How to Hang Wallcoverings?

How to Hang?

Whether you are falling in love with wallpaper for the very first time, or a seasoned vet, eager to hang the latest print, wallpaper can add instant style and transform your walls from dull to chic in just a few easy steps. Before you get started let us help you prepare for a pain-free and pleasant paper application.


Tools of the Trade

Being prepared is the easiest way to ensure a smooth application process. Before you start to tackle your wallpaper project, it is important to ensure you have all the tools you need to complete the project. Here are a few tools we recommend having handy before you get started:

  Water Tray
Bucket of Clean Warm Water
Smoothing Brush
Seam Roller
Straight Edge
Razor Knife and Extra Blades
Work Table
Drop Sheet
Step Ladder

How Much Do I Need?

Once you have selected that perfect pattern, it's time to place your order. Question is how many rolls do you need to finish your room?

It is easy to know how many rolls to buy with this simple chart. To help you determine the number of rolls you need, measure the distance around the room and the ceiling height, match them up to indicate how many rolls you need to purchase.

Tip: Make sure you buy all the rolls you need to complete your project at once, it is important that you make sure the "die lot" is all the same on each roll. This will ensure the consistency in the color Preparing the Walls

Before you start hanging your paper it is important to start with a surface that is free and clean of debris and damages. Unfortunately not all walls are even and equal.

Surface preparation is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure a successful project.

There are basically three steps to prepare a previously painted wall for Wallcovering:

Clean: Wash the walls with a stain removing, grease cutting product such as trisodium phosphate. T.S.P. for short, is a white, granular solid that is highly soluble in water. It will de-gloss the shine on a semi gloss painted surfaces as well as open the pores of latex based paint providing a perfect surface for the adhesion of wallcoverings and paint.

Patch: Scrape or sand any rough spots and patch holes and cracks with a spackling compound. Let dry the recommended time and sand smooth. Wipe any sanding residue off with a damp cloth.

Prime: Apply a latex primer to the spackled areas only. Let dry 72 hours. The second part of the priming step is to apply a sizing to the wall. Sizing is a liquid that is applied to the wall with a roller. It is probably the best investment you can make in hanging your wallcovering. It improves your ability to move your paper while positioning so you don't stretch it, improves the adhesion of your paper, and it aids in the removal when it is time for a change. You can buy this premixed or in a powder form which mixes with water. Let dry before hanging wallcovering.

Ready To Hang

Straight Line

Your workspace and tools are organized; walls are prepped and ready for you to start hanging. Unfortunately not all wall's even in newer homes are perfectly straight. Here is a trick to determine where "straight" is.

Tip: We recommend starting in an inconspicuous corner like behind a door. This will make any mismatch after you've come around the whole room less noticeable.

Measure from that corner over to a point ½" narrower than the width of the wallcovering (if the wallcovering is 20 ½" wide, measure 20"), and mark with a pencil. Following the remaining steps:

  1. Tack a string, weighted at the bottom and covered with chalk, to the ceiling
    at that point.

2. Wait for the weight to stop swinging, then hold it tightly at the baseboard with one
    hand and snap it with the other. This gives you a straight line, called the "plumb line".

3. The plumb line will serve as your guide to ensure straight hanging.

4. After each corner, as you start a new wall, hang a new plumb line.

Measure and Cut

First measure the height of your wall. Add to that an extra 2" at the top and bottom for overlap and trimming. (Wall height + 2" + 2" = Length of first strip)

Unroll second strip. Match it up to your first strip. If you have a straight match pattern, you will be able to lay it over the first strip, matching the pattern, then cut second strip the same length as first. You can repeat this matching and cutting method as you go. Plan ahead if your coming to a window or door, a full strip may not be needed.

Tip: For straight match patterns with motifs you will want to show the full pattern at the ceiling line. Plan this when you cut your first strip.

Now, Mark the top of your strips in pencil on the back and number them for later. Roll each strip pattern-side in.

"Booking" - Dip and Fold

Now that you have cut all your strips for your wall, it's time to get the paper ready for hanging.

Place your water tray at the base of the table and fill it with lukewarm water. The temperature is important so ensure that your water stays lukewarm. Check the manufacturers instructions before you proceed for the exact "wetting" procedure for the type of wallpaper your hanging.

  1. Immerse the re-rolled strip, which you've done in the "measure and cut" section, and
    pull it slowly through the water on to a table, pattern side down.

    Tip: Vinyl-coated and fabric-coated vinyl's are quite stable when wet. Paper substrates
    should be handled more carefully to prevent tearing

2. "Fold" the strip loosely, paste to paste, top to middle and bottom to middle. Be
    extremely careful to avoid creasing.

3. Roll it up loosely and let it sit for the number of minutes recommended in the

    *Note: With some pre-pasted wallcoverings, you are able to go right to the wall
    with it. Check the instructions in your roll.

Hang It!

Now that the tricky parts are over it's time to start hanging. Since you have followed the steps leading up to the hang very carefully, this part should be a breeze! Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Grasp the top edge of your strip/roll and lift

2. Overlap about 2" over the ceiling joint and align the edge with your plumb line,
    lettering the extra ½" lap into the corner or door edge.

3. The rest of the strip can hang loosely as your align the top.

4. Be gentle as you move the strip into position. It will be very supple and easy to move
    so don't pull forcefully or it may tear.

5. Begin smoothing by using a smoothing brush.

6. Unfold the bottom and smooth into position using the same method as above.

Tip: When smoothing, stroke from the centre of the strip outward to the edges, working from the top of the strip to the bottom. If wrinkles occur, do not force them out. Simply pull that section away from the wall and realign it.

Trim It

Your first strip is in place, using a very sharp razor blade knife and a straight edge as a guide, trim away the excess at both the ceiling line and baseboard. Be sure to use change the blade every three cuts for a clean cut.

Tip: Once you have finished each strip it is important that you wash it down with clean warm water and your sponge. Paste can dry and turn brown, and is much harder to remove when dry. Keep your water clean and sponge off any residue before moving on to the next strip.

Keep Hanging

Now that you have your first strip in place, continue with your remaining pieces just following the same steps as above.

Remember to:

Make sure to match the pattern and butt the seams. Butt them slightly so they meet tightly.

Do no overlap the seams.

Do not push or pull seams into place, (they will separate when they dry leaving and obvious gap) instead, move the entire piece by sliding it over.


Wallcovering paste dries slowly, giving you plenty of time to reposition the strip. Be patient and work gently. To ensure that every strip looks as good as the first, follow the steps carefully every time even as you get more comfortable with the process.

Windows & Doors

Don't skip or try to save those tricky spots for later. If you have hit a window or door don't panic, just pretend they are not even there. Hang right over them, cutting away the access with scissors, leaving about a 2" overlap all around. Then:
Make Diagonal cuts into the corner

Smooth the wallcovering into the edge of the frame.

Trim as usual with a very sharp knife

Rinse paste off the frame with a sponge and clean water.

Tip: When almost the entire strip overlaps a window, and you have to continue hanging below the window, it is best to cut the strip vertically at the edge of the window. Use the rest of the strip to match.

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