Applying wallpaper can be so intimidating, I’m here to tell you to throw those fears out the window! I hope my DIY Wallpaper Tutorial will encourage you to try the wallpaper you’ve been eyeing. It really is an easy process.
When choosing wallpaper be aware that there are pre-pasted wallpapers, and wallpapers that require you apply your own paste. Pre-pasted requires you dip the paper in water to activate the paste, non-pasted requires you roll the paste on yourself. For this project, I fell in love with Caitlin Wilson’s “Grande Check” wallpaper, which is not pre-pasted.
I recommend using a heavy-duty, clear pro-grade paste, like Roman 880. There are universal pastes are available at most home improvement stores, usually a Roman Pro 530-I DON’T recommend that paste for wallpaper. The “Roman Pro Heavy Duty 880” is much easier to work with for most wallpaper, and is avail HERE on Amazon for the best price.
Materials Needed for DIY Wallpaper Install
- sand paper
- Roman Pro 880 heavy duty/clear wallpaper paste
- high density foam roller to apply paste, and paint tray
- a couple microfiber cloths
- nearby sink for rinsing rags
- wallpaper or craft squeegee
- small utility razor blade for cutting excess
- measuring tape
- 24″ level
- wallpaper seam roller
- may need a ladder
DIY Wallpaper Tutorial
- First, prep surfaces. If you do not have a smooth finish wall you may want to consider adding a skim coat of smooth drywall and sanding down. My drywall is already smooth, so I didn’t need to add this step.
- Fill in any nail or screw holes with spackle, allow spackle to dry, then sand down to smooth.
- Clean all work surfaces using a damp rag before beginning. Be sure all dust and debris are clear so your wall paper can adhere smoothly to your wall.
- With a measuring tape, Measure your wall from from ceiling to baseboard, or ceiling to chair rail, for the amount of paper needed. Allow atelast 1/8″ extra wallpaper to your measurement for error. You can cut excess at the end.
- Roll out wallpaper on a flat surface-I like using my portable plastic tables to unroll my wallpaper, measure, cut, and apply paste. I line two 6ft tables together for plenty of work space.
- Using your tape measure and pencil, create a guideline. Make a small mark where you need to cut your wallpaper. Then, using your 24″ level, draw a straight line across the wall paper, and cut across your guide line with scissors.
- Pour wall paper paste into paint tray and apply to back of wall paper with a high-density foam roller, get all areas of the paper, including the edges, coated evenly and generously.
- Once paste is applied “book end” or fold the wall paper in half so glued edges are adhered to each other and allow to sit for 2-5 minutes. Book ending allows expansion of the paper when wet, makes it easier to work with, and allows the glue to adhere better to your wall.
- While your paper is sitting, I find it helpful to to draw a vertical level line on the wall using a pencil and 24″ level, for your fist strip of paper. Line the edge of your wallpaper to the pencil line, to be sure your wall paper is level. After the first strip is level, the rest of the papers can be lined up eye level, matching the repeating pattern.
- Take your book ended paper, beginning at the ceiling, open the upper half of your paper only, place the paper directly hugging the ceiling and begin smoothing the paper down with your hands. It is okay to pull away from the wall and replace again to the wall a few times to get it level. Wallpaper is very forgiving when the paste is wet. Once you have your paper level to the ceiling, begin smoothing the paper down to the wall first with your hand and damp rag. Get all bubbles and wrinkles out-I find using a damp rag and my hand first-rather than squeegee first, prevents the paper from wrinkling or tearing. Once level and smooth, I now go over the paper with my wall paper squeegee.
- I leave the bottom end of my wall paper book-ended while smoothing the upper half of the paper down, it makes it easier to work with.
- Once I have the upper half of the paper smoothed down, I pull apart my book-ended piece and begin to smooth it to the wall in the same manner, down to the ending point of baseboard or chair rail. I continue to smooth down with a rag and my hand as I go, then go over with a craft squeegee once I’m sure my paper is level.
- Using a damp rag, remove any excess paste from the smoothing the wallpaper down.
- Go over seams with wallpaper seam roller to keep edges from lifting
- Using your small utility blade, cut excess paper from ceiling and moldings, like chair rail and baseboard.
- Repeat process lining your pattern to eye level as you go for pattern accuracy.
- Cut around any electrical plates with the utility blade allowing about 1/8′ paper to fit beneath the outlet plate. Remove the outlet plate and measure to be sure the paper fits under the outlet cover. These cuts don’t need to be precise as long as you measure accurately for the paper to fit beneath the outlet cover, when cover is placed on the wall.
You can find the full wallpaper install video below, it helps to see all these steps in action! Happy Wallpapering!!