Hanging Wallpaper: Tips for Wallpaper Seams

A woman gets ready to hang wallpaper.

When hanging wallpaper or repairing wallpaper seams, you may find that what you thought would be an easy job can turn into a really aggravating experience. It doesn't have to be this way if you follow a few wallpaper tips.

Clean Walls of Film or Old Paste

If you are hanging new wallpaper, be sure the walls are clean of any film or old wallpaper paste that will prevent your paper or seams from sticking properly. A bit of preparation will save you a lot of aggravation later.

Smooth Out Bubbles and Wrinkles

When applying new paper, you must smooth the bubbles and wrinkles out, from the center to the edges. This technique allows excess wallpaper paste to end up at the seam or edges and help hold the seams down. Do not rub the paper too hard or you will stretch it and cause the seams to pull away from each other or curl.

Repair Seams Immediately

After your wallpaper has dried, if you see seams starting to lift or curl, fix the problems immediately. Do not wait until you have a lot of lifting or curling or until the paper is dry and brittle. At this point, the problems become more difficult to fix. This tip also applies to wallpaper seams in a room that has been papered for a while.

If your room has been papered for a while and the edges or seams are lifting, or the border is coming loose, you can repair it by removing all old paste in the area that is lifting. Dampen the area that has pulled away until it's saturated. You can do this with a spray mister or a sponge. Then squeeze on wallpaper paste that is available in a tube especially for repairs. This paste is more concentrated and, being in a tube, easier to apply. Smooth it down with a wet sponge, but don't rub too hard or you will force all the paste back out of the seam and it won't stick. Then starting at the bottom or top, never in the middle, put wide painter's tape over the entire seam and leave it there for at least 24 hours until the paste dries. Do not use masking tape, as it will stick to your wallpaper.