Interior designers are predicting wallpaper to become one of the most popular style options in 2015 with some even recommending its use on doors and ceilings! While that may be a bit too “fashion-forward” for some homeowners, there’s no doubting that wallpaper is set to make a big comeback this year and homeowners that are embracing the style now are sure to lead the way in the months to come. That said, wallpaper installation doesn't have to be a costly, time consuming project, in fact with just a little knowledge and planning you can complete your own wallpaper installation just by following these simple steps!
Step 1: Wall Prep
As with interior painting, there’s a lot of work that should be done before you ever actually start hanging wallpaper. Begin your project by carefully cleaning your wall of any dirt, dust, old paint, or old wallpaper to have a perfectly clean, dry, and smooth surface on which to work. This cleaning process should be very thoroughly done since any imperfections could affect the final look of the wall. If you find any dents or cracks in the underlying wall surface make sure to fill them with spackle and then sandpaper the surface to get the surface level.
Step 2: Wall Priming
Apply a high quality primer to all the walls you’re going to be hanging wallpaper on to help the wallpaper stick for longer without any peeling or wrinkling. This is especially true for newly erected walls since fresh drywall will very quickly absorb the moisture from the wallpaper adhesive causing the look of your home to be greatly affected. Once this primer is applied everywhere allow about 2 to 3 hours for full drying and settling before you begin work on the wall. During this time it’s wise to begin unrolling your choice of wallpaper and to smooth out the natural curl of the material by running it over the edge of a work table.
Step 3: Measuring and Cutting
Measure the dimensions of your wall taking into account any space allowances for decorations or focal points. When you’re positive about the measurements you've taken cut your wallpaper according to those dimensions but allowing an extra 4 inches for the top border of the wall. Make sure that when you cut your wallpaper you keep any patterns intact between strips so that when they’re applied on the wall a seamless look is achieved. Draw small guidelines on the wall to help keep your application as straight as possible. This done, flip the wallpaper strips onto their face on a long table and, using a figure-eight motion apply wallpaper paste to the back of the wallpaper strips as evenly as possible. If there are any especially thick areas of paste left untended when the wallpaper is hung a noticeable rise may be visible beneath your final results.
Step 4: Wallpaper Hanging
Begin hanging your wallpaper in a corner, preferably near the main entrance of the room, leaving the 4 inches of extra height near the ceiling. When you’re positioning this first strip of wallpaper it’s wise to overlap the door frame or corner by about an inch since sealing the seams between different strips of wallpaper is much easier when they aren’t directly in the corner of the room. Smooth this first piece of wallpaper onto the wall using a smoothing brush. Start in the middle of the strip close to the ceiling and move both outward and downward as the wallpaper becomes more properly affixed. Once smoothed onto the wall, wallpaper has a period of about 10-15 minutes when it can be realigned and smoothed out further. Use this time carefully and efficiently by calling on friends or family to help keep the wallpaper perfectly straight and smooth.
Step 5: Trimming and Closing Seams
Once your first strip of wallpaper has been applied use a utility knife to trim the excess height and a putty knife to securely adhere the upper edge to the wall using either the ceiling or the crown molding’s bottom edge as a guide. Similarly trim and seal the excess which may have been around a door frame and firmly secure the wallpaper which went over the corner of the room. Once this is done you can begin prepping the next strip of wallpaper for hanging. However, when you’re applying this next strip make sure to position it next to the previous strip and not to allow the two to overlap. The small seam which will result where the two border each other can be addressed during this strip’s settling period by carefully pushing it so that the two pieces touch down the full length of the wall. Repeat this process until the entire surface you’re interested in improving is covered and you’ll have successfully performed your own DIY wallpaper hanging project!