Preparing the walls is as important as hanging the paper. If the surface is greasy or dirty, the paper won’t stick. Also, if there are irregularities in the wall, they may be visible on the paper’s surface. So be prepared: Wash, patch, fix, prime, seal, and size before you paper. The good thing is primers, sealers, and sizing are combined into a single product. Paint and plaster companies market many wall repair kits.
Step1: PATCH AND PRIME THE WALLS BEFORE YOU START
Primer can be white, clear, or tinted slightly to match the paper. When you have finished priming, look at the paper you selected. The pattern type determines how the strips are cut and glued on the walls. On straight-match and random-match papers, patterns along the left and right edges of the paper are the same, and the installation is straight forward. On drop-match papers, the elements are staggered along both edges. Aligning the pattern results in an uneven top edge, which get’s trimmed. This will take more time and you will waste more paper but results in a more interesting and fun patern. Cutting alternating strips from two rolls of wallpaper will cut down on some of the wallpaper waste.
Step2: BEGIN IN THE LEAST-CONSPICUOUS INSIDE CORNER OF THE ROOM
You should position the first strip so that most of the paper is on the first wall to be pampered, with about 1/2 to 2 inches of the strip wrapping around the corner onto the adjoining wall. This helps hide the cracks they may develop in the corners. When you measure the strip, you will need to lay out the strip and measure it from the corner by the width of the paper minus the wrap. Draw a plumb line at this point, guided by a level.
Step3: CUT THE FIRST STRIP OF PAPER
You will need to cut it about 4 inches longer than needed so that it can temporarily overlap the ceiling baseboard. Then roll out the paper on a long work surface and cut the strip to length with scissors.
Step4: APPLY ACTIVATOR OR PASTE
It’s recommended to use a paste activator instead of soaking prepasted paper: It’s a stronger bond and it takes longer to dry so you can continue to move the paper around on the wall. Brush or roll on the activator. Make sure you follow the directions for the activator as well. Also, make sure you get paste ACTIVATOR not paste!
Step5: GENTLY FOLD THE ENDS TOWARD THE MIDDLE,
glued sides together with the patterned side out. The term used for this is “booking the strip”. Try not to crease the paper. Wait at least 1 minute so the paste has a chance to activate before hanging it.
Step6: HANG THE FIRST STRIP ALONG THE PLUMB LINE WITH A GENTLE BUT FIRM HAND
Start by positioning the middle of the strip, and work your way up to the top, sliding the paper to align it. Align the bottom and work it gently against the wall. Now, start from the top and work your way down the wall and smooth the paper onto the wall with a brush or a flexable plastic smoother.
Step7: HANG THE SECOND STRIP AND THEN TRIM THE FIRST
Allow the glue to dry on the first strip while you hang the second one. Then when you are done hanging it, you can go back and trim the first strip.
Step8: BUTT SUBSEQUENT STRIPS AGAINST EACH OTHER
When you have finished hanging a few strips, go over the seams between them with a seam roller to fix the edges in place. Be careful not to force too much paste out from under the strips or your seams will loosen. Use clean warm water and a sponge to remove excess paste from the wall. Do not use a roller on foils, flocked, or embossed papers because it may damage it. Instead, press along the seams with a smoothing brush.
Step9: PAPER OVER ELECTRIC SWITCHES AND OUTLETS
Cut away excess paper. Before you cut around an electrical box, make sure you turn the power off to the room. Make four diagonal slices, starting at the center of the box and working toward corners. Trim and make a rectangular opening, leave enough paper for the cover plate to conceal the edges.