Friday Finds : Wallpapering Tips : How to Hang Wallpaper

We promised you if you stayed tuned, we would follow-up our post on wallpaper tools and supplies with a post on how to hang wallpaper. And we like to stay true to our promises! So now that you have the right tools and supplies, let’s go over some best practices for hanging wallpaper:

Prepping your walls to hang wallpaper:

  • Remove all outlet plates, vent covers and anything else that can be removed to make less taping work for you. Turn off the electrical current to the room and cover electrical outlets with masking tape.
  • For painted walls: Wash walls with solution of trisodium phosphate, then rinse with clean water and allow to dry.
  • For new sheetrock: Apply two coats of Hirshfield’s Wall Prep Universal Primer.
  • For wallpapered walls: Remove, clean off old paste, rinse and dry.
  • The wallpaper experts at Hirshfield’s recommend using Hirshfield’s Wall Prep on painted surfaces with flat paint, and Uniprep over surfaces with a sheen.
  • Repair and patch holes and cracks.
  • Check that all dye lot numbers are the same on each roll and inspect each roll of wallpaper for flaws.

Measuring and cutting wallpaper:

  • Start in an inconspicuous corner (i.e behind a door), and plan to work hanging the wallpaper from right to left.
  • Take the width of the paper minus 1/2″ and measure that distance out to the right from the corner. With a pencil, draw a straight vertical line using a plumb or a level. Determine the pattern desired at the ceiling line before cutting your first strip.
  • Cut your first strip, allowing 2″ overlap at the top and bottom for trimming. The adhesive on prepasted wallpaper is activated by running the strip through a water tray half filled with lukewarm water. For non-prepasted wallpaper, lay the strip pattern side down on a work table covered with a plastic drop cloth. Apply an even coat of the recommended adhesive to the entire strip using a medium nap roller, then book.
  • Wallpaper strips should rest in the booked position for about 10 minutes before hanging. Storing the booked strip in a plastic garbage bag will keep the edges from drying during this time.

Hanging wallpaper:

  • Carry the booked strip to the wall and unfold the top half only. Position the top half on the wall with 2″ overlap at the ceiling and line up the right edge on the vertical line. Lightly smooth the strip with a brush or vinyl smoother.
  • Unfold the bottom half and smooth the strip, working out all the bubbles. Wrap the 1/2″ overlap on the left around the corner. Make diagonal slits at the ceiling and baseboard corners to help avoid wrinkling.
  • Trim off excess at the top and bottom. The secret to a good cut is to move the scraper along the wall while keeping the blade in contact with the wall.
  • Wash each strip with a natural sponge and clean water after hanging. Change the water frequently.
  • Hang additional strips in the same manner, butting, not overlapping, the seams.
  • For inside corners, measure from the edge of the last strip to the corner. Measure the top, middle and bottom of the wall. Add 1/2″ to the widest measurement. Mark this measurement the length of your next strip and cut it into two sections.
  •  Position the first section on the wall, taking care to match the pattern with the previous strip. The strip will slightly overlap onto the adjoining wall.
  • Make corner slits at the top and bottom to facilitate overlap. Flatten the strip with your smoothing tool, trim excess at the ceiling and baseboard.
  • Measure the width of the remaining section. Mark this distance on the wall from the corner and draw a plumbline on the new wall using the level.
  • Position your strip with cut edge in the corner and manufacturer’s edge on the plumbline. Maintain a horizontal match. Smooth, then trim at the ceiling and baseboard, and rinse.
  • For outside corners, the wallcovering can generally be wrapped around the outside corners unless the adjoining walls are out of plumb. If this is the case, follow the instructions for inside corners, but add 1″ (instead of 1/2″) for the wraparound. Be sure to eliminate trapped air at the corner.

Now we want to see your fabulous new wallpaper! Post your pictures to the Hirshfield’s Facebook page so we can all Ohh and Ahh!

hanging wallpaper
Fougere wallpaper by Romo
2 Responses
  1. Becky

    I like to hang 2 0r 3 strips of wallcovering before I trim off the excess paper at the top and bottom of the strip. You will get a better continous cut, by cutting a few strips at a time.

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