Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wallpaper Wonderland

Our gorgeous leafy wallpaper arrived on time and we reserved Saturday to install it. I've watched my mom hang wallpaper several times but have never done it myself. As with all our DIY projects, we went to YouTube to check our some how-to videos. Lowes and HomeServe have some information videos I recommend watching to help you prepare for hanging wallpaper. Plus, the HomeServe video is narrated by some British guy so the audio is pleasant.

At first attempt, wallpapering is must harder than I thought. But having the right tools, properly prepping and staying patient was key to completing a pretty darn nice wallpaper job in our powder room. Here's how I did and what I learned:

Tools: Sandpaper, Paper towels, Tape measure, Scissors, Utility knife, Straight edge, Wallpaper brush, Level, Pencil, Sponge, Step ladder, Gladware container (for water), Bathtub or Wallpaper water tray.

1. Prep Walls:
- Using fine grain sandpaper, sand the walls so they are smooth and free of bumps. Wipe down to remove the drywall dust that resulted from the sanding.
- Do any painting before installing the wallpaper
For our powder room, we painted two walls and wallpapered two walls.

My husband painted the heart :)

2. Measure, Add 6 and Cut:
- Measure your walls, add six inches to the measurement and cut your wallpaper (I recommend the extra six inches to allow for matching the wallpaper pattern - boy, did we need it!!)

3. Match Up:
Cut your first three strips and match the patterns. Label the top of each strip with T1, T2, T3... It is hard to tell which is top when the paper is wet and folded)
Matching patterns

Labeling top of strip
4. Plum Line:
Draw a "plum line" on your wall using a pencil and level. This is a straight line from top to bottom, which will act as the guide for your first strip of wallpaper. This is REALLY IMPORTANT. Take your time, use the level and draw this line straight...all the rest of your wallpaper will be based on this first strip.

5. Wet Wallpaper: 
Read the directions that come with your wallpaper to understand soaking times for that product. I used my bathtub. Lay towels on floor near tub. Fill tub with water. Loosely roll strip one. Submerge in water for 10 - 30 secs, until completely wet. With the roll towards you, slowly unroll wet paper, letting excess water drip into tub. Carefully pull paper over towels, fold like a book, paste-side to paste-side. Let sit for three to four minutes so paste can develop (per my wallpaper's directions). Be patient. This step is important.
Unfolds towards you

soak 30 secs until completely wet

Slowly unroll towards you, let water drip off

Pull from tub over towels

place on towels, fold paste-side to paste-side

like a book

let sit while paste develops
6. Hang First Piece:
Take book with topside towards your body, holding the top, let gravity start to unpeel wallpaper. Place on wall using Plum Line as your guide. Work from the top, use brush to smooth from center to sides, continue to match next to plum line, work your way down, until the entire strip looks set, matches plum line and is smooth.
 smooth the top first, then smooth middle...

...then smooth bottom

7. Tidy Up:
Using the straight edge and utility knife, trim the wallpaper to ceiling, use wet sponge to smooth wallpaper, wipe any excess paste off the wall near the edge and the ceiling.

8. Continue steps:
Make sure to grab the correct next strip (look at the numbering adding at the top), continue to hang, matching patterns, smoothing, working from top down to the bottom, then tidying up with the sponge, trimming the ceiling edges with utility knife.

Note: For my second wall, I started with a Plum Line to make sure that wall matched up.

Wall one done; now onto wall two
Beer seems to help 


I know, amazing, right?


  1. Hey Annie! I told you I would check it out. My husband and I are slooooowly renovating our home too so I spend a lot of time of home design blogs. I am going to add yours to my list of reads.

    I love the wallpaper!

  2. I just realized we have the same blog layout! Nice!

  3. Nice !!! This room looks so different from the "before". Can't wait to see the rest.