How to Hang Wallpaper

Here at I Want Wallpaper, we’re always being asked how to go about hanging wallpaper, which is why we’ve put together this handy little guide for you. Contrary to popular opinion, you can hang wallpaper yourself swiftly and easily. However, there are a handful of important things you’ll need to bear in mind before you get going. So, without further ado, here’s how to hang wallpaper. Enjoy!

1. Check out your walls

Before you set about putting up wallpaper, check out the condition of your walls. If you want a great finish, make sure your walls are smooth, clean and wallpaper free. If you’re new to hanging wallpaper, consider hanging a lining paper first – lining paper will provide you with the ideal surface (as well as the opportunity to practise hanging wallpaper).

Fill in any cracks or holes with filler.

2. Consider your wallpaper

Some wallpapers are easier to hang than others. Vinyl wall coverings are more forgiving, while geometric patterns often prove easier to match up.

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If you require more than one roll of wallpaper, make sure your rolls properly colour match by unfurling a length of each and comparing them against one another.

3. Complete any painting first

Always finish painting before you hang wallpaper. Remember, you don’t want to risk spilling paint on to your wallpaper.

4. Give yourself room to work

Move any furniture out of the way and use a dust sheet to protect your floor coverings from drips and spills.

5. Get your tools together

You’ll need a firm paste table, a pasting brush, a plumb bob, a sponge, a tape measure, a sharp knife, a pair of decorating scissors and a bucket of water.

6. Cutting your wallpaper

Using your tape measure, measure out the length of wallpaper you require, allowing an additional 2 inches at the top for final trimming. Ensure the pattern is the right way up! Before you begin cutting the next lengths, make sure any pattern matches up.

7. Pasting your wallpaper

Always use the wallpaper paste recommended by the wallpaper manufacturer (in general, you’ll find instructions on the packaging). Follow the paste manufacturer’s instructions closely – don’t go off piste! Place your wallpaper face down on your paste table and brush with paste. Once pasted, wallpaper needs to “soak”; again, follow the wallpaper manufacturer’s instructions.

royal elise

8. Hanging your wallpaper

Very few walls are perfectly square or flawlessly vertical. In order to avoid skewing, use your plumb line to mark a true vertical, which you can use as a guide. Begin hanging in the least visible corner.

Use a paper hanger’s brush to smooth down your wallpaper. Run the back of your scissors along the angle of the ceiling to make an impression of where the wallpaper can be cut off.

Hang your subsequent lengths in line with your first length, ensuring the pattern always matches up.

Wipe any additional paste from the wallpaper or skirting boards with a damp cloth.

9. Tips and Tricks

Here at, we recommend:

  • If you’ve never hung wallpaper before, ask an experienced friend for help.
  • Use a ladder or a platform.
  • Be very careful not to overstretching.
  • Always mark straight lines to use as a guide – do not skip this step!

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