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How to wallpaper – The easy way

terrazzo wallpaper

I have admired wallpaper patterns for years without ever daring to get started. When Christine, from PhotoWall, proposed me to try their papers, I took the opportunity and I get started.
 
I should have tried earlier, applying wallpaper is much simpler and faster than I thought.  It took me only a few hours (a baby nap time exactly) to wallpaper the kitchen bar with the terrazzo print, and only one morning to hang the wall mural in my daughter’s room.
If you have never hang wallpaper and would like some advice to get started, I answer all your questions below.
 
There is no doubt that Photowall’s papers make it easier. Their papers are printed following your wall measurements, and each strip is numbered. So I just had to cut following the dots lines and glue the wallpaper panels in the order indicated. I didn’t have to calculate the fittings or take any surface measurements… super easy!
 
You can watch the kitchen bar makeover video, I love how the terrazzo wallpaper looks. You can see my toddler girls playing around, she almost gives me a hand to finish!

What do you need to wallpaper?

There are a few materials you will need to apply wallpaper:

  • Paste
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Wide brush or roller
  • Utility knife and extra blades
  • Scissors
  • Smoother
  • Clean cloth or sponge
  • Wallpaper (I used this Terrazzo Print and this Forest Mural)

Once you have gathered all your materials you can prepare the paste. The instructions are generally written on the packaging. What worked well to avoid lumps is to use lukewarm water and gradually pour the glue into the water while mixing. It’s generally necessary to let the mixture sit for a few minutes, as soon as it’s thick, you can start using the paste.

measuring to place wallpaper

Where do you start when wallpapering?

You need to start applying your wallpaper from one corner. If you use a Photowall wallpaper start from the left corner of the wall. Logic would like you to align your paper with the wall corner, but it is very unlikely that the angle is perfectly vertical. As you want the paper to be well laid, you will have to draw a perfectly vertical line a few inches from the corner.

Measure the width of your paper and subtract one inch. Transfer this measurement to the wall from the corner. Then use a level to draw a vertical line over the entire height of the wall. I’ll give you an example, my paper is 18 inches wide. So I draw a vertical line at 17 in. from the wall corner.

When pasting, align the right edge of your first paper panel with the line. It’s likely that the left side of the paper won’t be perfectly aligned with the corner. No worries, you will just cut the excess paper.

Once your first paper panel is in place, perfectly vertical, you can follow hanging the others.

cutting wallpaper

How to cut wallpaper?

To cut the paper you can use a pair of scissors. Once the paper is hanged on the wall, you will need a utility knife to trim top and bottom. Don’t hesitate to change the blade regularly to have a clean and precise cut. Cut extra paper while still wet and use a ruler or drywall knife as a guide.

terrazzo wallpaper

Cut one strip of paper at a time. Cut it a little longer than the height of your wall and check how the pattern connects between each panel.

applying wallpaper paste

How to apply wallpaper paste?

Some apply the glue on the wall, others on the paper … I did both.
 
Whether you use a brush or a roller, it is important to apply only a thin uniform layer of paste. If you put too much it will make small heaps and the paper will not be perfectly flat.
 
Paste tip: When applying the terrazzo wallpaper I found it didn’t stick very well on corners. I suspect that’s because the wall is in concrete and don’t have plaster. So I added some extra glue here and there. When I hanged the mural in the bedroom, I diluted the glue in less water. Instead of using the 4 liters indicated on the package, I only put three. The glue was obviously thicker but it worked wonderfully. It’s a very simple trick if your paste lacks a bit of adherence.
 
Remember before gluing your paper that the wall needs to be clean, without holes or nails.

As an example, the bar wall had a stencil pattern on it. A few day before wallpapering, I applied a coat of white paint to prevent the design from showing through the wallpaper. The paper is relatively thick, but I preferred to take all the precautions. Better safe than sorry!
 

hangig wallpaper

How do you put the wallpaper on the wall?

Once you have applied the glue on the wall and on the paper back, take the panel from the top and place it on the wall. The first panel must be aligned with the vertical line you have drawn on the wall. You must have a few extra inches of paper next to the ceiling and also at the floor level.

You start to flatten the paper starting at the top with the help of a smoother. Since I didn’t have one, I used a plastic square. You smooth the paper well, without pressing too much, to get out the air bubbles and possibly paste excess.

With a damp cloth, you remove the excess glue.

placing wallpaper

How to trim wallpaper edges?

Your first panel of paper is placed, you must now cut the excess paper at the top and bottom. Use a utility knife and help yourself with a metal ruler or better with a drywall knife.

