How to Hang Wallpaper 101

By: Emma Hassemer, Editor,
How to Hang Wallpaper 101

Put down your paintbrush and grab some wild wallpaper prints for your next room project. Decorating your walls with wallpaper is trending again and some aren't afraid to play with crazy patterns. There's no need to spend hundreds of dollars on wall decor when you have bold wallpaper surrounding your room. This DIY home decor project will set your family, bed or living room apart from so many other's. Learn everything you need to know about How to Hang Wallpaper without a professional's help and save big time bucks.

Some wallpaper swatches may be intimidating to some because it's not as easy as a quick paint job. Hanging wallpaper takes time when it comes to pasting it on the wall and choosing the perfect pattern. The mood of a room is often brought out by what's on the room's walls. A bright and busy pattern will make the room feel alive and inviting while a more neutral and quiet design will make the room feel more relaxing and calm. Because your wallpaper will be doing all the talking, there's no need to spend tons of money on wall art/decor. When choosing which furniture to pair with your new wallpaper, make sure the pieces compliment the wall and make the room flow. This will make your space more welcoming and put together. Your wall is your canvas; be creative!

Wallpaper is the new DIY wall art. After reading, you'll know how to apply wallpaper paste and wallpaper boarder tips that will come in handy the next time you're thinking of adding wallpaper to a room. Keep scrolling to find out how you can easily dress up your walls with paper.


-Paperhanging scissors
-Seam roller
-Paperhanging brush
-Pasting brush
-Cutting edge
-Wallpaper paste

How to Wallpaper a Room: Step by Step

Step 1: Prep the room
Make sure everything is cleared out of the room (furniture, wall decor, lighting fixtures, ect). After clearing the room, turn off the power to the room and remove any electrical outlets and switches. Repair any dents or damaged areas with spackle and then sand down to smooth. Wash the walls with warm water and a bit of detergent to make sure they’re squeaky clean.

Step 2: Hanging the first sheet
Choose a starting point on the wall and draw a vertical line using a pencil. Double check this line using a level.  Pick up the "book" of folded paper and unfold the top section. Position it against the guideline. When you’re happy with how the paper is leveled, brush it down from the top and crease it into the intersection. At the same time, make sure that the vertical edge of the paper is aligned with the pencil guide line. Unfold the book and work your way down the wall to the baseboard.. Be careful not to crease or tear the paper. Keep checking that the sheet is vertical. Use the brush to smooth the paper over the wall and remove any bubbles. Work from the center of the paper to the edges. At floor level, use the brush to crease the paper into the intersection between the wall and baseboard.

Step 3: Trim and join the next length
Brush back up the paper to ensure good adhesion. Pay attention to the edges and make sure you continue to remove any air bubbles. Trim at the top and bottom of the length. If you use scissors, mark the crease with a pencil line. Brush the trimmed edges tight against the ceiling and baseboard. Use a clean, damp sponge to wipe away any excess paste from wallpaper surface. Do the same for the ceiling and baseboard.

Step 4: Align seams
Make sure that the pattern is matched at eye level; this keeps any pattern drop (or misalignments) at a high or low level. Push the edges together tightly, checking the seam as you work your way down. Clean the seam with a wet sponge to remove any excess paste; DO NOT apply too much pressure as this creates a shiny seam when the paper is dry. Finish off by gently running a seam roller up and down the seam.

Step 5: How to paper the side of a window recess
When you reach a window, hang the next length of paper so that it overlaps the recess. Make horizontal cuts in the paper and bend the resulting flap into the recess. If the paper doesn’t reach the window, it will be necessary to insert a further length. Using a knife, trim the paper so that it fits perfectly around the sill. After cutting the ends, brush the flap into place and crease the paper into the corner. Trim the edge so that the paper is flush with the window frame.

Step 6: How to paper the side of a door
When you get to a door, apply a sheet as normal. Cut out a rough area of the door with scissors, leaving plenty of excess paper. Cut diagonally through the excess paper over the door to the corner of the casing. Crease the top and side flaps into place, leaving the excess around the casing. Trim the excess paper from the top of the door frame, using a trimming knife. Continue trimming the paper down the side of the door frame. Use the edge of the casing as a guide. Smooth the paper around the casing with the brush.

Step 7: How to paper above a door
Hang a short length of paper above the door. When aligned, trim it against the ceiling and casing. On reaching the other side of the door, use the same technique for the opposite edge. DO NOT trim along the vertical edge of the casing until the next full length of paper is hung. This way, it's easier to maintain the precise vertical position of the lengths and to trim accurately along the casing edge.

