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How to Paper a Feature Wall

Updated February 21, 2017

Adding a focal point to a room is simple if you apply wallpaper to a feature wall. The idea of a feature wall is to draw focus to a particular area of the room. Choose a pattern that is bold and complementary to the surrounding decor for a polished effect. For a really eye-catching feature wall, choose a colour or pattern that contrasts sharply with the rest of the room.

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  1. Measure the width and height of your feature wall with a measuring tape to determine the midpoint, and mark it with a pencil.

  2. Cut a piece of the wallpaper that has the dominant design element on it. Temporarily paste this piece of paper to the wall so the dominant element is centred over the midpoint of the wall. Draw a line along both edges of the paper, using a level to keep the line straight. Continue working across the feature wall, marking the lines where the seams of the paper should fall.

  3. Cut the first piece of paper with a razor knife. It should be long enough that the dominant element of the design falls at the midpoint of the wall. The paper above the dominant element should be long enough to reach from the top of the wall, with a 1-inch overhang, to the midpoint of the wall. If you're using solid-coloured paper, cut the length long enough to cover the wall with a 1-inch overhang at the top and bottom.

  4. Roll up the length of paper and immerse it in a pan of cool to lukewarm water until the paper is thoroughly wet. Do not leave the paper in the water longer than necessary, or the adhesive may begin to dissolve or the paper may tear. Remove the paper from the water and fold it in half, with the end and side edges aligned, and allow it to rest for three to five minutes.

  5. Go to the wall with the paper and unfold it, pressing the top part of the paper against the wall. Make sure that the paper is lined up with the lines you drew in Step 2. Smooth the edges of the paper with a damp sponge, brushing from the centre of the paper to the edges. Remove air bubbles with a wallpaper smoother. Once you're done with the top half of the paper, complete the bottom half in the same manner.

  6. Remove the excess paper from the top and bottom with a sharp razor knife. Holding a wide-bladed putty knife against the paper will keep it from tearing. Wash any stray adhesive away with a damp sponge.

  7. Measure and prep your second piece of wallpaper, making the necessary adjustments for the pattern to line up. Work across the wall until all the pieces of paper are hung securely.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Wallpaper
  • Level
  • Razor knife
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Wallpaper smoother
  • Putty knife

About the Author

Marsanne Petty

Marsanne Petty has been a writer and photographer for over ten years, and is currently pursuing the combination in tandem. She attended Madison Community College, receiving a degree in Administration. She has published several articles for magazines, including Jack Magazine, and the local newspaper, the Jasper News. Her latest creation, a pictoral history of Hamilton County, Florida, was published in early 2009 through Arcadia Publishing.

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