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With a little practice, you can hang wallpaper like a professional.
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How to Hang Wallpaper
Hanging wallpaper is a challenging but fun project that can give your room an entirely new personality and with a little practice, it’s a project you can do by yourself. This is one job where it really pays to have the right tools. A wallpaper soaking tray, a paint roller and paint brush, a putty knife and utility knife, a wallpaper edge guide, a smoothing tool, a seam roller and a level, or better yet a laser level.
Wallpaper comes either regular without adhesive or prepasted. With regular wallpaper, you’ll have to apply paste to the wall or the back of the sheet before you hang it on the wall. Prepasted wallpaper comes coated with dried glue that is activated by water. Figuring out how much wallpaper, glue and supplies you need for a room used to be tricky. Now, there are wallpaper estimators online that make life easier. You’ll find a wallpaper estimator at hgtv.com. Just enter the measurements of the room into the estimator and it gives you a list of everything you need.
Here’s a tip. When you buy wallpaper, make sure to check the run numbers which tell you which batch of wallpaper each roll is found. Checking the pattern number isn’t enough because you’ll want to get all the rolls for a room from the same run or batch since different batches can have noticeable color differences.
Now that you have the wallpaper and supplies, it’s time to start hanging. Find a starting place, you’ll want to hide the first seam in a less conspicuous corner near a door or behind a curtain since the pattern for the first and last sheet won’t match very well. Then use a level or laser to create a plumb line as a guide for the paper. Cut the paper into strips about five to six inches longer than you’d think you’ll need. This will allow you to cut the paper to the exact size once it’s on the wall.
Now, it’s time for the glue. If you’re using regular paper, you’ll need to apply the glue with a paint brush or roller. Make sure to evenly coat every square inch of the paper or wall. If you’re using prepasted paper however, briefly soak each piece in a tray of water to activate the glue. Next, fold the wallpaper over onto itself, a process called booking. Booking keeps the wallpaper out of the way while the glue activates and is done with both prepasted and regular paper. The glue usually needs five to 10 minutes to setup. Each brand of glue is different through, so refer to the instructions for the adhesive to determine the exact setup time as well as how to tell when the glue is ready.
When booking, simply fold the paper in half a couple of times avoiding any hard folds or creases. Always keep the sides glue to glue or paper to paper. Never paper to glue. When everything is ready, hang the paper on the wall. Line the wallpaper out with your plumb line and press it onto the wall. The glue will do the rest of the work. Be sure to leave a little overlap three inches at the ceiling and two inches at the bottom. This will help you adjust the pattern and cut a paper to the perfect size. Use a smoothing tool to force out any air bubbles. This part of the job is kind of fun. Then use the edge guide and the utility knife to trim away the excess. Use a seam roller to press the edges down. This will make sure that the edge is properly glued and will keep it from curling up in the future.
Once each piece of wallpaper is hung, you’ll want to wipe down each section of wallpaper with a wet sponge. This will clean off any excess glue right away before it hardens. As you work your way around the room, you’re sure to encounter doors or windows, go ahead and paper right over them. Just use the door or window frame as a guide for the utility knife and make your cut. Wallpaper instantly gives your room a new personality, one you can enjoy for years.
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