How To Wallpaper A Room
Learn how to hang wallpaper piece-by-piece. Measure, cut, match the patterns, and hang the paper to look like a professional job!
Wallpapering a room is as easy as 1-2-3 when you know the basic rules of application. These basic rules are listed in this article.
1. You will need to pick out the pattern of the wallpaper that you wish to use, and then purchase the amount of wallpaper you will need to complete your project. To figure this amount accurately, measure and muliply the perimeter of the room by the height of the walls. This will give you the total square footage. Then, figure that the average single roll of wallpaper contains approximately 35 feet. Divide the total square footage number by 30 to allow for waste. The resulting number is the total amount of wallpaper you will need in order to paper this room.
2. Before beginning your project, you will need to prepare the wall surface. As long as the walls are in good condition, no large cracks or holes in them, and are not painted with a glossy-type paint, you will only need to dust them down or wash them down with warm vinegar water to remove the dirt and grime.
If the walls are shiny, or painted with an oil-based paint, you will need to purchase a de-glosser at your local paint store. Follow the manufacturer's directions for proper use.
3. Next you will need to measure and find the point with your tape that is a distance from the corner of one inch less than the width of the roll of wallpaper. Make a mark at this point with a pencil. If the wallpaper rolls are twenty inches wide, for example, make a mark exactly nineteen inches from the corner. At this mark, you will need to make an exactly plumb line.
4. You are now ready to begin your papering project. Measure the height of the wall to be papered and then add two inches. Carefully cut the piece of wallpaper with a pair of sharp scissors. Pre-pasted wallpaper is the easiest to use, as it needs only to be soaked in a tub of warm water for 20-30 seconds. The piece of paper is then carefully held in the air or placed in an area where it can drip dry for a minute or so. Follow the manufacturer's directions on the wallpaper package for the best results.
Be sure that you apply the first piece of wallpaper so that it is exactly aligned with your plumb mark. Leave the bottom folded up and concentrate on the upper part of the piece at first. Make sure it is secured properly in place before unfolding and securing the bottom of the piece. Use a wallpaper brush or a soft, damp cloth-if working with vinyl or some other type of paper that water will not affect-to smooth out any air bubbles or small wrinkles that have occurred in the piece of wallpaper you have just hung up. Start at the middle of the piece and work your way out, up, and down.
5. Apply the second piece, etc., of wallpaper in the same manner you applied the first, making sure to follow the patterns. Before cutting the second sheet, though, make sure that the piece you are planning to cut will match the pattern lines on the first sheet exactly. Make sure the seems join together, but do not overlap them as you will misalign the patterns.
6. Finally, make sure, when papering around windows, doors, and other openings, to align the pattern of the paper with the piece that is already hung on the wall beside it. You may be able to use short pieces of scrap wallpaper. Also remember to match the patterns of the paper above and below the opening as well.
To paper around light switches and electrical outlets, simply remove the outlet covers and switch plates by unscrewing them from the walls. Then, hang a dry piece of paper, that you have matched and cut for the job, up to the wall. Carefully cut around the holes, but be sure to leave about a half inch of excess paper. Be very careful not to touch the outlet or the switch. For safety's sake, you might choose to cut the electrical service to that room until the project is completed. Hang the piece of wallpaper, then carefully use a razor blade to make diagonal cuts in each corner of the paper. Tuck the excess paper into the wall. After the paper has thoroughly dried, replace the switch plates and the outlet covers.