Decorators' Tips on Hanging Wallpaper

Updated February 21, 2017

Wallpaper can have a drastic and immediate effect on a room, making it feel youthful, elegant, lively or regal, depending directly on the wallpaper designs. A good wallpaper job can last for years in a room, depending upon how well you put it up. You'll want to prevent as many mistakes as possible as wallpaper can be expensive.

Buy in Bulk

Always buy more rolls of wallpaper than you honestly think you'll need. If you run out and buy more rolls later on, you might not find the same pattern again. If you do, sometimes patterns manufactured later have subtle to large differences that might make it slightly to quite obvious that not all your sheets of wallpaper are exact.

Tools and Prep

Professional wallpaper installers have a wealth of tools that they use; at the very least, you need things like a putty knife, a paint roller and pan, a snap blade razor knife, a tape measure, a level, a smoothing brush, and a large, flat clean table to use as a workspace. One of the first things that you'll need to do is prep the walls. The better you prep the walls for wallpaper, the better the entire wallpapering job will look. Fill in all the holes in the walls, and sand down the bumps.

Wallpaper Primer

Wallpaper primer is a substance you put on the wall after all your hole filler has dried. The primer keeps the wallpaper adhesive from infiltrating all the way into the wall and possibly damaging it. One of the added benefits of using wallpaper primer is that it keeps the adhesive softer longer, allowing you to adjust the positioning of your wallpaper after you've put it up.


Start in the corner of a room with your first sheet of wallpaper, and constantly adjust each subsequent piece of wallpaper that you put up, ensuring that the patterns constantly match. If you don't constantly adjust your patterns, the wallpaper will look like it's running uphill, downhill or both directions as opposed to appearing level.

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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."