There are actually two things that the information in this article will help with – hanging wallpaper and installing decorative borders. Borders are usually installed at the top of the walls. They set off the room without the expense of installing crown molding. They’re also great for decorating baby’s nursery room; they help develop the visual senses.
First Things First: Prepare the Walls for Wallpaper
- This is where it all starts – preparing the walls for wallpaper.
- Take down all paintings, photos, wall hangings, etc.
- Remove all electrical cover plates and set aside.Remove existing wallpaper or texture.
- Do any drywall taping and floating.
- Size the wall.
- Decide where to begin.
Use a Plumb Bob to Start the First Wallpaper Strip
Keep in mind that this kind of wall covering is patterned. The ending strip should end up as close as possible to matching the beginning strip. With this in mind, try to start out in a corner, preferably where an open door will cover it.
Although you can get the initial plumb line with a four foot level or a laser level, nothing is as accurate as good old mother nature. Make a pencil mark at the top and the bottom of the wall and strike a chalk line.
Cutting the Wallpaper Strips
Use a work table and a razor blade to cut the strips. Cut several wallpaper strips at once, about three inches longer than the height of the wall. The extra length ensures that the pattern can be lined up.
Next, the adhesive must be activated on pre-glued paper or rolled on un-pasted paper. For the pre-glued variety, loosely roll up the strip and immerse it in the water pan for the period of time recommended by the manufacturer. Then, slowly unroll it.
For un-pasted paper, roll out the adhesive on the paper with a six inch paint roller. Start at the middle and work to the ends. Now, to keep it moist, fold (no crease) the bottom glued side to the middle, and the top glues side to the middle.
Hang the First Wallpaper Strip
Hang the first strip with one edge along the chalk line, allowing an excess of about one inch at the ceiling. Use a squeegee to work out all air pockets and use a seam roller on the edges.
Cut the excess paper with a razor blade at the top and the bottom using a wide drywall floating knife to provide an accurate, tight cutting edge. Next, use a wet sponge to clean any stray glue from the ceiling and baseboard.
Hang the rest of the strips, carefully matching the pattern and seams.
Note: inside and outside corners may not be plumb. If not, use the plumb bob and chalk line again. Overlap strips by an inch and use a straightedge to cut through both strips. Then remove the two scraps and behold, a custom seam!
Tips for Wall Covering Success
- Keep windows open; natural sunlight makes it easier to match patterns.
- Take plenty of time and don’t get frustrated.
- Work with a light touch; the material shouldn’t be stretched or ripped.
- Use a step-stool or ladder to work eye-to-paper, not stretched up on tip-toes.