How to Wallpaper the Ceiling

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How to Wallpaper the Ceiling
Wallpaper the Ceiling

Wallpapering a ceiling can be difficult but, with the right preparation, you can transform your ceiling and the entire room into a work of art. Just follow these steps.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver to remove ceiling fixtures
  • Ladder
  • Sandpaper
  • Small scissors or razor blade
  • Measuring tape
  • Wallpaper
  • Pasting brush or paintbrush
  • Table for cutting and pasting
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Paint roller or rolling pin
  • Clean broom

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    Prepare the Ceiling

  1. 1

    Remove all flaking paint and sand any uneven areas of the ceiling. Take a razor blade and scrape off the flaky paint or use the sandpaper to sand it off.

  2. 2

    Disconnect the electricity in the room you are wallpapering.

  3. 3

    Remove any ceiling light fixtures. Take off the shade and unscrew the light bulbs. Unscrew the fixture and disconnect the wires.

  4. 4

    Use masking tape to cover the hole left in the ceiling from the fixture.

    Prepare the Paper

  1. 1

    Measure the are of the ceiling to make sure you have the right amount of wallpaper. Start in any corner of the room and measure the length and the width of the ceiling. Check the length and width of the paper. You want to have one to two inches of extra wallpaper on each side to overlap onto the wall.

  2. 2

    Measure and cut the wallpaper to the appropriate lengths

  3. 3

    Soak or paste the wallpaper. For pre-pasted wallpaper, soak the paper in a tub of water for the time specified on the package. If the paper is not pre-pasted, use a wallpaper paste. Mix the paste as directed on the package. Lay the paper flat and paste about 18 inches at a time.

    Paper the Ceiling

  1. 1

    Apply the wallpaper to the ceiling. Carefully stand on a ladder. To be safe, have someone hold the ladder in place for you. Have someone hand you the wallpaper. Starting in a corner of the room and one or two inches down on the wall, place the paper on the wall. Try to match the patterns of adjacent wallpaper. Press the paper flat against the wall and ceiling with a soft brush or squeegee. Work out any bubbles. Make sure the wallpaper is tightly pressed into the corners of the wall and ceiling. To help the process along, have your partner use a broom to place the wallpaper on the ceiling ahead of you.

  2. 2

    Work your way across the ceiling with the brush or squeegee. Press hard against the ceiling to make sure the paste sticks and to remove any bubbles.

  3. 3

    Match the wallpaper on the ceiling to the wallpaper on the wall when you reach the place where the wall and ceiling meet. Cut off any excess paper.

  4. 4

    Cover the entire ceiling by repeating the steps above.

  5. 5

    Press the seams of the wallpaper flat with a paint roller or a rolling pin.

  6. 6

    Cut a hole in the wallpaper with a razor blade or scissors to make room for your light fixture. Leave an inch of paper around the inside of the hole. Wrap the extra paper into the hole. This will hold the wallpaper in place for a longer time.

  7. 7

    Reinstall the light fixture and turn on the electricity in the room.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid using thin wallpaper. Thicker wallpaper can be more difficult to hang but will not wear out as fast or tear easily.
  • Make sure the stepladder or scaffolding is sturdy or braced.

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