How to Install Oversized, Patterned Ceiling Wallpaper

Bring bold, graphic flair to a flat ceiling using oversized wallpaper. Follow our step-by-step instructions for an easy, professional-quality installation.

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Materials Needed:

  • patterned wallpaper with large repeat
  • wallpaper paste
  • wallpaper smoothing tool
  • pencil
  • utility knife or razor
  • ladder
  • measuring tape
  • small bucket or 1-gallon aluminum paint can
  • dishwashing liquid
  • damp cloth
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • roller handle
  • roller sleeve
  • paint pan
  • drop cloth
  • level
  • flat worktable or counter at least 30” wide by 76” long
  • warm water

Determine Symmetrical Placement

The key to using large-scale patterned wallpaper on a ceiling correctly is to ensure a symmetrical installation. First, remove fixtures and air returns from the ceiling, if necessary. Then, unfurl a roll of wallpaper along worktable, adding approximately 8” to the full width of the room, then cut to size using utility knife or razor. Position and reposition wallpaper on ground until the pattern is properly lined up symmetrically on opposite ends of the room (the same width as the ceiling). Use a pencil to lightly mark this portion of the pattern repeat.

Tip: To ensure that the pencil marks are not visible once wallpaper is installed, create a small mark that's only visible at close range.

Dry-Fit First Run of Wallpaper

Pour wallpaper paste into 5-gallon bucket, then add an even coat of paste along the area of ceiling where the first roll of wallpaper will be installed using paint roller handle and roller sleeve. Referring to the light pencil marks, position the first roll of paper in place up against the paste-covered area of ceiling, positioning paper until perfectly straight. Tip: This is referred to as a “dry fit,” which requires a run of paper be put in place yet left loose for positioning.

Next, double-check the symmetrical placement of the pattern repeat by holding measuring tape along the edge of opposite sides of ceiling, ensuring the measurements are equal.

Smooth Paper and Cut

With equal measurements for each end of wallpaper run confirmed, use a wallpaper smoothing tool to smooth out any air bubbles. Once all air bubbles are smoothed out, use utility knife or razor to cut the excess paper hanging down from corners of ceiling.

Tip: Un-trimmed wallpapers will require more precise cutting than trimmed wallpapers. To get a clean cup, line up a level along the exposed edge, then trim with utility knife or razor.

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