How to Hang Wallpaper

21st April 2021

Step-by-Step Guide to Hanging Wallpaper

This is our step-by-step guide on how to hang wallpaper. This includes two methods for hanging wallpaper. There's paste the wall wallpaper and paste the reverse. The first may be recommended by the wallpaper designer or supplier but the latter is easier. Here's everything you need to know.

Perparing the Room for Hanging Wallpaper

With any DIY job, preparation is a vital stage! Start by removing large objects from the room to create a clutter free workspace.

Next, double check any paint work that needs doing has been finished and is completely dry. Then make sure walls are free from dirt and old wallpaper paste. They need to be completely smooth and dry. This includes filling any holes and/or cracks.

First Step to Hang Your Wallpaper: Lining the Walls

We recommend applying lining paper to all your walls before you hang the wallpaper. It's beneficial because it provides a flat uniform surface on which to apply your wallpaper.

It also helps to prevent any stains which may appear when paste is applied from leaking through to your design. Plus, it stops your wallpaper from shrinking when it dries.


1. Start by cross lining the walls. This is when you hang lining paper to run horizontally. Use a good quality lining paper, and cut it to size, allowing for 5cm to wrap around the corners. Paste the first length and loosely fold with the pasted side facing inwards. Fold left and right sides in to meet in the middle.


2. Working from one corner, gradually open up the folds and smooth the paper down, eliminating air and creases as you go. Make sure the paper is hung with its top edge neatly pressed against the ceiling or coving.


3. Successive lengths should be butt jointed. This is when you leave just the slightest gap between the edges. Do this whilst working from ceiling to skirting.


Important: Allow lining to dry thoroughly before hanging your wallcovering.

How To Hang Wallpaper Guide How To Hang Wallpaper Guide

Second Step for Hanging Wallpaper: Cutting the Wallpaper Sections

1. Consider where you will start hanging. For boldly patterned wallpapers, choose a focal point such as a chimney breast or the dominant wall and plan to hang from the centre outwards. If you have a simpler design, start in a corner, preferably behind the door. If you are right-handed, work from the left to the right. If you are left-handed, work from right to left.


2. Few walls are truly square or perfectly straight. To avoid your pattern going askew, always mark a vertical pencil line against a plumb line or long spirit level.


3. Ensure the pattern is the right way up and never assume that the outside end of the roll is the top - it is not always so!


4. Cut one section at a time, carefully measuring the length required (normally the height of the wall). Allow an extra 5cm or so at top and bottom for final trimming.


5. Mark the back of the paper with a 'T' at the top, and before cutting the next length, ensure that the pattern matches up with previous ones. Remember that you will be using more wallpaper if the design has a big repeat.

Third Step to Hanging Wallpaper Success: Applying Paste

Paste the Wall Wallpaper

'Paste the wall' is the easier of the two methods for how to hang wallpaper. You will need a ready mixed paste and a pasting brush.


1. You apply the paste to the wall where your first drop will be hung. Be sure to spread out 5 - 10cm either side and then gently fold the wallpaper in on itself, making sure you know which is the top. You are now ready to hang your first drop.


Paste the Reverse Wallpaper

1. When the wallpaper is ‘paste the reverse’, you will need to lay the paper face down on your pasting table. Then apply ready mixed paste with your brush, ensuring you start from the top down. Don’t run the brush across the width of the paper as this can cause the paste to gather at the edges.


2. Once pasted, the wallcovering may need to 'soak' for a period of time before hanging. To do this you need to fold the pasted length inwards. Put the bottom to the middle and the top to the middle. This ensures the edges do not curl back and dry out. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions on the label.


Important: When applying paste, it is important to avoid getting it on the surface of the paper. Any paste on the front should be carefully wiped away with a damp sponge.

The Crucial Fourth Step: Hanging the Wallpaper

1. Holding the top of the length, carefully open the top fold and lightly stick the top half of the length to the wall. Allow about 5cm at the top of the wall for trimming off. Then, slide the wallcovering exactly into position.


2. Smooth down the middle with a paperhanger's brush. Don't forget to check there's a good butt joint and pattern match. You need to work out towards the edges to remove air bubbles. Continue this method down the drop until you reach the skirting or finish point.


3. Carefully run the back of the scissors along the angle between the ceiling and wall. Do the same with the skirting at the bottom. Do this enough to make an impression where the wallcovering has to be cut off. Gently pull the length away, trim off the excess with scissors and brush back into place.


4. Carefully wipe any paste from the surface of the paper and from the skirting and ceiling with a damp sponge to avoid marking when it dries. Be sure to wash your sponge frequently.

The Final Fifth Step: Enjoy Your New Hanging Wallpaper

How To Hang Wallpaper How To Hang Wallpaper

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