How To Hang Wallpaper For Beginners
Wallpaper can add warmth and depth to a room, and it allows you to really show off your personality and style with a range of patterns, prints and colours. However, if you’re not an avid DIYer, it can be hard to know where to begin. If you’re worried about things like matching up your pattern, having visible seams, or not getting a smooth finish, you can relax. We’ve compiled some easy steps on how to hang wallpaper and you can get them here
SELECTING YOUR WALLPAPER
At Crockers we have an extensive range of luxury, designer and premium wallpapers to choose from and you can purchase them in store or online. Botanicals, patterns, neutrals, textured wallpaper - there are so many choices. It can be overwhelming to select the right design so we invite you to come in and we can go through our sample books with you.
Simply book a free Crockers consultation and we can help you select the perfect style for your space.
We can also recommend a local interior designer who can visit you, see your space and provide recommendations from our wallpaper designs. It’s very important to order the correct amount of wallpaper - you don’t want to run out halfway through your project! When you select your wallpaper on our website, click ‘How much wallpaper do I need’ then check the height and width of your wall against the chart for the correct amount that you’ll need.
TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
For preparing the walls you’ll need:
For hanging your wallpaper you’ll need:
- Adhesive glue or paste
- Wallpaper smoother
- Plumb bob or spirit level
- Seam roller
- Sponge and a clean damp cloth
- Trimming guide
- Premium scraper
- Broad knife
Some equipment you may need for wall preparation prior to wallpapering
When learning how to hang wallpaper, preparation is very important. Remove any photos, artworks, light fixtures, light switches covers and power sockets from the wall. Fill in any holes, cracks or imperfections and give the wall a good sand with sandpaper so you have a flat and even surface. Clean the entire wall with a cloth and mild detergent or sugar soap. Prime the whole wall - don’t skip this step! We have a few options so come in and chat to us first. This important step helps the wallpaper to adhere to the wall and reduces the chance of your paper shrinking.
MAP OUT YOUR WALLPAPER
The first length of wallpaper is the most important as all other sheets will align to it. It’s essential to ensure this piece is straight (plumb) otherwise your wallpaper could look crooked, it will be even more noticeable if you’re using patterned or striped wallpaper. By ensuring the first sheet is straight, the rest should line up correctly.
From the left-hand corner of your wall, measure in 50 cm and make a pencil mark - this is your starting point. Use your plumb bob or spirit level to draw a vertical straight line down the entire wall. You’ll hang your first sheet of wallpaper within this space to ensure it hangs straight down the wall. The last sheet of paper will hang in the right-hand corner and you’ll trim the edge where the walls adjoin. Mapping out your wallpaper at the start will make the process of how to hang wallpaper much smoother.
APPLY THE WALLPAPER PASTE
There are two kinds of wallpaper: prepasted wallpaper and unpasted wallpaper - you’ll need to follow the instructions on your wallpaper roll label. Prepasted paper already has the paste coating on its backing so all you need to do is soak the wallpaper in water to activate the paste which glues the wallpaper to the wall.
For unpasted and paste the wall wallpaper that doesn’t have the paste already on the backing, follow these steps. Read the instructions on your wallpaper paste product and mix the recommended amount of contents with water in a bucket with a stirrer until thick. Pour the paste into a paint roller tray.
If you are pasting the wall, start in the top corner where you’ll hang your first drop. You may use a brush to cut in to paint the paste along the edges and in the corners. For non woven wallpapers, apply paste to the wall using a high-quality ½-in nap paint roller, avoid cheap rollers that can leave fuzz on your wall. Paste as you go.
For wallpapers that are paper backed, you will need to apply paste to the back of the wallpaper. You will require a large table so that you can easily lay out the wallpaper. Once you have pasted the back of the drop, you can allow the wallpaper to rest or “book” by folding the pasted sides together so the wallpaper can soften and relax. Make sure you apply paste evenly and across to the edges of the wallpaper drop. You can set this drop aside while you paste another, then go back and hang the first drop and so on.
BEGINNER’S TIP: cut your lengths/drops first and match the pattern on a table. Number each drop at the top so you don’t forget which one goes up first!
Climb your ladder towards the ceiling with your wallpaper and unfold the top portion. Position the paper to correspond with the pencil marks you made on the wall. Press it against the wall leaving 5cm for trimming along the ceiling line. Line the paper against your pencil mark.
Moving down the wall, stroke the paper against the wall, using a brush or wallpaper smoother to position it. Unfold the bottom of the strip and press it against the wall, again checking it against the pencil mark. When you’re happy with its position, smooth it over fully, removing any air bubbles. Don’t rush, the paste won’t dry that quickly, you have plenty of time to get it in the right spot. Use your sharp knife to cut any extra paper at the ceiling and floor. Use your sponge to clean off any excess paste as you go.
Congratulations, you’ve hung your first piece of wallpaper! If your wallpaper has a pattern, line it up with the sheet you just hung so it fits perfectly together. Repeat the process working across your wall.
If you covered over a light socket or power point, you’ll need to cut the wallpaper and tidy this up. Safety first, turn off the electricity! Using your knife, cut two lines from corner to corner to create an ‘X’ shape creating four triangles and peel back the centre point to expose the socket underneath. Trim the excess paper, you can hide a little excess paper behind the socket then screw the socket or switch back on.
FURTHER SUPPORT FOR HANGING WALLPAPER
We hope this information on how to hang wallpaper makes your next project super simple! If you need further assistance or have any questions, we invite you to book in a free 15-minute Crocker’s consultation with our team where we can discuss your wallpaper project before you get started.
You can also check out our PDF document Wallcovering Surface Preparation and Application Guide which covers all types of wall surfaces and the process for preparing and applying wallpaper to each surface.
If you decide you’d rather leave wallpaper installation to the professionals, we can recommend the best local tradespeople for the job and we can still help you select the best design for your space.
Before and After of a DIY wallpapering project