Do-it-yourself wallpapering is easy if you start with the right tools. Choose a prepasted wallpaper if you’ve never done this before. If the room has been previously wallpapered, you’ll need to remove the old paper before repapering. If you’re hanging paper on damaged walls, you should first repair the damaged areas. If you’re hanging paper on new wallboards, coat with latex primer first, so the paper will adhere better.
I’ve hung a lot of wallpaper on raw walls, over other paper, and over ugly paneling with equal success. I always use prepasted paper. Most papers today are pre-pasted, except unusual papers that are very costly.
When using this type of paper you have to seal the walls first to prevent paste from being absorbed into them and to provide a smooth surface for the wallpaper. The least costly sealer is glue called wallpaper sizing. It’s available in paint departments along with the other tools and materials. You apply this with a roller just as you would paint the walls. This is easy and quick since neatness isn’t a factor. Before hanging any wallpaper, paint all your baseboards and window and door trim.
Tools for Hanging Wallpaper
You’ll need the following tools, all available in paint stores and home centers, to do a perfect job:
- Metal straightedge at least a yard long for measuring and for long, straight cuts
- Scissors or a utility knife
- Trimming knife and extra single-edge razor blades (replacement blades for the knife)
- Plumb bob or level (use either tool for marking a perfectly vertical line on the wall before hanging the wallpaper strips)
- Paste bucket and paste brush, unless you’re using pre-pasted wallpaper
- Water box, which is made of plastic and looks like a long, shallow feed trough
- Sponge and bucket for clean rinsing water
- Rigid putty knife
- Smoothing brush with 3/4-inch bristles for vinyl paper, or a brush with 2-inch bristles for more pliable paper
- Seam roller for smoothing seams and edges
Corners, Windows and Doors
Continue to apply the wallpaper around corners, windows and doors as you come to them.
Corners: Measure from the edge of the last strip to the corner. Cut the next strip 1/2 inch wider. When you hang the second strip, bend the extra 1/2-inch piece around the corner. Make another plumb line on the second wall and hang the first strip so it overlaps this 1/2 inch and extends 1/2 inch around the corner. Use your straightedge and razor blade to cut through both thicknesses in the corner. Peel away the top strip, then lift the edge of the paper and peel away the inner layer. Run the seam roller over the new seam.
Windows and Doors: Let the wallpaper strip overlap the casing of the window or door and, using your putty knife or straightedge, press it into the vertical edge, making a crease. Cut along this creased edge with a razor blade. Crease and cut the paper at the top of the door molding and at the top and bottom of the window areas in the same way.