Ready to Hang Wallpaper?

If you plan to hang wallpaper yourself, get off to a good start.

By FamilyTime


Wallpaper makes a bold statement, regardless how subtle the pattern. Covering your walls with a pattern is a dramatic way to transform a room. The paper pulls it together and makes it look integrated, finished, and inviting.

Nevertheless, once you select the paper, you have to figure out a way to get it on the walls. If you’re doing it yourself, prepare carefully.

Do-it-yourself wallpapering is trickier than painting but if you prep the room properly before you start, you'll have a better time. We don’t pretend to explain how to hang wallpaper in this short article—but we have 10 tips for preparing the room for the task. These should make the experience easier.

  1. Clear the room of furniture, pictures, and carpets. If you must push some of the furniture into the center of the room, leave a three-foot aisle around it. A wider aisle is even better.
  2. Remove all switch plates and outlet plates. Vacuum the room thoroughly, paying attention to the insides of the switches and sockets as well as the sills and other woodwork. Vacuum the floor, ceiling, and walls, being sure to get into high corners.
  3. Wipe down the woodwork with a damp cloth and mild cleanser. Let it dry completely.
  4. Prep the woodwork for painting by sanding any rough spots and filling holes and cracks with fast-drying compound.
  5. Paint the woodwork and ceiling before you wallpaper. It’s far easier to remove wallpaper paste from painted wood than it is to remove paint from wallpaper.
  6. Cover the outlets and switches with duct tape or masking tape. Leave open those you will need.
  7. Set up a long table, if at all possible, to work on. Gather your supplies and have them handy. This surface will make it easy to unroll and cut the paper.
  8. Wipe the walls with a dry cloth. Unless they are very dirty, the walls will not need to be washed. If you do decide to wash them, make sure they air dry completely.
  9. Fill any gouges or nicks in the walls with wallboard compound. Sand the compound once it dries. If the sheetrock needs replacing, do so (or get a carpenter to replace it).
  10. Apply wallpaper sizing with a brush or roller. This coats the wall with a surface that works well with wallpaper paste so that it adheres effectively. Let the sizing dry thoroughly before you begin to paper.