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The Best Techniques for Hanging Wallpaper


Line an area with background and you’ve got instant decoration. From blah to daring within a matter of hours, newspaper could push boundaries beyond what paint can do. It enlivens walls with textures or patterns or both–your choice. And as a bonus, it masks minor imperfections in plaster and drywall, also.

However, as frequently as homeowners attempt to hang paper themselves, they rarely get it right, cursing their peeling seams and mismatched patterns–it is enough to drive you up a wall. Input John Gregoras, a pro newspaper hanger from Somers, New York, with almost two decades’ experience. And, boy, did we learn a great deal – everything from the way he plans the design to how he lines up the previous seam. With this type of insider know-how, papering just got a whole lot simpler.

Best Wallpaper Techniques Overview

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

But no matter how good your technique, the pattern between the first and final strip will rarely match up. Because of this, Gregoras always begins his job behind a doorway, papering from the corner till he reaches the space over the doorway — at the least conspicuous spot in the room.

Very often, the last strip of paper onto a wall isn’t a full sheet. Another wallpapering suggestion Gregoras uses is to always paper the corners with broken sheets.

Click button on top to expand illustration.

Apply Wallpaper Paste

Paint the entire room with a wall primer/sizer.

Unroll the background. As you do, check out flaws and drag the paper from the border of your worktable to remove the curl.

Cut in precisely the exact same place on the replicate so patterns on adjacent sheets will lineup.

Lay a cut sheet on the table, face down.

Suggestion: Don’t allow paste to get on the table or it will mar the next sheet (wash it off with a barely damp sponge when it will ). Slide the paper all the way to the border of this table to use paste to the ends and borders.

Book the Paper

Twist the pasted back of this paper onto itself, bottom and top ends assembly in the center. Make sure the side edges line up perfectly. Smooth the paper onto itself as much as possible without creasing the springs.

Place the paper apart to permit the paste to soak in and also the paper to unwind. Make sure you follow the exact booking time recommended on the background’s label, which differs based on its content (much more for vinyl-coated wallcoverings, less for uncoated papers).

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

Unfold the top of the booked paper and hang it on the wall. Overlap about 2 inches in the ceiling and 1/8 inch in the corner. Gently press it in place.

Unfold the bottom of the book and let it hang. Check the dimension between the newspaper and the door casing or reference line. Adjust the paper to help keep it parallel to the doorway but nevertheless overlapping at least ⅛ inch at the corner.

Tuck and Reduce the Paper

When the sheet is aligned, use the edge of a paper smoother to tuck the paper to the corner in the ceiling. Then, working from the top down, sweep the smoother within the entire sheet. (Do not press so hard for you to push out glue.)

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

Continue Papering

On the adjacent wall, draw a plumb line (if there’s no door or door ).

Hang a strip at the corner. Overlap the existing piece on the adjoining wall by 1/8 inch. Quantify to the plumb line and adjust the paper to keep the distance equal. Smooth the paper. Trim at the ceiling and cut on the corner.

Hang the next strip of paper. Unfold the top of the book and place it on the wall. Match the pattern as tightly as you can, leaving just a hair’s breadth between the sheets.

Tip: Push out air bubbles by sweeping the newspaper simpler from the middle out to the edges. Wipe off paste on the surface using a sponge.

Close to the Seams

Gently press the top of the paper to the wall. Then gently roll the seam with a seam roller to flatten down the edges. Now use the tips of your fingers to push the seam closed.

Unfold the bottom of the sheet and complete matching and closing the seam. Then tightly roll down the entire seam, working a full 3 inches from the border. This locks the seam, keeping it from opening as you smooth the newspaper.

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

Tip: If the booked end of the strip starts to dry out until you hang it, wipe the wall with a moist sponge. This may remoisten the paste when you hang on the paper.

Cut in Around Moldings

At windows and doors, let the paper overlap the molding by at least an inch.

Together with the razor, make a relief cut from the paper. Gently run the razor out of the molding corner out to the edge of this paper. Utilize the molding as a guide.

Trim the excess paper flap with a taping knife and razor. Smooth down the whole sheet.

Suggestion: Mistakes are inevitable when you’re learning how to hang wallpaper. Hide little cutting errors on darker papers by coloring the wall or the white border of the paper with a marker that matches the paper. Some pros even color 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 vanish. Cut a sheet of wallpaper larger than the plate. Cut out of the part of the pattern that matches the paper onto the wall round the switch.

Apply paste to the plate, then lay it face down on the paper. Hold them on the wall and then adjust the paper to match the pattern on the wall.

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

Cut out the change or receptacle holes using a razor. Make Xs at the screw holes. Screw back the plates on the wall.