How to Install Wallpaper

Setting wallpaper is a great alternative to painting. It allows for patterns and textures that are normally impossible or complicated to paint. It’s a very simple process that involves a significant amount of preparation to finish properly.

Removing the Old Wallpaper

Removing old wallpaper is a fairly simple process. Use a wallpaper scoring tool to cut holes in the paper and apply a wallpaper removing solution over the paper generously. It’s a good idea to protect the flooring from the drip of the solution. Once it’s been applied, allow it to sit for about 20-30 minutes before pulling the paper off from one of the corners of the wall. Be sure to get all of the paper off, clean all of the adhesive with a strong detergent and rinse the walls with water to complete the job.

Early Preparations

Taking a few minutes to prepare a workstation is well worth the effort. A small table is ideal, but the end goal of the workstation is merely to have a designated area to spread and cut wallpaper. It’s a good idea to place the workstation away from the wallpapering site to avoid crowding. It’s also very helpful to have a heavy object that can pin down the paper to the table.As for the site of the wallpapering, everything in the room needs to be cleared. If a light switch or electrical socket cover is present in the room, remove it to avoid unsightly gaps. If there are any studs, nails or holes in the wall, fix or remove them before the project itself begins. The existing texture may also be a problem, so if the wall is full of bumps, smooth out any that protrude too far. When the wallpaper adhesive is ready, a nail in the wall can ruin a cut of wallpaper, wasting time and money.Once that’s been done, it’s a good idea to paint the upper part of the wall to match the ceiling color. This will make slight gaps of one or 2 millimeters virtually undetectable. Once that’s finished, use a wall primer to moisturize the surface of the wall. This helps the wallpaper to stick and dry more easily by avoiding any transfer of moisture from the adhesive into the wall.

Preparing and Placing the Wallpaper

Once all of the early preparations are finished, the wallpaper itself will still need to be prepared. The first step is to measure out a piece that can be used as a benchmark. By having a single piece of wallpaper to experiment with, it will be much easier to predict any problems that were not accounted for in the early preparations. Wet the paper and prepare the adhesive. Carefully place it over its designated area. Use a flat tool, like a wallpaper brush, to smooth out the surface. If any adhesive comes out while smoothing the paper, quickly remove it with a wallpaper sponge.

If the wallpaper appears to be sticking well and there are no obstructions on the wall, repeat the above process on the rest of the wall. With each measurement, remember to account for the pieces that are already placed in terms of where their ages are. If two pieces overlap in an unlucky spot, it can ruin an entire cut of paper with an unsightly wrinkle or an unfortunate glue spill. Once all of the pieces have been placed, smooth out all of the paper and flatten the seams with a seam roller. Do not use too much force; lightly roll the tool over the seams and be sure that they are completely sealed. When the last seam has been flattened, the project is complete.


This article was written by Doyle Sumrall of Total Wallcovering. He specializes in providing designer wallpaper at discount prices. He has been selling and installing wall coverings for over 25 years and loves what he does. While most homeowners are choosing paint over wallpaper because of misinformation, Doyle is promoting the benefits of redecorating your house with wallpaper on a national level.

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