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Wallpapering Basics

Materials List
Wallpaper paste
Water tray needed for pre-pasted paper
100-150 grit sandpaper
Tools List (click item to shop)
Safety glasses
Step ladder or stool
Plumb bob
Taping knife
Wallpaper brush
Paste brush
Seam roller
Straight edge
Sandpaper block
Large sponge
Utility knife
Easy2 Home Improvement
Wallpapering Preparation

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Prepping for Interior Painting

IMPORTANT: Read this before you start


Wallpapering a room is one way to enhance the beauty and individuality of your home. There are literally thousands of wallpaper patterns available which suit any taste and price range -- from a French toile to a foil to flocked velvet to a simple pre-pasted floral. You could spend days just looking for the wallpaper that you want! But the effort is well worth the time when your dining room or bedroom makes a dramatic impression.

Wallpapering is not an especially easy job. It certainly takes time to produce an excellent job, but the dramatic results are well worth the effort invested. Check out our tutorial "Wallpaper Preparation" to help you to prepare the room and walls before embarking on this challenging project. Good luck!

Skill Level & Time To Complete
• Beginner - 8 to 10 hours
• Intermediate - 6 to 8 hours
• Advanced - 4 to 6 hours

Be sure to turn off any electrical circuits that are close to the areas you will be soaking with water.

1. The first strip of wallpaper that you lay is the most important as any errors in its placement will have repercussions and affect all subsequent strips of wallpaper. You should choose an inconspicuous area in your room to begin. Good areas to lay your first strip are an inconspicuous corner or the edge of a window or door that reaches close to the ceiling. It is likely that your wallpaper job will result in some sort of mismatch as you come "full-circle" in your room. Think about how you most often enter a room - a good choice may be the corner behind that entrance.
2. Wallpapering is a messy job - be sure that you have protected your floor and furniture sufficiently with a cloth or plastic tarpaulin. Wash your hands often to prevent marring the wallpaper and be sure to wipe clean any excess paste after laying each strip with a damp sponge. Also, be sure to clean up any adhesive or dirt on your table for the same reason.
3. Your first step will be to snap a vertical line on the wall with a plumb bob. Be sure to do this step very carefully as all your subsequent strips of paper will be based on the precision of this plumb line.
4. Lay out your wallpaper on your table and cut the length a few inches more than needed. For example, for an 8' wall from baseboard to crown molding, cut approximately an 8'4" length of wallpaper.
5. Cut several strips to size with an additional few inches to spare for alignment. Test the alignment on your table as shown.
6. Depending on the manufacturer's recommendation, you may fold your paper either by booking it, or in accordion style as shown. Paste half of your paper with an inch or two left unpasted on the top. Fold this section over and paste and fold the other half.
7. After you have folded your paper in either booking or accordion style, allow the paste to set as long as the manufacturer recommends - a couple minutes should suffice if the manufacturer makes no recommendation.
8. Note that if you are using pre-pasted paper, you will need to soak your paper after you have cut it to size in a water tray, and place the tray below the section you are about to paper. Roll the paper so that your pattern is internal and place the roll in your tray. Pull the paper up from the tray and line it against your plumb line.
9. With pasted paper, unfold the top half of the paper and align with your plumb line. DO NOT unfold the bottom half as it will be more difficult to make adjustments to your alignment.
10. Smooth the paper and remove any air bubbles with a wall papering brush or your sponge. Work from the center out and up.
11. Reach behind the paper and loosen the lower half of your strip. Be sure that the entire section is plumb. If it is not, start again. Smooth the lower section of your paper using vertical strokes. Be sure to get the top and bottom tight to the corners at your ceiling and base molding.
12. Trim the top and bottom with a taping knife and a sharp utility knife. It is important that your knife is very sharp otherwise tears will result and you will need to start your strip again!
13. Clean off excess paste with your sponge, and then continue to hang subsequent strips, matching the pattern with the previously pasted adjoining strip.
14. Repeat the pasting and folding procedure as detailed above. Align your subsequent strips about 1/8 to 1/4 inch from your previous strip and slide each strip towards the previously set strip. Allow your new strip to buckle slightly to allow for shrinkage during drying. Allow each strip to dry for about 10-15 minutes before laying the next strip of wallpaper.
15. Use a seam roller to seal the seams of each strip. Enjoy the new look of your room!



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