How to hang wallpaper in 5 simple steps

Hanging wallpaper can be easy or hard. But, following these five simple steps should keep the process as simple as possible.

How to hang wallpaper in 5 simple steps

What you will need

  • Wallpaper roll
  • Brush or roller
  • Scissors
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Plastic spreader
  • Utility knife
  • 30 cm (11 3/16 in) broadknife
  • Plumbline and bob

Before you begin

  • Mark the future position of each sheet with a pencil.
  • Using your wallpaper roll, tape measure and plumbline and bob as guides.

1. Put on the paste

  • Apply paste to the bottom half of your first strip of wallpaper, working from the middle to the edges.
  • Next, fold the paper over so the pasted faces are touching.
  • This allows the paste to cure without drying out. Repeat for the top half of the strip.

2. Hang the paper

  • Allow the sheet to rest for the time specified by the manufacturer.
  • Unfold the top half and align the edge with your first pencil line, overlapping the cornice by 2.5 centimetres (1 inch).
  • Leave the bottom half folded for now to keep the paste moist.

3. Smooth out

  • Run your plastic spreader across the paper to work out any imperfections.
  • First move the spreader up and down the edge aligned with the plumbline, then diagonally away from it.
  • When you're done, align and flatten the bottom half of the sheet.

4. Trim and tidy

  • With a utility knife, trim overhanging paper at the top and bottom of the sheet.
  • Use your broadknife as a guide.
  • Slide the broadknife across the paper, leaving the edge in place until the cut is complete.
  • Clean away any paste deposits from baseboards and cornices.

5. Align and butt the joins

  • Prepare your second strip following the process in step 2.
  • When it's ready, unfold the top half and hang it so the pattern aligns with your first strip.
  • Butt the second strip against the first, smooth it, and tidy any loose edges (following steps 3 and 4).
  • Continue working around the room, matching, smoothing, trimming and cleaning.

Handy tip

  • When you're pasting wallpaper, remember to leave a small paste-free patch in each sheet's upper corners.
  • These patches will help you keep your hands clean for as long as possible while you're hanging up the strip.

Follow these five simple steps and you'll have an easy time on your next wallpaper hanging project.

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