Hanging pre-pasted wallpaper is relatively easy. It’s a little time consuming, but it’s not a difficult diy at all. With a little patience and a weekend you could knock out a wallpaper project with no problem. I’ve never hung a traditional wallpaper and have always opted to use pre-pasted paper. From what I gather, it’s easier to work with, and since there are so many options available in pre-pasted papers, it just seems like a no-brainer for anyone planning to do the installation themselves.
Since I just finished wallpapering our entry foyer, I thought I’d share a quick play by play. You all know my tutorials are basically a “if-I-can-do-it-anyone-can” kind of pep talk, and this one is no different.
1. Gather your supplies.
Start by measuring your room to determine how much wallpaper you’ll need for your project. Keep in mind that papers that have a pattern repeat will mean that a portion of the roll will end up as waste, although there is some waste in every wallpaper project no matter what paper you choose. Also bear is mind that if you’re installing it yourself mistakes can and will happen………..so always buy extra! I recommend at least 2 extra rolls for every project. The added expense is worth knowing that you have all your bases covered in case of a mishap. #trustme Plus, if you’re using a standard store bought paper you can always return any rolls you don’t use.
Those of you who follow me on Snapchat (@ourfifthhouse) know that I didn’t follow my own advice with this project and ended up running all over town to get my hands on a few extra rolls of this paper in order to finish up my project! #hellonightmare There’s nothing like running out of paper just when you’re about to cross the finish line. But it’s even worse when the paper you need is no longer available at the store where you purchased it! See, you could learn a lot from a dummy! 😉
This “grasscloth” wallpaper is from Lowe’s. It’s the same paper I used on the back of the bookcases in our living room. I also used this same paper in my hub’s office at our fifth house. I really love this paper! It’s not real grasscloth; it’s vinyl, but it looks a lot like the real thing for a fraction of the price.
Apparently some Lowe’s stores are clearing it out to make way for repositionable wallpaper. Larger stores are still carrying it, and this paper as well as lots of other prepasted options are available to purchase at Lowe’s online. The price of this paper as opposed to real grasscloth is kind of insane. I papered our entire entry foyer for a third of what grasscloth would have cost. Apart from the price though, I really love the clean textured look of this paper. And when you have dogs and kids, wipe-ability is kind of nice too.
So anyway, moral of the story is always buy a couple of extra rolls of paper. Always.
Then gather up the rest of your supplies. I like to use moving blankets as dropcloths when wallpapering. They’re more absorbent and do a better job of protecting your floors than painter’s dropcloths. Also make sure your razor is sharp. There’s nothing worse than trying to cut wet wallpaper with a dull blade. #askmehowiknow #saveyourselftheheadache
3. Measure and cut.
You’ve got your paper and all your supplies ready to go. You have a weekend and an endless amount of espresso on tap. You’re rocking an old pair of jeans, a ratty old hoodie and a messy bun. You’re ready to get this wallpaper party started. Figure out where you want to start your first panel. Every room is different so you’ll have to figure out based on the width of your paper and your walls where a good place to start with your first panel will be. Once you’ve decided and have measured the length of your wall from the ceiling to the top of the baseboard, lay out your paper and cut a panel about 1 to 2 inches longer. You want a little wiggle room.
4. Mark a plumb line
Before you activate your glue and start pasting your paper to the wall, use a level and a pencil to lightly mark a plumb line. Basically, don’t count on the fact that your walls are square because they probably aren’t. So before you begin your wallpapering, make a pencil line where you want to line up your first panel. Once you line up panel number one all other panels will fall in line with that one.
5. Activate the glue
Prepasted paper is basically wallpaper that has a thin layer of glue on the back. The glue becomes active and sticky when wet. Many online tutorials recommend using a water tray for hanging prepasted papers, but I prefer to use a spray bottle of water. Any old spray bottle will work. Just fill her up with water, lay your cut panel down over your dropcloth and spray generously. Wait about 5 minutes for the glue to be activated. When it feels tacky and slightly gummy it’s ready.
6. Line up your panel with your plumb line.
Leave a little excess at the top near the ceiling and line up your panel with your plum line as you work your way down the wall. Use your smoothing tool to work out any air bubbles.
