How to Hang Wallpaper

Wallpaper is a wonderful way to transform your walls, and with these step-by-step instructions, hanging it will be easier than you think.

| May/June 2011

Wallpaper is back, and there are more eco-friendly options than ever. From natural wall coverings made of rapidly renewable resources to patterns printed with water-based inks on recycled or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper, today’s wallpapers are green and gorgeous.

Once you’ve found the perfect pattern (see the article "Wonder Wall" for some of our favorites), it is important to take your time and thoroughly prep your walls before you get started. Remove all artwork, faceplates and outlet covers. Wallpaper will not adhere to oil, gloss or semi-gloss painted walls. Use coarse sandpaper to dull wall surfaces. Spackle and sand holes, and clean walls with a damp sponge. Consider using a wallpaper primer to ensure the paper adheres to the wall.

It is also a good idea to make a schematic drawing of the room, noting the windows and doors, and coming up with a plan for the order in which the will paper go up. Start and end in the least conspicuous spot in the room—such as the space behind a door—where it won’t be obvious if your pattern doesn’t match up. Assign each strip of paper a number and mark it on your drawing.

Now that you’ve done all the necessary prep work, it’s time to get to the fun stuff. Two sets of hands are better than one when it comes to handling long expanses of wet paper, so it’s a good idea to invite over a friendly helper.

How to Hang Wallpaper

I. Cutting  

This isn’t the first time we’ve said it, and it may not be the last, but “measure twice, cut once” is the mantra when preparing to paper a room. Once you’ve drawn up your detailed schematic, measured your walls, and prepped your room, it’s time to start cutting.

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