How to Put Wallpaper on the Wall

Wallpaper is one of the best alternatives to decorate walls, as it provides unique designs that make the space look modern and cozy. In addition, it's useful for covering the imperfections on your walls. Today, we'll tell you how to put wallpaper on the wall.
How to Put Wallpaper on the Wall

Last update: 10 August, 2021

Wallpaper is an adhesive paper used to cover walls and decorate homes with a different technique other than painting. This resource has a wide variety of patterns, which make spaces look more harmonious, visually appealing, and dynamic. Discover how to put wallpaper on the wall in this article!

A brief history of wallpaper

This decorative element was created in the East during the 15th century. However, it hasn’t lost its relevance because it provides finishes that embellish spaces, reflect your personality, and counteract monotony. In addition, it’s resistant, washable, and versatile.

There are different models of wallpaper that fit all kinds of needs and areas of the home. Non-vinyl wallpaper is a printed sheet with no additional coating; vinyl wallpaper has a protective layer that insulates from humidity or heat, and textured wallpaper forms a relief that covers imperfections in the walls.

Step by step: How to put wallpaper on the wall

Wallpaper’s one of the most recommended decorations because it’s economical and easy to install by an expert. Also, its use is becoming more and more frequent because it enhances your furniture and allows you to personalize the space in your home.

1. Evaluate the walls

First of all, the wall must be checked by a trained professional to analyze if there are any conditions that could damage the wallpaper. When the walls have any irregularities, you’ll need to scrape with a spatula, locate the causes, and repair the entire area.

Afterward, you’ll need to go over it with plaster and sandpaper so that the wall is uniform and without perforations. On the other hand, if the wall is healthy on the inside, then you only need to level the areas that have been knocked so that the wallpaper looks smooth.

Wallpaper going up on a wall.
Not all the walls allow for wallpaper immediately. Some require previous repairs.

2. Clean the wall

The second phase consists of sanitizing the walls to avoid the accumulation of dust particles that affect the resistance of the glue or adhesives. Similarly, getting rid of dirt is essential to prevent the proliferation of bacteria that can cause future damage to the wallpaper.

You should clean the walls with pure vinegar to eliminate the presence of microorganisms. In addition, rinsing with hot water is best to combat residues and bad odors. Then, allow the surfaces to dry completely.

3. Measure the wall

Before installation, the hired professional should measure the length and width of the walls to determine how many rolls of wallpaper you’ll need. You need to take into account the calculation of a few extra inches in case you need them as a reserve in case of any occasional difficulty.

At the same time, you can diagram the measurements on the paper to start cutting all the squares needed and facilitate the installation. When cutting out, you must use a smooth ruler to help obtain even edges.

4. Apply the adhesive

With a brush free of other products, the wall to be treated should be coated with glue. This tool is necessary because it allows the liquid to spread over all areas and prevents lumps from forming and altering the appearance.

The glue should also be applied to the backing of the decorative paper, as this provides greater adherence and security. It’s important not to leave any lumps that cause the element to wrinkle or crack.

5. Glue the first squares of wallpaper to the walls

The paper should be placed starting from the corners and the highest surfaces to have a clear view and to work more comfortably. When laying the sheet on the wall, you need to brush the wallpaper from top to bottom to avoid the formation of bubbles and to keep the element firm.

For the installation of door or window frames, you need to use sheets that have not been cut to the limit. This is because these areas can have minute curvatures that you’ll need to accommodate very precisely.

6. Put up the rest of the wallpaper sheets

Walls are very extensive, so no single piece of wallpaper will cover the entire wall. As a result, multiple pieces of wallpaper have to be laid in a row.

However, you want to make sure you can’t see the lines between one strip and the next. Therefore, all paper squares have to be installed from top to bottom to join the edges exactly. Also, be sure to maintain the sequence of the designs.

You should use a good amount of glue at the joints between sheets to keep them from peeling. Then, each paper segment should be installed in the same way until the entire wall is completed.

7. Cut off the excess paper

After the entire wall is wallpapered, you’ll need to remove the pieces of excess paper and perfect the finishing touches. This last step must be done with a straight cutting tool to avoid irreversible damage.

Tips to take into account when applying wallpaper

Wallpaper allows you to create a unique ambiance and focus the attention of visitors. To do this, you should take into account some tips that help you obtain and maintain the look you’re going for.

Selecting the right wallpaper

You need to choose the ideal type of wallpaper for each space, that is, one that resists humidity, heat, or the intensity of the sun’s rays if required.

On the other hand, the wallpaper design should match the other colors and decorations in the house. That way, all the elements match.

Pay special attention to the adhesive

When installing wallpaper, you should use quality adhesive that guarantees durability and resistance for a long time. In addition, you need to choose a product that’s suitable for your type of wall and that doesn’t alter the quality of its internal materials.

A white couch in front of a wall covered in yellow wallpaper with white flowers.
The design must be in coherence with the furniture and other elements of the home, so as not to clash with the atmosphere.

Don’t forget the electrical outlets

Don’t forget to uncover all electrical outlets carefully. This aspect is key to avoid short circuits and keeping the wall from having any unsightly bulges.

It should be noted that the electrical outlet box shouldn’t be cut before the wallpaper is placed on the wall. The cavity may be larger or smaller than the corresponding size and damage the entire aesthetics of the wall.

For this reason, the paper should cover the entire area of the outlet and then be cut following the exact contour. For this process, you must use a ruler and a tool that allows aligned cuts.

Efficient maintenance

At the end of the installation, the characteristics of the paper and the corresponding care should be consulted with the professional. Cleaning the dust that accumulates is essential to avoiding stains and drastic changes in the colors of the designs. For this reason, vinyl wallpaper can be preserved with the help of a damp towel and non-vinyl wallpaper with dry cloths or vacuum cleaners.

Putting up wallpaper requires a great deal of planning

Planning is a moment that you can’t overlook when it comes to wallpaper. This phase allows you to set a budget, hire the best of experts, diagram the designs you want to install and select the type of wallpaper.

The time you invest in planning will allow you to agree on the appropriate times to carry out the installation, as this is a process that should not be taken lightly. In addition, it’s during these moments that the professional can provide the best advice to enhance the decoration of your home.

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  • Lee V. Guía esencial de decoración [Internet]. Madrid: EDIMAT; 2005 [citado 11 de mayo de 2021]