How To Hang Wall Paper
Learn how to hang wallpaper! Beautifying a room with wall paper or vinyl wall covering can be a very rewarding experience.
Beautifying a room with wallpaper or vinyl wall covering can be a very rewarding experience. Wallpaper can give depth or height to a room and decorative boarders can be used, even when you do not want to cover the entire wall, to bring out a special color scheme.
When you are planning to cover an entire room you can determine the number of rolls of wallpaper you will need by adding the width of the rooms walls in feet and then multiplying by the rooms height. Divide this by 30, which is the usable square feet in each roll of wallpaper. Then add to this one additional roll and subtract a half roll for each normal size window and door in the room.
To wallpaper a room you will need a paste that is compatible with the paper you are purchasing and a paste brush. If you are purchasing pre-pasted wallpaper you can skip the paste and brush, but will need a water box. The walls will have to be coated with a glue like substance called size prior to beginning your project. You will also need a chalk line, plumb bob, smoothing brush, seam roller and craft knife with additional blades.
The area where you work should be a large flat surface. This can be a piece of plywood laid across two sawhorses or a large table covered with plastic. Before you begin check all the walls to be sure they are clean, smooth and sound. If it is necessary to make repairs to the wall you should use an alkyd primer-sealer or latex acrylic primer to cover the repairs, any new walls or walls that have a regular latex finish on them. If you have a glossy enamel on the wall it should be sanded or rubbed with a liquid de-glosser before you begin. If the wall has been papered before, remove any peeling wallpaper, vinyl wallpaper or wall paper that is more than two layers thick.
Prior to coating the walls with size, paint the ceiling and trim. When this is thoroughly dry, brush the size on all the walls to be covered. In most cases a pattern mismatch will occur at the edge of the last strip of wallpaper you hang. Plan ahead so the last strip will fall along the edge of a door, an inconspicuous corner or a floor to ceiling built in. This is the point where you should start hanging your wallpaper unless you are using a strong symmetrical design. In this case you should center the first strip over a fireplace, sofa or between windows. Once you have found the point where you will hang the last strip, measure out from that point a wallpaper width subtracting 1\2 inch. Then mark a plumb chalk line. If you are centering the strip mark a line half a wallpaper width from the center.
When cutting the first strip of wallpaper leave a 3-inch trim allowance at the top and bottom. Be sure to make all rough cuts with scissors. Next, coat the upper two thirds of the wallpaper with paste and fold it over itself with the paste side in. Do no crease the paper when doing this. Then coat the lower third and fold it up with the paste side in. Allow this to set for five minutes before you open the top fold and align its edge on the chalk line. Using your smoothing brush, smooth the wallpaper onto the wall and then unfold the lower half, attaching it in the same manner. Be sure you smooth from the center out to remove air and wrinkles. Use your craft knife to trim the excess paper at the top and bottom. If there are any other visible cuts use your craft knife and be sure to change the blades often. Pre-pasted paper can be hung directly from the water box. Simply roll up the strip from the bottom to the top with the pattern side in. Use something to weight the roll in the water box so it is covered with water and allow to soak as directed. Be sure your water box is sitting directly under the area you are covering and then pull the strip straight up and onto the wall.
To make seams and match the patterns in your wallpaper you should cut and hang the remaining strips with each aligned along the previous strips edge. Push the edges together slightly until the two form a tiny ridge and wait 10 minutes before pressing the seam with your seam roller. When the wallpaper dries it will flatten removing the ridge from the seams. If the wallpaper you are using is vinyl double cut a seam, overlap the edges and then slice through both layers. When you are using a stripe pattern match each stripe against the previous strip. If the pattern is a drop match pattern or one that aligns diagonally, you may reduce waste by cutting the strips alternately from two different rolls. When you reach a corner, measure from the last whole strip to the corner at the top, middle and bottom. Then cut a strip that is 1\2 inch wider than your widest measurement and hang it. At the corner of the second wall measure out the width of the left over piece and mark a plumbed chalk line. Next, hang this piece aligned on the chalk line and lapping the seam at the corner. Any mismatch will not be noticeable. Using vinyl-to-vinyl adhesive, glue the lapped edges. With projecting corners cut the first piece to go around the corner one inch then plumb and hang the second piece 1\2 inch from the corner. Around doors and windows you will need to paste the strip over the frame and make a diagonal relief cut at each corner before you trim. When you reach the other side of the window make your relief cuts as you work down the strip, smoothing and aligning as you go. When covering around electrical outlets, be sure the power is turned off and remove the wall plate. Place the wallpaper strip over the box and make a small X cut over it before trimming back the excess.