Step 8: Final Seam
Measure from the edge of the first length into the corner and add 3/4-inch. Transfer this measurement to a length of pasted paper and cut along it. Take the measured strip and hang it against the first strip you hung, matching the pattern carefully. Brush the other edge into and around the internal corner. Carefully trim into the corner to remove the excess paper, and the top and bottom of the length. Smooth the ends when finished, adding extra paste if necessary. The final edges may not match perfectly, but is hardly noticeable in the corner. Sponge any remaining paste off the paper to finish.

Step 9: Papering external around corners
Hang the paper so that it bends around the corner. Slice the bottom to make two separate flaps, then brush the paper flat. Hang a second sheet around the corner. Make sure it is vertical. Check that the pattern fits, then brush the second sheet flat. Overlap the first sheet. Use a straight edge (a metal ruler is ideal) to cut through both layers of the overlap. Pull back the overlap and remove the paper below. Then remove the excess from the top sheet. Smooth to reveal a precise butt joint. Trim the top and bottom of both sheets in the usual way. Remove any excess paste from the paper surface. Use a roller to secure the seam.

Step 10: Papering around internal corners
Start by folding a sheet into the corner. Brush the sheet flat, then slice the paper 3/4 in (20 mm) to the right of the corner to create two separate sheets. Move the right-hand sheet to one side, then trim the top and bottom of the left-hand sheet. Move the right-hand sheet back across and trim. Check that the paper is at the right level by comparing points of the pattern with adjacent lengths.

Step 11: Working around outlets and switch plates
Turn off the power. Hang paper over the switch plate. Mark the position of the corners of the plate. Cut two diagonal slits from corner to corner, creating four triangular flaps. Fold the flaps out from the wall and cut along the folds. Loosen the switch plate by removing its retaining screws. Rotate the plate and feed it diagonally through the hole in the paper. Smooth the paper under the switch plate. Reattach the plate and remove any paste with a sponge. Leave the electricity off until dry.

Step 12: Working around ceiling lights

Turn off the power, then remove the light fixture and leave the wires hanging. Brush the paper across the ceiling to the wires. Make a hole in the paper where the wires stick out of the ceiling. Draw the wires through the paper. Continue smoothing down the length of paper. Finish hanging the paper, then reattach the fixtures. Screw the base back into the ceiling, making holes in the paper where necessary. Once the wires and base are secure, screw the final fittings into place. Leave the electricity off until the paper is completely dry.

Step 13: Papering around stairwells
The most important consideration when papering a stairwell is to build a safe working platform. The design can be varied, depending on your needs. Pad the tops of the ladders to prevent damaging the wall. You will need someone to help you when hanging long sheets.

How to Remove Wallpaper

Is it time to replace your current wallpaper with a more modern paper print? There's no need to stress about removing wallpaper because it's super simple and cheap! Put the phone down because you won't need a professional to help remove your wallpaper. With a little bit of water, fabric softner, tender, love and care, your walls will look good as new in no time. The main ingredient in this process is water. Spraying and scrubbing warm water on your walls will instantly loosen up any wall paste. As the water is working its magic, you'll slowly but surely start to see your wallpaper slide right off.  You can wave goodbye to your super vintage looking wallpaper and say hello to a fresh start. 

Removing Wallpaper 101

DIY Custom Wallpaper Designs

You can now create your dream wallpaper design using simple tools such as stencils, paint pens and a paintbrush. If you have an exact vision in mind of what you want your wallpaper to look like, then making your own DIY wallpaper is the way to go. If you don't consider yourself artistic, don't fret because that's what the stencils are for! Who says you need to spend thousands of dollars having someone come and install wallpaper for you? The key is to choose a simple design or shape that you want to trace. A straightforward yet fun design to trace is this Gold Cactus DIY Wallpaper design. You can't go wrong with adding a nature aspect to your room. If you're looking to take it a step further and add some texture to your room, you can even include some fuzzy or soft wallpaper! This DIY Fabric Wallpaper will look so unique (and soft) in any room! Who knew creating your own wallpaper could be so simple?

Painted Printed DIY Wallpaper

What type of wallpaper will you use to dress up your walls?

Free projects, giveaways, exclusive partner offers, and more straight to your inbox!

Your Recently Viewed Ideas

Include a Photo Include a Photo

Click the button above or drag and drop images onto the button. You can upload two images.

Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

Hanging wallpaper is so trendy now (thanks, Joanna Gaines!). This is such an informative guide!


Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

About Us Advertise Contact Us FAQ Keyword Index Privacy Policy Submit Your Project Subscribe Terms of Service Unsubscribe

---- 1 ----


Images from other DIYers

There are currently no images from other DIYers.