How to Hang Wallpaper


Give special attention to wall preparation, it is the basis for a long lasting job. Most walls need some type of prep before you can hang paper on them. Generally, they must be smooth and clean. Remove light switch covers and plug plates. Other hardware such as curtain rods and picture hangers should also be removed to make the job easier.
Previously Papered Walls
Remove old wallcoverings. Use a good glue remover solution then wash the walls clean with detergent and a little household bleach to prevent mold and mildew problems. Size walls if desired to improve adhesion.
Previously Painted Walls
Scrape or sand of any rough spots. Fill cracks and holes with spackle and sand smooth. Sand glossy walls to a dull finish. Clean walls with detergent and bleach solution to prevent mold and mildew problems. Apply a primer sealer to walls to ensure wallpaper can be stripped completely at a later date. Size walls if desired to improve positioning and adhesion.
New Walls
 Make sure surface is dry before you begin. Apply primer/sealer with a brush or roler. This gives the wall an even surface to adhere to so it is easier hang as well as remove later. Priming is an important part of preparing plaster and drywall surfaces. Use a white pigmented primer sealer to avoid bleed through. Size walls if desired to improve positioning and adhesion.


Getting Ready

You will need a table to do your booking and pasting, plumb bob, plastic dropcloths, lots of razor blades, a smoother, buckets of water, sponges, rags and a ladder. If you have prepasted wallpaper, you will need a water tray. If you have unpasted paper you will need paste and an applicator such as a pasting brush or short nap roller.

Start Straight

Select an inconspicuous corner such as near a door or large window as your starting point. Use a plumb bob to mark a vertical line 1/2 inch less than the width of your paper from the starting point to ensure you hang the paper straight up and down.

Cutting the Paper

This can be a tricky spot because you have to take into account where you want the pattern to start and repeat. Measure the height of the ceiling in several places before you cut and add enough distance to ensure your pattern will line up correctly. Use a sharp blade or scissors to cut the paper into two strips.

Pasting the Paper

Some papers come prepasted and others need to have a paste applied to them.
Prepasted Wallcovering Roll the paper strip pattern side in and dip the wallpaper into the tray for about 10 seconds or as the instructions indicate. Leaving it in too long may wash away the paste.
Slowly draw the wallpaper out of the tray makingsure that both front and back are completely wet.
Unpasted Wallpaper brush or roll on paste in a thin uniform layer.
When soaked, wallpaper expands. It is important to allow the wallpaper to absorb water and relax for a short time before you hang it. Book the paper ( fold it pasted side to pasted side) carefully to avoid creasing and let it sit for about three minutes. Do not book longer than five minutes.

Hanging the Wallpaper

  • Line up the edge of your strip with your plumb line. Gently smooth the wallcovering to the wall, forcing out air bubbles as you go. The strip should overlap the ceiling and the baseboard. Continue hanging around the room. After hanging two strips inspect the wallcovering for defects, pattern flaws, and color match. If there is a problem, return the paper to where you bought it.
  • Random match wallpaper should be hung using reverse strips in case there is a subtle difference in coloration or density across the width of the roll.
  • As you finish each strip, sponge off excess paste with clean water and dry with a soft cloth. Wash paste from painted areas before it dries.
  • Don't overlap mid-wall seams just butt the edges and avoid stretching. Don't push or pull the seams into place, move the entire strip by sliding it over. Make sure the strips are tight against each other. Roll seams to ensure they are tight against the wall using care to not force out the glue.
  • Always trim both inside and outside corners. Their edges are rarely straight and can cause bridging over gaps. If the edge is not true vertical, a lean can be influenced into the paper strips. Overlap edges by 1/2 inch to ensure enough covering in the gaps.
  • When you hang the paper over an opening such as a window or door, relax the paper by cutting the paper diagonally toward the center of the opening. Then, use your edge guide and a sharp knife to snug the paper up to the edge.
  • Use a metal edge guide to hold the paper in place as you trim around inside and outside corners, baseboards and ceiling lines. It is important to use a fresh sharp blade for each cut, otherwise snagging and tearing might occur.


Love the look of new wallpaper, but dread the thought of removing the old? If you've ever tried stripping wallpaper using a homemade vinegar and water solution - or a heavy commercial steamer - you know what a tedious, unpleasant and time-consuming task it can be. But, wallpaper removal doesn't have to be a chore if you use the right tools and learn a few tricks from the professionals. Hereís some advice from the experts at Zinsser Co., Inc. that can make removing old wallpaper quicker and easier than you ever dreamed possible - even if you've never stripped wallpaper before:

Step #1: Score the wallpaper.
 Since most wallpaper has a washable, waterproof surface, it's necessary to score it first to ensure that the wallpaper stripper is able to reach and loosen the glue underneath. Zinsserís PaperTiger‚, a palm-held tool with small cutting wheels that perforate the wallpaper without damaging the wall, is designed specifically for safe, fast and easy scoring.

Step #2: Apply a liquid or gel wallpaper stripper to the surface.
Zinsserís DIF Wallpaper Stripper is available in a liquid concentrate, gel or spray gel. Simply apply the wallpaper stripper with a sponge, brush or roller. Or, spray it on with new DIF GEL in a 32 oz. spray. Wait 15-20 minutes. The fast acting enzyme formula dissolves even hard-to-remove glue, like clay-based adhesive.

Step #3: Scrape off the loose wallpaper.
 Zinsserís Paper Scraper helps get the wallpaper off without hard work or surface damage. If any glue remains, simply reapply the stripper to the area, wait 15-20 minutes, remove it with Paper Scraper or a sponge and rinse with clean water. Itís that simple.