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December 22, 2023

Wallpaper Installation Tips for DIY Enthusiasts

Halverson Fine Finishes

The art of wallpaper installation is a journey of transformation, not just for your walls but for your entire room. For the DIY enthusiast, it’s a path laden with the potential for creativity and the satisfaction of personal accomplishment. This comprehensive guide is designed to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to successfully install wallpaper, turning your vision into reality.

Choosing the Right Wallpaper for Your Space

The first step in your wallpaper installation adventure is selecting the right paper. Consider the room’s function, humidity levels, and natural light when making your choice. Vinyl wallpapers are ideal for bathrooms and kitchens due to their moisture resistance, while light-reflective papers can brighten up a dim room. Take into account the room’s size and ceiling height—larger patterns can make a room feel cozier, while vertical stripes can give the illusion of height.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

A successful installation begins with the right tools. You’ll need a tape measure, level, utility knife, smoothing brush or roller, seam roller, sponge, ladder, and a pasting table. The adhesive is equally important; choose a paste specific to your wallpaper type, and consider a primer if you’re working with a particularly absorbent wall surface.

Preparing Your Walls for Wallpaper

Preparation is key. Start with a clean, dry, and smooth wall surface. Remove old wallpaper, fill any holes or cracks, and sand down rough areas. A primer can enhance adhesiveness and ease of wallpaper removal in the future. For textured walls, lining paper can create a smooth canvas for your new wallpaper.

Measuring and Cutting Wallpaper

Measure your walls carefully, and plan your layout to avoid small slivers of paper at the ends of walls. When cutting your wallpaper, allow a few extra inches at the top and bottom for trimming. If your wallpaper has a pattern, ensure you align it correctly, matching the design at the seams.

Applying Adhesive and Booking the Wallpaper

Apply an even coat of adhesive using a pasting brush or roller. For ‘paste the wall’ wallpapers, you’ll apply the adhesive directly to the wall. ‘Booking’ the wallpaper—folding it onto itself adhesive side in—allows the paste to activate and the paper to expand, reducing the risk of bubbles and wrinkles.

Hanging the Wallpaper

Begin in the least conspicuous corner of the room. Use a plumb line or level to hang the first strip straight, as this will set the tone for the rest of the room. Smooth the paper onto the wall from the center outwards to push out air bubbles, and use a seam roller to seal the edges without pressing too hard.

Dealing with Obstacles and Edges

When you encounter obstacles like windows, doors, or outlets, measure and cut the paper to fit. Make relief cuts to ease the wallpaper around corners and trim the excess with a sharp blade for a clean finish.

Finishing Touches and Maintenance

Once all the paper is up, trim the excess at the top and bottom edges with a straight edge and utility knife. Wipe away any excess adhesive with a damp sponge, as it can cause discoloration if left to dry. For maintenance, dust regularly and gently wipe stains with a damp cloth, avoiding abrasive cleaners.


Wallpaper installation is a rewarding DIY project that can dramatically alter the look and feel of a room. With the right preparation, tools, and techniques, you can achieve a professional-quality finish that stands the test of time. Embrace the process and take pride in the personal touch you’ve added to your home.

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Halverson Fine Finishes

December 22, 2023