A Beginner's Guide to Wallpaper in 5 Steps!

A Beginner's Guide to Wallpaper in 5 Steps!

PUBLISHED ON: September 09, 2017

Wallpaper, once relegated to the dustbins of interior design history, has been making a resurgence of late on feature walls around the country. Gone are the dusty florals of the late 80’s and early 90’s - homeowners now are adding amazing patterns in a variety of materials as a focal point to any room in the house. This is our five-step guide on how you can bring a touch of colour and fun to your new Hopewell home, and make it truly your own!

 1)      Choose a wallpaper that speaks to your sense of style. 

Options range from basic patterned paper to unique new materials like grass cloth, sisal, cork and silk, and each can transform your room in a unique way. The pattern and material isn’t the only choice to make though - lighter patterns or materials will be great if you want to paper a whole room, while bolder or high-contrast patterns look amazing on a feature wall or below the chair rail.

2)      Measure the area you want to paper, and buy at least an additional 15%. 

Need to cover 100 sq. ft? Buy 115 to be on the safe side. There will always be trimmings and scrap that don’t wind up on the walls as you cut the edges off around ceilings and floors, and trim around doors and outlets. If you aren’t doing custom patterns or materials,  make sure that any unopened packages can be returned!

 3)      Gather your supplies. 

You’ll need:

  • A metal rule, used for drawing accurate guidelines and making straight cuts
  • A pasting table - a long folding table that you’ll use to cut and paste your paper (if you’re using rolls or long sheets)
  • A papering sponge, used for cleaning excess glue off of equipment and wallpaper (get quite a few! Unused sponges can be returned)
  • A pasting brush, used for applying the paste to the back of the paper
  • A seam roller, which is used to ensure flat seams and and good adhesion
  • A wallpaper trough, used for dipping pre-pasted paper
  • A paper hanging brush, used for smoothing out any bumps or bubbles
  • A measuring cup - used to measure your glue and water. You’ll probably want to avoid using your kitchen cups! Buy a new one for household purposes
  • Paper hanging scissors - longer bladed scissors specifically designed for cutting wallpaper
  • Drop cloth or old sheets- you want to protect your beautiful new floors!
  • Very sharp utility knife, for trimming the top and bottom of your paper
  • An extra pair of hands - Wallpaper is not a one-person job!

4)      Plan your placement.

Depending on your chosen pattern, your wallpaper may need specific placement to look its best. Choose your start point and end point carefully to avoid ending up with awkward cuts to the pattern, and if there’s a horizontal element, make sure that the seams match up.

5)      Install your wallpaper! 

To begin, make sure to thoroughly clean your walls with a microfibre cloth. The first sheet will always be the hardest, so begin by carefully drawing a vertical line on the wall at your chosen starting point, using a level. Measure two, three, four times to ensure that the line is perfectly vertical and properly placed.

Paint the glue on the back surface of the paper (or wet the paper in your trough if it is the pre-glued variety), and gently affix the paper to the wall. After ensuring that the placement is exactly right, use your paper hanging brush to push out any air bubbles or creases. Work from the centre of the paper to the edges, using the brush to crease the paper into the junction between the wall and the baseboard.

Continue working your way along the wall, ensuring that the pattern lines up, gently cleaning the seams with a wet sponge to remove any extra paste. Finish your seams by gently running a seam roller along the the seam.

Once the glue is dried, use a very sharp utility knife or exacto knife along the edge of your metal ruler to trim the paper along the baseboards and the ceiling.

Share Your Projects!

If you’re looking for a more in-depth tutorial on how to install your wallpaper, visit diynetwork.com for their posts on Tools, Prep and Planning. Have you recently completed a wallpaper project in your Hopewell home? Share your photos on Facebook and tag @HopewellCommunities or @HopewellResidentialEdmonton, and we might feature your project on our pages! 

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