The idea of hanging wallpaper can be a little intimidating, but it’s relatively easy with the right tools and techniques. It takes time and patience, maybe an extra set of hands, but the end result is well worth it. There are different kinds of wallpaper: traditional wallpaper that requires wallpaper paste, pre pasted, and peel and stick. If you tuned in to week 2, you’ll know how excited I was to try this.
I have only ever used the peel and stick kind. This was my first time using prepasted wallpaper. I quickly found my groove, and figured out what was working and what I needed to adjust. This wallpaper technique is simple and anyone can do it with the right tools and a free weekend.
The Wallpaper I Chose
I wanted to add the most amount of character I could to my office and match the rest of the house, BUT on a budget. Enter the bead board wallpaper. This stuff from Graham and Brown looks like the real deal, and is budget friendly. With one roll, I was able to finish half of my room with one roll.
The builtins in the office will also have this pre pasted wallpaper on the back to tie the room together. Don’t make the mistake I did. MEASURE. Measure your room, and order more wallpaper than you think you are going to need.
I only ordered one to start, for some reason, and I had to stop and order two more rolls.
Next thing is to gather all of your supplies. The wallpaper needs to get wet, so grab some kind of plastic sheet or blanket. You may have to trim the the wallpaper so make sure any blades are SHARP. If you try to cut this wallpaper with a dull blade when it’s wet, it will tear.
Other things you may find helpful are:
Prepare Your Walls to Apply the Pre Pasted Wallpaper
My office already had board and batten installed when moved in. I applied this pre pasted wallpaper in between the battens, so my space was already decided.
Before applying the wallpaper, I needed to clean all the dust mess from my walls because I am not the best house keeper. If you are not applying this to an area already sectioned off like me, I recommend drawing a plum line.
We all know walls are janky and never straight, even in my fairly new build home. The plum line makes sure the panels are level. Take your level, mark where to line up the panel and draw a line. Hang the first panel according to this line, and the rest should be line up level with the first one.
Also be sure to remove any outlet and switch covers before wallpapering as well.
Time to Get that Pre Pasted Wallpaper Wet
At first I tried to dunk my panels into a awaiting bin filled with water. The problem is my panel was wider than the bin. It didn’t get all the glue wet, and tore some of the sides in the process. If you follow me on instagram, you will have seen how comical this was in my stories. I also made a reel about it.
I found the easiest way to activate the glue was to use a clean roller and dunk it in the water. Get the back of the paper really good and wet and then fold it over and wait 5 mins to let the glue fully activate.
Let’s Hang 10, or 20 Wallpaper Panels
Once the glue is activated, unfold it and match it to your plum line. When cutting the panels, it is generally recommended to leave a little excess on the top and the bottom. With this particular wallpaper, I had a lot of difficulty trimming the wallpaper, even when fully dry. It kept wanting to tear, so I would peel it up slightly and cut it with scissors.
After I learned this, I tried to cut the panels as close to the length I needed them to be as possible. This just made it easier. Once the wallpaper is where you want it on the wall, take your damp cloth or sponge and smooth out any wrinkles and air bubbles. Repeat this process all the way around the room.
You can use a wallpaper smoothing tool, but I just kept tearing the wallpaper with this technique. Did I mention this wallpaper is delicate? Especially when wet! Repeat this process all the way around the room.
Here’s Where the Razor Blade Came in Handy
Every few panels you will run into an outlet, either a switch or a plug. Make sure to remove all the outlet covers as stated above. When you get to this part, prepare your panel as normal by preparing the glue and letting it sit for 5 mins. Line the seam up with the panel next to the previous one and begin to smooth the wallpaper including over the outlet.
It should stick out a little but because its not flush with the wall. Take your razor blade and cut around the outlet. Use the sponge or rag to smooth the wallpaper around the outlet, cutting off any excess wallpaper with scissors. The glue will get on the outlet, so use the rag or sponge to gently wipe any excess glue off too.
This Step is Extra, But Can Make a Difference
I wanted this bead board wallpaper to look like real paneling, so I wanted to make the seams disappear. There is such a thing as wallpaper seam repair, who knew, but I just used good ole fashioned paintable caulk.
If you are hanging a pre pasted wallpaper that you don’t have to paint, then the seam repair may be the better way to go. It can fix any stubborn spots where the seams aren’t laying flat to the wall for whatever reason.
I caulked all my seams and along all the edges so it looked like one seamless panel on the wall. My hope is you won’t be able to see any seams once its painted.
That’s it for hanging the wallpaper. I still have to build my built ins, but the process should be the same, just in longer pieces. Up next is painting! Come see all the updates by me and all the other guest participants in the One Room Challenge here.