Wallpaper and humanity have long had a love-hate relationship. The design options it provides make it covetable. Yet it has a reputation of being a headache to those trying to use it, and to the walls it insists on peeling away from overtime. Will wallpaper and humanity ever find reconciliation? After today, in your home, it just might! The key to a clean, successful wallpaper job is preparation. If you have the right tools ahead of time, you’ll be ready for those unwanted snags that wallpapering is prone to!
Before preparing your wallpaper, we need to examine and prepare the walls. First, look closely for any holes that might cause air bubbles. You can fill these with a little spackle. You’ll want a smooth, even surface. Once you have this clean your wall! Some soap, water, and elbow grease is all it takes to remove any excess dirt. The third component is examining the leveling. It is not uncommon for walls to be slightly off or uneven. Use a leveler to find a straight line, and mark it. You can use a chalk line, or painter’s tape. This is a crucial step, so take your time! Make sure you get an accurate, straight, level vertical line for placement. We also need to prepare the wallpaper itself. Give yourself room for grace by cutting the paper in strips longer than you’ll need and lay them out so you are ready to go!
Some wallpapers have adhesive already on the back, in which case each strip will only need to be dunked in water just before placing it. If you chose a wallpaper that does require adhesive, pour the glue into a roller tray and use a paint roller. Apply it quickly to wall space of one strip and the back of the paper as well. Apply the paper one strip at a time. To smooth against wall, start in the center with a plastic smoother, and press outward. If you have a particularly tall wall and need to use a ladder, you should consider having someone spot and hold the paper at the bottom while you start at the top and smooth it downward. Make sure as you move to each new piece of paper that the seams are not overlapping, but rather sit right next to one another, as overlapping paper will peel more quickly.
Once you have a piece placed, you’ll have about 10 minutes before it is permanently dried. Use a sharp razor blade to cut the excess length from the top and bottom. Also, for each piece, look carefully for any air bubbles and make sure it is perfectly smoothed. You can use a needle to poke any particularly stubborn air bubbles. Remove any excess adhesive with a sponge. Lastly, double check the alignment to make sure it is perfectly level.
Wallpaper can provide a beautiful statement to any home, and doesn’t have to be a headache to install using the right tools and method. Have you wallpapered a wall? What was that experience like for you? We’d love to see pictures!