7. Use a razor knife to cut excess, and to cut around outlets/switches.
You’ll have excess at the top and the bottom. Make sure to use a sharp blade. Go slow, don’t rush through cutting. I find that using the smoothing tool to hold the paper in place creates a little tension and makes it easier to cut a smooth line without snagging the paper. But give yourself some grace. Snags probably will happen at some point. And more often than not they won’t be noticeable at all if you just smooth them out. No one is going to be staring at your baseboards anyway, so don’t fret if you get a couple of snags here and there. Just keep calm, and wallpaper on. 😉
To cut around outlets and switches, use a razor to cut a small hole then use scissors to finish cutting around. Once cut use the smoothing tool to set the paper in place.
8. Use a sponge to wipe away any excess glue.
As you smooth out your paper, the glue/paste will sneak out of the sides. Use a clean damp sponge to wipe away the excess glue.
So that’s basically it, in a nutshell. Once your first panel goes up, the rest of the them go up relatively smoothly. You use the line of the panel you just hung as your plumb line and repeat the above steps until you’re all done. Granted hanging a paper like this one where there is no pattern to match up is a lot easier, the same basic steps apply regardless.
I’m a huge fan of this paper! It’s easy to install, inexpensive and adds great texture to a space.
A little something that comes in handy once your project is finished, is a tube of wallpaper seam repair.
Inevitably once you’re done wallpapering you’ll find one or two little parts of a seam somewhere that for some odd reason just didn’t stick to the wall. This seam repair glue is an easy fix.
As simple as a project like this is to complete, I’m definitely glad to be over the finish line. And I can’t wait to finish up with the few other projects I have planned for our entry foyer. Just the wallpaper and lighting switch-a-roo (I brought this pendant from our fifth house’s kitchen) have already made a huge impact!
This is the view from the hub’s office.
The paper is so much prettier in person. It’s so hard to capture how it really looks. Can’t wait to get the art on the walls!
*** Edited – I wanted to add a little note here about a little/big step I chose to skip for my wallpapering project. Many professionals recommend priming or what they call “sizing” the walls before you wallpaper. Wallpaper primer is different than wall paint primer. It creates a sort of “shield” for your walls that is technically supposed to make any removal easier if/when you decide to take your paper down. It also is supposed to keep any damage from happening to the drywall when you remove the paper. I chose to skip this step. I did not use wallpaper primer. My walls had been primed and painted by the previous owner/builder. And the color of the walls prior was very similar to the color of the wallpaper, which is another reason why I skipped adding a wallpaper primer. But I mainly skipped that stepped because 1. I have absolutely zero plans to ever take this paper down, and in fact even before I papered the walls in here I considered future plans. In the future if I tire of this paper I plan to just paint right over it because I like the texture of this paper and a change in color will be enough of a change for me if I ever tire of this look. 2. In my experience with wallpaper removal whether or not walls have been sized first has made little to no difference in both the ease of removal or in keeping the walls from any damage. Removing wallpaper is always a pain. I’m pretty sure the words easy and wallpaper removal are antonyms. And I haven’t noticed any difference whether or not the walls were sized first. I have however noticed that papers that are pre-pasted do seem to be a little easier to remove than those where you have to apply wallpaper paste. And I’m not sure why that is, but I wonder if it has to do with the strength of the glue? Honestly, not sure on that? Anyhow, here’s what I recommend. Think long and hard before wallpapering. Choose something that you will love for a long, long time. Consider future plans and then decide if you can opt to skip the wallpaper priming step or not. To me, it seems like an added step that doesn’t totally deliver on it’s guarantee. But you’ll have to decide for yourself if you agree or if you want to add that step in as a just in case safeguard. I do however recommend going ahead with the wallpaper primer first if your wallpaper is a different color than the color that is currently on the walls. You will want the color on the walls to match the paper to help make any seems where the paper isn’t perfectly butted up to each other not stick out like a soar thumb. And you can have wallpaper primer tinted to match any color, so if you need to get the walls primed to match your paper might as well do the wallpaper primer. Make sense? – Okay, if I’ve confused you at all or you have any questions please feel free to ask away in the comment section down below! Happy homemaking!!
*This post was sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement. Opinions, thoughts and overwhelming love for this wallpaper is 100% genuine, as is my affection for the fabulous sales woman who helped me track down more rolls of paper at another local store.