How to Hang Wallpaper and Borders
A few guidelines and tips on do it yourself wallpapering
You will need:
Before you start:
Turn off electrical power and remove all switch plates and outlet covers.
1. CREATING A PLUMB LINE
Start with the least noticeable wall. Measure out from the corner and mark the wall the width of the paper minus 1/2 inch. Place a level at the mark and draw a straight, vertical line (plumb line). This will be a guide for where your first two strips will meet. The success of your job depends on having the first strip straight. Follow this procedure every time you reach a corner or start a new wall. Go around the room and mark where each strip will end to keep track of the number of strips needed. This will also help avoid ending with a narrow strip that would be difficult and wasteful to hang. Catching this in advance will allow you to adjust your starting point
2. MEASURING & CUTTING THE FIRST STRIP
Unroll part way and hold the first roll of wallpaper against the wall to determine where you want the pattern to fall at the ceiling line. Mark the spot with a pencil on the back of the roll (try beginning with a full design at the ceiling). Cut the first strip with a straight edge. Leave about 2 extra inches at the top and bottom for trimming.
5. "BOOKING" THE WALLPAPER
"Book" the paper for about 3-5 minutes by folding the top half to the middle of the sheet, paste to paste, and the bottom to middle, paste to paste, keeping the edges aligned. Gently roll up the wet, booked strip, being careful not to crease the strip. Booking allows the adhesive to activate and the paper to relax and return to its original width.
6. HANGING THE WALLPAPER
Unbook the top half of the strip placing the marked spot at the top of the wall, letting the excess paper overlap the ceiling and adjoining wall. Slide the paper into position so it aligns with the plumb line. Using a brush or smoothing tool, gently press the strip against the wall. Be careful not to stretch the wallpaper while positioning. Unbook the bottom half and smooth into place. Keep your hands wet. Tap the strip into the corners, against the ceiling and along the baseboard. Snip a diagonal cut into the corners at the ceiling and baseboard, and smooth the extra 1/2 inch onto the adjoining wall. Smooth the entire strip, working diagonally from the top down and from the center outward, forcing out air bubbles. If air bubbles still exist, or if the paper doesn't appear straight, gently pull back the sheet and re-smooth. Wash off the excess paste with a wet sponge immediately. If a bubble appears that won't smooth, poke it with a pin before it dries and gently work the air out through the pin hole.
7. TRIMMING THE WALLPAPER
Using the wall scraper as a guide, trim the excess paper along the ceiling and baseboard with a sharp razor knife. If the paper begins to tear, wait 5 minutes and retry. An inexpensive breakaway knife can be purchased at local hardware stores. Wash paste off ceiling and baseboards with a wet sponge, changing water frequently.
8. BUTTING STRIPS TOGETHER
Using the same procedure, cut and apply the second strip, matching the pattern to the first strip. Butt the edges tightly together, but don't overlap the strips.
9. USING A SEAM ROLLER
Wait 15 minutes and go over the seams with a seam roller.Make sure you don't stretch or overwork the seams, forcing out the adhesive. Don't use a seam roller on embossed vinyl.
10. DOORS AND WINDOWS
To hang around doors, you can pre-cut the strip to fit, but it's tricky. Instead, hang the entire strip of paper and smooth into place to the edge of the window or door frame.
11. LIGHT SWITCHES AND OUTLETS
Remember, electrical power should be off! Paper over light switches and outlets. With a razor knife, cut and trim an area slightly smaller than the switch or outlet cover. Replace outlet covers and switch plates when finished.
HANGING A BORDER
Follow the same steps as hanging wallpaper, however, soak the rolled border in cool water for only 20 seconds and don't book for more than 3 minutes. Fold the border accordion style for easy handling. Follow the ceiling line around the room, allowing 1/2 inch overlap at corners.Use vinyl-to-vinyl or border adhesive for applying a border over vinyl wallpaper.Secure the overlap with vinyl-to-vinyl adhesive.When applying over painted walls, lightly sand slick walls before applying the border.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Remember to hang the paper right side up. Hold the strip up to the wall to see how the pattern flows. A good rule of thumb is that flowers grow up. Patterns rarely match exactly along the entire seam (due to uneven walls), so match your pattern at eye level.