How to Use Paste the Paper Wallpaper

Lead Image
  • 5 hours
  • 500-1,000
What You'll Need
Prepasted wallpaper
Plumb bob and carpenters level
Utility knife and pencil
Container for water long enough for the paper
Wallpaper smoothing tool brush or squeegee

With all the new decorating ideas there are today, paper wallpaper is still one of the best ways to decorate a room for very little money but a little more work. Paper wallpaper will last a lot longer and stay put when others like vinyl will peel away with time and moisture. You can go into hundreds of old homes and mansions and still see wallpaper stuck to the walls. Though most walls in homes are not exactly even, you will have to plan your patterns so that they will come out as evenly as possible.

Step 1 - Set the Lines

The patterns you pick will probably not match perfectly the first and last strip you hang, so you need to choose your ending point first. You will want to make it the least obvious. The more busy the pattern, like with flowers and designs, the harder to match. And because most houses do not have all perfect right angles in the rooms, you will need to get a plumb line on each wall to mark the first strips that you hang and so all the following strips. To draw a plumb line, take the plumb bob and the carpenter level. Measure the width of the wallpaper and using the plumb bob, tack it to the wall 2" more than and let the bob hang. Mark the wall there, lightly. Continue this down to the baseline.

Step 2 - Cut the Strips

Cut and hang only one piece at a time to make sure that the lengths are correct. Then cut several strips at a time until you get to an object you have to to make special cuts for such as a window or fireplace. After the test runs, you are ready to actually hang the paper.

Step 3 - Hang the Paper

If you bought prepasted wallpaper, you have to soak it for the recommended time in some lukewarm water. Halfway fill the container with lukewarm water and loosely roll a strip of paper, patter side out and immerse it in the water for the amount of time you need. Follow the manufacturer's instructions as to whether you need to book the strip or not: booking is folding it in a suggested way allowing it to rest while it absorbs the adhesive.

Put a long flat surface, like a table, next to the pan of water, pull the strip out of the water, and lay it on the table with the print side down. This is where you will book it if needed. You want to start the paper with the edges against the edges you plumbed in at the start point. Slowly push it across and up and down with your hands to hang it without wrinkles. Then use your smoothing tool to go over the paper until all the air bubbles are out. Keep going until you are done. It is best to hang in the daylight. If you have to finish later, cover the wet paper and refrigerate it if possible.