How to install prepasted wallpaper border

Written by dale yalanovsky
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How to install prepasted wallpaper border
A prepasted wallpaper border adds a finishing touch to any room. (wallpaper image by Svetlin Rusev from

A prepasted wallpaper border needs no special tools for application, and can add a bit of flair or a finishing touch to any room. In general, the axiom that states "you get what you pay for" holds true in the world of prepasted wallpaper borders. The extra cost of a border equates to a better prepasted adhesive, and holding power is the number-one priority. There are many patterns, sizes and colours to choose from so, when picking out any border, be creative about the border that best expresses your room.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Large table
  • Dust sheet
  • Water tray
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Utility knife
  • Light sandpaper
  • Brush
  • Damp sponge
  • Drywall knife
  • Seam roller
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Cover a large table with a dust sheet to use as a work table. Any dining room or kitchen table works fine for this. Keep it covered for maximum protection.

  2. 2

    Fill a water tray with cool, but not cold, water. Regular wallpaper water trays can be found at hardware stores, but a shallow baking pan can also be used.

  3. 3

    Measure the length of the area to be covered by the border wallpaper. Transfer that measurement to the paper itself by using a pencil. Use your drywall knife as a straight edge, and cut the paper to the correct size with a utility knife.

  4. 4

    Immerse the prepasted wallpaper border into the tray filled with water, and run the entire length through to saturate the adhesive. Every corner and edge must be soaked in the water for proper adhesion to take place.

  5. 5

    Remove the border from the water tray and "book" it by looping the adhesive side back over on itself in a very loose fitting fold. This sets up the paper by allowing it to expand, and allows the adhesive to activate. Leave it sitting in this "booked" stage for about five minutes.

  6. 6

    Sand the wall with a light sandpaper where the border is to be pasted.No heavy sanding is needed; just "rough up" the area to allow the adhesive to grab onto the wall.

  7. 7

    Pick up the border paper and place it on the wall where it needs to go. Press it down first with your hands, then smooth it out with a brush to remove all air bubbles. Remove with a damp sponge any excess adhesive that may leak out of the end.

  8. 8

    Overlap the next strip approximately 1/2 inch to match the pattern on each. Use a seam roller to secure the overlap, and continue on until the border is complete.

  9. 9

    Remove electrical switch or receptacle covers with a screwdriver, then paste the border directly over the top. Use your utility knife to cut around the edges, then brush the border smooth. Wipe away any excess adhesive with a damp sponge, then reattach the covers for a perfect border fit.

  10. 10

    Cut 45-degree angles by overlapping the border paper both vertically and horizontally. Place the drywall knife in a corner-to-corner orientation, which automatically gives you a 45-degree angle, and follow the blade edge with your utility knife. Smooth out the seam with a roller, and your angle is complete.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are pasting over vinyl wallpaper, a prepasted border does not adhere correctly unless a vinyl adhesive is added to the prepasted adhesive side.
  • Always turn off the main circuit breaker before wallpapering over an electrical socket or receptacle.

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