How to Add Wallpaper

Learn how wallpaper can make a dramatic difference in a room's decor. Use these step-by-step instructions to do your own wallpapering.
bedside table in bedroom

bedside table in bedroom

Materials and Tools:

tape measurer
torpedo level
broad knife
razor knife
seam roller
smooth work surface


1. Be aware that wallpaper borders usually require paste, even if they are pre-pasted. Check the paste label to make sure to purchase the right type for your project.

2. Measure the length of the area to be covered with a tape measurer. Allow a little extra for waste at the top and bottom edges.

3. Find the match of the paper or the location where the pattern repeats. Cut on the same match location each time to ensure correct alignment.

4. Cut the strips according to your measurements, and add glue to the paper backing. Make sure to read the glue label directions and cover the glue evenly.

5. Booking the strips refers to the process of folding the strips once the glue has been applied. Let the pasted strips set

6. Start at the corner of the room, and overlap about 1/8".

7. Use the level to make sure the paper is positioned straight on the wall.

8. Scrape over the paper with the plastic squeegee to smooth out any bumps or air bubbles.

9. Use the broad knife and razor to cut straight edges along the top and bottom border. Wipe the paper with a sponge to remove any excess glue from the paper or any other surface it may have touch because it will cause discoloration. Line up the pattern as you go so each strip lines up with the next.

10. Before working on areas with receptacles, make sure to turn off the power source. Position the paper over the outlet or vent and use a razor knife to cut through the paper. Try to leave a little extra paper over the hole so you don't make a gap between the outlet and wallpaper.

11. For tight corners, use scissors to make a diagonal cut into the corner.

12. Never lay wallpaper on newspaper. The ink can smudge clean surfaces and may react with the ink used in wallpapers.

13. After wallpapering, you may find a few bubbles. They should disappear after a few days, just do not press on them.

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