goes up ensures your pattern will stay well-matched and look straight. John Gregoras recommends functioning in 1 direction around the room to keep the pattern consistent.

But regardless of how good your technique, the pattern between the first and final strip will rarely match up. Because of this, Gregoras always starts his job behind a doorway, papering out from the corner until he reaches the space over the doorway — at the least conspicuous place in the room.

Frequently, the final strip of paper onto a wall is not a complete sheet. Another wallpapering tip Gregoras uses is to always paper the corners together with broken sheets.

Click button on top right to enlarge illustration.

Apply Wallpaper Paste

Paint the whole room with a wall primer/sizer.

Unroll the wallpaper. As you do, check out flaws and drag the paper against the border of your worktable to take away the curl.

Cut at precisely the same region on the repeat so patterns on adjoining sheets will lineup.

Lay a cut sheet onto the table, face down. With a paint roller, apply a thin film of clear premixed background glue on the back of the paper.

Tip: Do not allow paste to have on the desk or it will mar another sheet (wash it off with a barely damp sponge if it does). Slide the paper all the way into the edge of the table to use paste to the ends and edges.

Book the Paper

Twist the glued back of the paper onto it, top and bottom ends assembly in the middle. Make sure that the side borders line up perfectly. Smooth the paper onto itself as much as possible without creasing the springs.

Set the paper aside to allow the glue to soak in and also the paper to relax. Be sure to adhere to the precise booking time advocated on the background’s tag, which differs depending on its material (much more for vinyl-coated wallcoverings, less for uncoated papers).

Align First Strip

Start in a corner near a door. If the door is far from the corner, then draw a reference line parallel to the doorway near the corner.

Overlap about 2 inches at the ceiling and 1/8 inch at the corner. Gently press it in place.

Examine the measurement between the newspaper and the door casing or reference line. Adjust the paper to keep it parallel to the door but nevertheless overlapping at least ⅛ inch at the corner.

Tuck and Trim the Paper

(Do not press so hard that you push glue.)

Trim the excess paper in the ceiling: Push a 6-inch taping knife to the joint between the ceiling and wall. Using a razor, cut over the knife to trim off the surplus. Work gradually. Alternate between cutting and moving the knife. Do not slide the razor and knife together. Keep on papering to a point above the door.

Continue Papering

On the adjoining wall, then draw a plumb line (if there is no door or window).

Hang a strip at the corner. Overlap the present bit on the adjoining wall by 1/8 inch. Quantify to the plumb line and correct the paper to maintain the distance equivalent. Smooth the paper. Trim at the ceiling and trim the corner.

Hang the next strip of paper. Unfold the top of the novel and place it on the wall. Match the pattern as closely as possible, leaving just a hair’s width between the sheets.

Suggestion: Push out air bubbles by sweeping the newspaper simpler from the middle out to the edges. Wipe off glue on the surface with a sponge.

Close the Seams

Gently press on the top of the paper into the wall. Then gently roll the seam with a seam roller to flatten down the borders.

Unfold the bottom of the sheet and finish matching and shutting the seam. Then tightly roll down the whole seam, working a full 3 inches in from the edge. This locks the seam, preventing it from opening as you smooth the newspaper.

Smooth the entire sheet. Continue papering the room, trimming and overlapping corners as shown in Step 5.

Suggestion: If the booked end of this strip begins to dry out before you hang it, wipe the wall with a moist sponge. This will remoisten the glue when you hang on the paper.

Cut in About Moldings

At windows and doors, allow the paper overlap the molding by an inch.

Together with the razor, make a relief cut in the paper. Carefully run the razor from the molding corner outside to the border of this paper. Use the molding for a guide.

Press the cut edge tight in the joint between the molding and the wallsocket.

Trim the excess paper flap using a taping knife and razor. Smooth down the entire sheet.

Tip: Mistakes are inevitable when you’re learning how to hang wallpaper. Hide small cutting errors on darker papers by coloring the wall or the white border of the paper using a marker that matches the paper. Some pros even colour all of the paper’s edges so seams aren’t as evident should the paper shrink as it dries.

Cover Switch

Paper the cover plates of electrical fixtures to make them disappear. Cut a piece of wallpaper bigger than the plate. Cut from the part of the pattern that matches the paper on the wall round the switch.

Hold them on the wall and then adjust the paper to match the pattern on the wall.

Hold the paper and flip the plate . Cut the corners off 1/8 inch away from the plate. Wrap the paper over the plate and tape it on.

Cut out the switch or receptacle holes with a razor. Make Xs in the screw holes. Screw back the plates to the wall.

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