Hanging wallpaper is a popular home decorating technique that can completely transform the look and feel of a room. Putting up wallpaper can add texture, color, and pattern to a space. Even a man cave can benefit from some masculine wallpaper patterns. Although it may seem like a simple task, hanging wallpaper requires some skill and attention to detail, and the degree of difficulty can vary depending on the type of wallpaper and the condition of the walls.
Some wallpaper may be more challenging to hang than others, especially if it has a complex pattern or needs to be matched. Additionally, the preparation work involved in properly cleaning and smoothing the walls can also impact the level of difficulty. With the right tools, materials, and technique, however, hanging wallpaper can be a rewarding and satisfying DIY project for those who are up for the challenge.
Conditions That Make Hanging Wallpaper a Good DIY Project
Hanging wallpaper can be a DIY project if the following conditions are met:
- Adequate Time: Hanging wallpaper can be time-consuming, especially if you are inexperienced. It is important to set aside enough time to properly prepare the walls, measure and cut the wallpaper, and apply it to the wall. Rushing the process can result in errors and uneven application.
- Proper Tools and Materials: To hang wallpaper, you will need the right tools and materials, including a wallpaper brush, paste, a wallpaper smoother, a straight edge, and a sharp utility knife. These items can be purchased at most home improvement stores or online.
- Comfortable with Measuring and Cutting: Accurate measuring and cutting are essential for hanging wallpaper. You should feel comfortable with a tape measure and a utility knife, and be able to follow a pattern and cut straight lines.
- Prepared Walls: The walls should be clean, smooth, and free from any imperfections before hanging wallpaper. This may require filling in cracks, sanding down rough spots, and cleaning with a damp cloth.
- Confidence and Patience: Hanging wallpaper can be a challenging task, especially if you are a beginner. However, with confidence and patience, you can successfully complete the project and achieve professional-looking results.
How To Hang Wallpaper
The process of hanging wallpaper involves several steps, each of which is critical for achieving a smooth and professional-looking finish. Here’s a detailed guide to help you through the process:
- Prepare the Walls: Before hanging wallpaper, it is important to prepare the walls. Clean the walls with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris, and fill in any cracks or holes with spackling paste. Sand the walls smooth and wipe them down with a clean, damp cloth to remove any dust.
- Measure the Wall: Measure the height and width of the wall you want to wallpaper and purchase enough wallpaper to cover the area. Always purchase extra paper to account for any pattern matching or waste.
- Cut the Wallpaper: Cut the wallpaper into strips that are slightly longer than the height of the wall. Use a sharp utility knife and a straight edge to cut the paper straight.
- Apply Wallpaper Paste: Apply wallpaper paste to the back of the wallpaper strip using a wallpaper brush, making sure to cover the entire surface of the paper. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and applying the paste.
- Book the Wallpaper: Book the wallpaper by folding it in half with the paste side in and allowing it to rest for the recommended amount of time. This allows the paste to activate and ensures the paper is pliable and easy to handle.
- Hang the First Strip: Starting at the top of the wall, align the edge of the wallpaper strip with the plumb line or level and smooth it onto the wall with a wallpaper smoother. Use a straight edge to trim any excess paper at the ceiling or baseboard.
- Hang the Remaining Strips: Hang the remaining strips of wallpaper, ensuring that the pattern matches up with the previous strip. Use a wallpaper smoother to remove any air bubbles or wrinkles, and use a straight edge to trim the excess paper at the ceiling and baseboard.
- Finish the Seams: Use a seam roller to firmly press down the seams where the wallpaper strips meet. This ensures a smooth and secure bond between the strips.
- Trim Around Obstacles: Use a sharp utility knife to carefully trim around obstacles such as electrical outlets, light switches, or molding.
- Finish the Edges: Use a wallpaper smoother to firmly press the edges of the wallpaper onto the wall, and use a straight edge to trim any excess paper at the corners or edges of the wall.
Overall, hanging wallpaper requires patience, attention to detail, and a steady hand. Following these steps can help ensure a successful and satisfying DIY project.
How To Avoid Mistakes When Hanging Wallpaper
Hanging wallpaper can be a challenging task, and mistakes can be frustrating and time-consuming to fix. Here are some tips to help you avoid common mistakes when hanging wallpaper:
- Measure Twice, Cut Once: Accurate measuring and cutting are essential for hanging wallpaper. Take your time to measure the height and width of the wall and cut the wallpaper strips carefully. It’s better to be precise than to rush and make mistakes that may require you to redo the entire strip.
- Use a Plumb Line: To ensure that your wallpaper is hung straight, use a plumb line or level to mark a vertical line on the wall before hanging the first strip. This will serve as a guide for aligning the edge of the paper, which will make it easier to match patterns and avoid crooked seams.
- Smooth Out Air Bubbles and Wrinkles: Air bubbles and wrinkles are common issues when hanging wallpaper. To avoid them, use a wallpaper smoother to press the paper firmly onto the wall as you hang each strip. This will help to remove any air pockets and ensure that the paper lies flat.
- Avoid Overlapping Seams: Overlapping seams can be unsightly and may cause the paper to peel or wrinkle over time. To avoid this, make sure that each strip of wallpaper is aligned correctly and that the seams are tightly butted together.
- Take Care When Trimming: When trimming excess wallpaper from around obstacles or at the edges of the wall, use a sharp utility knife and a straight edge to make clean, precise cuts. Take your time and work carefully to avoid damaging the wallpaper or the wall.
By taking your time, being patient, and following these tips, you can avoid common mistakes and hang wallpaper like a pro.
Hanging wallpaper can be a rewarding DIY project if you have the necessary tools and skills. To hang wallpaper successfully, you need to ensure that the walls are properly prepared, the wallpaper is measured and cut accurately, and the wallpaper paste is applied evenly. It’s also essential to align the edges of the wallpaper strips correctly, smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles, and trim excess paper carefully. With patience and attention to detail, you can achieve professional-looking results and transform your space with beautiful wallpaper. However, if you are unsure about your abilities or do not have the necessary tools or skills, it may be best to hire a professional to ensure that the job is done correctly.