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How to hang horizontal wallpaper

Updated February 21, 2017

Hanging horizontal wallpaper can be challenging, but the reward in terms of aesthetics and ease of care are well worth the effort. Wallpaper is used to cover and decorate the interior walls and is usually sold in rolls. Horizontal wallpaper is put onto a wall with wallpaper paste. Wallpapers can come in both patterned and paintable styles. Follow these steps to hang horizontal wallpaper.

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  1. Cut a length of wallpaper with a sharp utility knife. Make sure it is three or four inches longer than the wall. If your wallpaper has a long repeating pattern you may need a longer strip to correctly match the pattern. Lay the paper on a long table or on a dust sheet on the floor.

  2. Apply wallpaper paste to the paper. Mix paste that comes as a powder in a bucket. Stir well with a stirring stick to remove any lumps. Then, using a brush or roller, paint the paste onto your wallpaper. While some papers come with prepasted backing it is advisable to put paste on anyway to ensure a good seal.

  3. Begin with the top of the wall and work your way down. About two inches of extra paper should lay against the ceiling, and two more inches should hang below the top of the baseboard or on the floor if there is no baseboard.

  4. Eliminate wrinkles by pulling the paper away from the wall until you get to the wrinkle. Smooth the paper back out as you restick it the wall. Apply enough pressure to push out the bubbles by moving from the middle of the wall out to the edges, top and bottom. Be careful not to press too hard or you may tear the paper.

  5. Cut the excess paper. With a putty knife, flatten the extra wallpaper against the corner and cut it with a sharp blade.

  6. Hang the next piece of wallpaper making sure it matches with the one you just put up. If you can not match it exactly, match it closest at eye-level. Continue with this process until you have made your way around the room.

  7. Roll all seams with a seam roller, which resembles a small rolling pin. Make sure not to squeeze out the paste. After twenty minutes repeat the seam rolling to ensure adhesion.

  8. Clean any extra adhesive off the paper, ceiling, baseboards and floor. A wet sponge followed by a dry towel works best.

  9. Tip

    Papering around outlets: Turn off the power and remove the switch plate. Simply wallpaper over the outlets and then use a knife to trim an area of wallpaper slightly smaller than the outlet or switch plate. Then you can replace your switch plate.


    Wait up to 24 hours before hanging anything on your walls.

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Things You'll Need

  • Paste
  • Razor knife and extra blades
  • Dust sheet
  • Paint roller
  • Putty knife
  • Step ladder
  • Plastic bucket
  • Brush or plastic smoother
  • Large table or smooth surface
  • Seam roller

About the Author

Steve Bradley is an educator and writer with more than 12 years of experience in both fields. He maintains a career as an English teacher, also owning and operating a resume-writing business. Bradley has experience in retail, fashion, marketing, management and fitness. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and classics.

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