I hope you aren’t coming to this post to find a reason why you can’t wallpaper. Because let’s be honest. Wallpaper is freaking awesome and it will make a HUGE impact on your space without spending a fortune. Which I am all about. Truth bomb: Wallpapering really isn’t that hard. Gone are the days that you need glue and sizing and all the other stuff you needed in the “olden” days.
This is my experience, my very very first experience hanging wallpaper. In a pantry no less! Now first you need to understand that there are 2 different types of wallpaper. The first is peel and stick. This is essentially a big sticker. I haven’t worked with this particular product. Yet. I have plans to soon though. The other is pre pasted wallpaper, which is what I used.
So I will be speaking to the pre pasted wallpaper. Before you get started you need to measure your space so you know exactly how much paper you need to buy. I suggest over buying rather than under buying because once you get started you won’t want to start the process over. Check out the wallpaper calculator I used here. I also highly suggest you browse the wallpapers on this site because they are SO stunning.
One of the very best things I invested in was an awesome knife. And by investment I mean $7. This made cutting the delicate wet paper SO much easier!!! I tried a regular utility knife the first few pieces and hated it. Pick up yours here.
The other 2 things I used was a regular kitchen washcloth and a kitchen sponge. That’s right. I was real high tech here. I’ve seen that some people recommend getting a seam roller. I didn’t but in case you are interested here is one.
You will also need access to a bathtub or large sink. That’s what I used and it worked perfectly and saved me from having to buy a wall paper water tray.
A measuring tape is pretty obvious so you can get those precise cuts. I used one similar to this.
Lastly you will need something with a long straight edge to help cut your paper straight. I recommend a large level or square.
You need to start with clean and dry walls. Depending on your pattern you will want to start in the middle or the edge of your wall. If you have a large print that doesn’t repeat often, I would suggest starting in the middle of the wall so it is easier to match up your pattern. For me my pattern repeated quickly so it worked for me to start on the edge.
When buying wallpaper it is typically listed what the horizontal and vertical repeat is. The smaller the number the more repeated your pattern is.
Start by measuring your first strip. I recommend working in the longest lengths possible. Typically floor to ceiling. Less cuts means less problems. Measure twice cut once. Start by measuring from the highest point in your ceiling and down to your baseboard. Once you’ve measured, lets cut.
After cutting your length of wall paper the fun part starts. Place the paper in your water making sure everything gets saturated but don’t let it soak for too long. Wet wallpaper is typically fragile. Roll your paper up, like a newspaper, careful not to crease it. Allow the excess water to drain off the paper and carry it to your wall.
Now this next part is incredibly important. You are going to “book” your wallpaper. This is going to active the glue in the paper and allows it to stick to the wall. Roll your paper out and fold each end into the middle. Do not crease the ends. Making a large “book”.
If you read the instructions that come with your paper it should say how long it needs to be booked for. Mine was about 1 minute.
Once it’s booked roll the paper back up. Careful, it will be easier to crease now, making sure you get it rolled into a size that is easily manageable.
Now, like I said before, wallpaper when wet is fragile and tears easily, which is why I recommend you have the sharpest blade possible. You don’t want to try and cut your paper only to have it rip.
Starting at the top of your wall unroll a small amount of paper and press firmly to your wall, matching up to your edge carefully. Using your sponge wipe down the front of your paper, unrolling as you go and pressing it firmly to the wall. As you go with your sponge you should be concentrating on pushing all air bubbles out to the edges so the paper lies flat. Pay extra attention to those seams. Once it is placed gently wipe the whole piece off with your washcloth to remove any excess glue.
Once to the bottom, trim any excess and admire your handy work!
Some wallpaper will expand about an 1/8″ when it gets wet.
Now you will continue that system until you are completed with your wall!! Congrats! Wallpaper isn’t so hard after all!