How to Apply Wallpaper in Your Home
What You'll Need
Before you begin, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need right in front of you. Start with the wallpaper of your choosing and its recommended adhesive and primer. You’ll also need a flat surface to work on, a paint roller with a tray, a sponge and bucket, a utility knife, putty knives, a pair of rubber gloves, painter’s tape, sandpaper, a smoothing brush, drywall compound, a straight edge, a level, a seam roller and a pencil to make any marks as needed. Finally, consider having a small paintbrush on hand for applying adhesive to small areas.
How Much Time Will It Take?
Wallpapering is an extensive process with several time-consuming steps, including cleaning and prepping the walls, applying primer, measuring and cutting the wallpaper, and arranging it on the walls. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to allow yourself a full day to complete any wallpapering projects.
How to Prep the Walls Before Applying Wallpaper
First, fill a bucket with warm water. Using a sponge, clean the walls and allow the surface to dry completely. Once dry, use sandpaper to buff any rough areas or imperfections. Drywall compound is a great way to even out any dented or damaged areas on older walls. (Just apply it with a putty knife and let it dry for a full 24 hours before sanding it down.) Once your walls are clean and sanded, place painter’s tape along the trim and apply primer. Let your primer dry for at least a couple of hours before hanging the wallpaper.
Step 1: Use your pencil, level, and straight edge to make sure the wall lines are even. Mark the wall accordingly where you wish to apply your wallpaper panels.
Step 2: Measure and cut your wallpaper to fit the space, but leave an extra four inches in vertical length to allow for any mistakes.
Step 3: Roll out the wallpaper panel upside down on a flat surface and either activate or apply the adhesive.
Step 4: Stick the panel to the wall, leaving extra paper along the top and bottom.
Step 5: Use your utility knife to remove excess paper along the top and bottom edges.
Step 6: Complete this process until your walls are paper completely.
Step 7: Finally, use a seam roller to press all the seams together.
Other Ways to Use Wallpaper
Think wallpaper only belongs on walls? Think again! There are countless creative ways to utilize your favorite prints throughout your home. Liven up the inside of your kitchen cabinets and drawers with wallpaper liners, or brighten an old bookcase with a wallpaper background instead. Build a statement-making staircase by placing wallpaper accents on the risers, or elevate the look of a neutral closet with a wallpaper backsplash in your favorite hue. Many people use wallpaper for their ceiling to create a surprising accent to the room. You can even use wallpaper to revamp the look of an old coffee table or shelves. Prefer a simpler approach? Just frame your favorite wallpaper pattern and hang it on a bare wall for artwork on demand.
Is wallpaper permanent?
Wallpaper isn’t permanent, although removing it can prove challenging. Several techniques exist to strip wallpaper, and the right one largely depends on the type of wallpaper you’re removing. Liquid stripping concentrates and steam-stripping, for example, are both popular methods of wallpaper removal. If you’re unsure of which technique is best for your needs, you may want to consult with a professional.
Can I paint over wallpaper?
Painting over wallpaper is a tricky process, but it can be done successfully with a little know-how! Just make sure you thoroughly clean the walls before applying any paint, and inspect all of the edges and corners to make sure nothing needs re-adhered before you begin.
Do I need a wallpaper installer?
Deciding whether or not to hire a professional wallpaper installer really comes down to your experience level and the project itself. If you’re a wallpapering beginner, it’s a good idea to outsource the work to someone who’s more comfortable with the process. Hiring a skilled pro is also a smart idea if a project is particularly demanding. If you’re hanging removable wallpaper or papering a single accent wall, however, you may just want to utilize your own DIY skills!