Flatten the paper well along the corner, and cut straight. You will have to change blades for every strip if you want a clean cut.
Do the same to cut the extra paper
next to the plinths.

trim wallpaper edges

How to have perfect wallpaper seams?

Prepare the second panel of paper the same way as you did for panel one. No need to draw a line on the wall this time, you will align the patterns of your second panel with those of the first. Take the fittings into account before cutting the paper.

Apply the second panel next to the first starting from the top. Align the patterns and continue to press the panel on the wall, checking that the drawings are well aligned over the entire height. The two panels are placed next to each other, without overlapping and without leaving any gap.

Once the patterns correspond well, flattened the paper as you did previously. Be careful that the paper doesn’t move.

When I placed the wall mural, I realized that the ceiling of the bedroom wasn’t straight and that I hadn’t enough paper on top to cover the ceiling uneven. So I risked ending up with an un-wallpapered gap in the upper part of the wall.

So I decided to take off the first three strips of paper and to replace them higher. I was worried to mess it up but as the glue was fresh, the strips came out without any problem. I’m telling you this little anecdote to show you that you can easily correct an error by peeling off a strip of paper and replacing it better if necessary.

cutting wallpaper

How do you wallpaper around outlets?

Before you start placing the wallpaper, cut the power and remove the socket’s covers. Then place the wallpaper as shown above.

Apply the paper over the outlet without flattening it. Poke a hole through the paper in the middle of the outlet and cut the paper properly following the outlet shape, with scissors or utility knife. Once you have removed the rectangle of paper that covered the outlet, continue to flatten the paper.

When you have finished wallpapering, replace the outlet’s cover and voila.

hanging wall mural

How do you hang a wall mural?

Technically, placing a wall mural or wallpaper is exactly the same thing. The big difference is that the panels of a wall mural must be posed in a precise order.

In the case of the forest landscape I choose at Photowall, the panels were numbered so the placement was very easy.

If your wall mural isn’t numbered, layout your mural panels on the floor before installing to ensure panel order. You can number them on the back with a pencil, you can also mark the top and bottom of each panel is the design is similar up and down.

The placement of a wall mural is otherwise identical to a wallpaper, so you can refer to the explanations I gave above.

forest wallpaper

How long does it take to install wallpaper?

As you can imagine I cannot give a general rule, but it’s quite fast to install wallpaper.
I recovered the bar in a few hours, and I put up the wall mural in half a day. These were flat walls with little cutting and corners.

Hanging wallpaper is a lot simpler than I thought. As you see in the photos, I worked on the floor to extend the paste. I then pass a mop to remove the glue and everything was clean. The glue doesn’t stain, neither the walls or my clothes.
I have a tiled floor, so I did not put protection either … It’s up to you to see if your floor allows you to do the same thing.

What also helped a lot for the fast placement is that all the Photowall panels come at the right dimensions and numbers, it makes everything easier without any doubt!

hanging wall mural

For years, I preferred to paint or stenciled my walls and I was afraid to try wallpaper. I’m so glad I gave it a try because it turns out much simpler and faster than I thought! I will definitely consider this option for my next room makeover. The truth is that my hubby is a little worried that I will wallpaper everything now!

Even if you rent, don’t hesitate to brighten up your walls with wallpaper. And to avoid any trouble with your landlord, I suggest you rather use temporary removable wallpaper.

forest wall mural

forest walpaper with desk

I found the desk at the thrift store. It works pretty well with the forest wall and has a lot of little drawers to hide secrets! My daughter loves it!

terrazzo wallpaper

terrazzo bar

What do you think? Would you like to give a try at wallpapering? Which kind of pattern would you like to hang?

Photowall is giving you a 25% discount on all the products with the code ohohdeco2020 (valid until February 28th)

Thanks again Photowall for giving me these beautiful wallpapers!

Want to remember this? Save these Easy Wallpapering Tips in your favorite Pinterest board.

easy wallpapering tips

Amaryllis
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2 Comments

  1. Dinah
    * * * / * * *

    This is fantastic, Amaryllis! My husband was a wallpaper hanger for many years, so he would certainly have other comments and how-to comments! But it certainly looks like this product takes the stressful measuring and calculating strips and repeat out of the process.

    I LOVE that terrazzo pattern! I have been looking for something very similar, so I’m eager to check out the selections.

    Thanks as always for the excellent tutorial and encouragement!

    • amaryllis
      Author
      * * * / * * *

      Hello Dinah, It was my first time hanging wallpaper, so I surely have still a lot to learn. However, I’m glad how it turns out and how easy it was to hang. Photowall has several terrazzo prints, so hopefully, you will find something you like!