How to Wallpaper a Room Properly


Wallpaper can be a wonderful finishing touch to any space. But it’s important to learn how to wallpaper a room properly so the job is done well and the pattern matches up perfectly.

Traditional wallpaper requires wallpaper paste and a process called “booking” to give the paper time to expand after being pasted. This helps avoid bad seams.

Start with a Plan

While it may seem tempting to just get started wallpapering your walls, this is not a good idea. It is important to plan your layout first, so that you don’t run out of paper halfway through the job and have to go back to the store.

When planning the layout for your wallpaper, consider where each seam will fall in relation to windows, doors, or outside corners. It is not good to have a wallpaper seam within an inch or two of a door or window as this can cause the paper to rip or pull up.

To avoid this, you can use a spirit level to draw a line on the wall. Next, add 4 inches to this measurement and mark it on the backside of your wallpaper with a pencil. This will help ensure that the first strip you hang is straight. Once you have the first strip in place, trim it to size using your wallpaper scissors.

Prep the Walls

Before you begin wallpapering you need to make sure that the wall is sound, clean and ready. This means removing anything that might keep the wallpaper from adhering to the surface, including nails, screws and light switch plates. The surface should be smooth as well – wallpaper can’t hide bumps and craters in the wall. It may be possible to use a process called mudding, which involves applying a skim coat of joint compound and then smoothing and sanding it to create a smooth surface. Get more info on this wallpaper singapore website.

It is also recommended that the wall be primed with a wallpaper primer such as SW’s PrepRite which is combo primer and sizing (or similar products like LP’s Ready Strip which is a standard drywall primer). If you have a textured surface, a darker colored paint should work better to hide it than a light color as this will show the texture through the paper. Then the wall should be washed to remove dust and dirt, and let it dry.

Cut the Paper

To get started, make sure you have all the wallpapering tools and supplies you need. This includes a sharp wallpaper trimming knife or snap blade and scissors (for bits of paper that the knife won’t cut through because they are soggy from the glue). Also, you’ll want a few clean cloths for smoothing down the wallpaper as you go along.

Some modern wallpapers require no prep at all – you just peel and stick. However, traditional paper-backed or paste-the-paper styles will need to be ‘booked’ (pasted on the back and allowed to rest for a while, as specified by the manufacturer) before hanging them.

Start with the first strip, lining up its edge with the straight line you drew on the wall (and making adjustments to the pattern as needed). Unfold the paper and smooth it down on the wall, working outwards from the center of the room. If you’re using a patterned wallpaper, always finish in an internal corner to ensure that the pattern matches up perfectly with the next piece of wallpaper at the corners.

Hang the Paper

Achieving a seamless, well-matched pattern requires both artistry and engineering, says John Dee. It starts with a good preparation and ends with precise attention to the room’s topography, whether it’s adding molding or correcting a wall that’s out of plumb.

If you’re using a paper-based wallpaper, book it for the recommended time (the exact booking time is listed on the product label). When you’re ready to hang, start in a corner near a door. Draw a reference line parallel to the door or wall with a plumb bob or spirit level (or even use a water-level) to make sure the first length or ‘drop’ is straight, which will set the standard for all subsequent lengths of wallpaper.

Unroll the booked paper and place it “face down” on a trestle table or other work surface to help take away the curl, then weigh down both edges with something heavy (e.g. books) to keep it in place while you paste the wall.