Wallpapering a room

Wallpaper is back! All you need to install it, is a few hours and a bit of patience.

Difficulty level : 
Duration : 
5 hours

Measuring and cutting

  • 1.1Measure the height of the wall from ceiling to baseboard and cut the first sheet.
  • 1.2Unroll the paper onto your worktable. Measure and mark the wall height plus 3 inches to allow for some excess at the top and bottom. Mark a straight line and cut the paper with heavy scissors.
  • 1.3Line up the pattern of the second sheet at the top with that of the first sheet and not the distance by which the two sheets are offset – referred to as the pattern repeat. Mark the spot, fold the paper back, and trim off the excess along the fold line. Cut the second sheet to the same length as the first.
  • 1.4Number the back of each sheet and draw an arrow indicating the end that will go along the ceiling.
  • 1.5Double check the distance from ceiling to baseboard before cutting additional sheets of wallpaper.
Calculator - Wallpaper


  • 2.1Fill a wallpaper trough about two-thirds full with water at room temperature.
  • 2.2Roll your first cut sheet with the back facing inward, starting at the bottom edge.
  • 2.3Set the roll in the trough and gently press down to remove any air bubbles. Let the paper soak for the time recommended by the manufacturer.
  • 2.4Pull it straight up approximately 18 inches, holding the top corners and feeding it along the divider to unroll it.

Top tip

After the paper is soaked, it needs to sit for a sort time to give the wet paste a chance to soak in. Before setting the sheet aside, fold it to keep it from drying out.


  • 3.1Fold the paper back on itself, pasted surfaces together. Avoid creasing the paper. Pull the paper out further and fold it back in the other direction.
  • 3.2Continue folding the paper back and forth like an accordion. When you reach the bottom edge, fold the paper back in the opposite direction to the other folds, creating a hem.
  • 3.3Arrange two or three booked sheets in hanging order and let them sit for the time specified by the manufacturer.

Top tip

The first and last sheets you hang won’t match perfectly. To keep this mismatch hidden, start in the middle of the wall and work around the room in each direction, ending at an inconspicuous corner.

Hanging the first sheet

  • 4.1Draw a very light vertical line where you want the right edge of the paper to fall.
  • 4.2Unfold the top part of the booked sheet, aligning the pattern along the ceiling.
  • 4.3Open up the rest of the sheet, aligning it with the line and smoothing it with a plastic smoother.
  • 4.4With a smoother, crease the paper where the wall and ceiling meet, allowing about 1 ½ inches of excess to overlap the ceiling.

Top tip

Use a smoothing brush for very delicate papers.

Unfolding the bottom

  • 5.1Unfold the hem once you’ve smoothed the sheet down to the bottom section of the wall.
  • 5.2Push the paper down against the top of the baseboard with a plastic smoother.

Trimming the sheet

  • 6.1Press a triangular trimming into the crease at the baseboard and trim the excess with a wallpaper knife. Trim along the ceiling in the same way.
  • 6.2Sponge the wallpaper surface with clear water, then pat it dry with a towel.

Hanging the second sheet

  • 7.1Hang the second sheet from the top of the wall and gently butt it to the first sheet, matching the pattern.
  • 7.2Repeat steps 4.3 and 4.4.
  • 7.3Roll the edges with a seam roller – for a delicate embossed paper use a sponge.

Top tip

A slight overlap in a corner will keep a gap from opening up.

Dealing with corners

  • 8.1In the corners, hang the last sheet so it overlaps the adjacent wall, folding the paper over at the ceiling.
  • 8.2Make diagonal cuts in it where it overlaps the ceiling and the baseboard to crease the sheet into the corner. Smooth the paper into the corner along its length.
  • 8.3Trim the excess at the ceiling and the baseboard. Then, trim down along the corner switching from the trimming tool to the smoothing tool for a guide. The thickness of the smoothing tool will leave 1/8 inch of paper on the adjacent wall.

Continuing on the next wall

  • 9.1Measure from the corner onto the unpapered wall surface the width of sheet minus 2 inches. Mark a plumb line at this point.
  • 9.2Hang the new sheet at the ceiling, lining up the right side with the line and wrapping the paper onto the previous wall. Fold the paper at the ceiling line.
  • 9.3Move the new sheet back and forth to align the pattern at its edge with the sheet underneath it, making sure the new sheet is still vertical. If the corner isn’t straight, you won’t be able to match the pattern perfectly.
  • 9.4Slice a diagonal in the corners, top and bottom, and trim at the ceiling and the baseboard.
  • 9.5Trim the new sheet exactly along the corner using a taping knife as a cutting guide, trying not to cut through the sheet underneath.

Top tip

Don’t try to cut your sheets in advance to fit around windows, instead hang the paper over the window and trim it in place.

Fitting around windows

  • 10.1Hang the first sheet that reaches the window, allowing it to cover the window frame. Smooth it toward the window, creasing it against the frame.
  • 10.2Find the corner of the window with the tip of the knife blade, pressing the paper against the frame, find and make a diagonal cut downward. Make another cut at the bottom of the window.
  • 10.3Trim off the excess along the top, side, and bottom of the window frame, with a taping knife as a cutting guide.
  • 10.4Hang short sheets above and below the window, matching the pattern, then repeat the procedure to paper the wall on the other side of the window.

Cutting around electrical boxes

  • 11.1Turn off the power to the room and remove the face plate.
  • 11.2Wallpaper right over the electrical box.
  • 11.3Mark the corners with the tip of the knife blade as you smooth the sheet over the opening. Finish smoothing the sheet down to the baseboard.
  • 11.4Make diagonal cuts between the marked corners, then cut away just enough paper to expose the electrical box and the ears of the outlet or switch.

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