How to install pre-pasted wallpaper
Prep the wall
Before hanging, check that the wall surface is clean, dry, and smooth. If your wall isn't smooth, you'll need to either size the wall or apply a wallpaper liner, which might require a primer layer as well. Please check wallpaper liner packaging instructions for details. Old wall coverings should be removed completely. Fill any holes, sand down bumps, and remove electrical coverings. Wallpaper primer (we recommend Shieldz Universal Wallcovering Primer) is also recommended for better installation and easier removal.
Gather your supplies
Wallpaper & wallpaper tray
Level & straightedge
Sponge & Bucket
Craft knife with extra blades
Step ladder (depending on the height of your wall)
Apron or clothing with pockets to keep small tools handy while you work
Cut the wallpaper strips
Pre-cut your strips to the wall height, allowing an extra inch or two on the top and bottom for trimming. Make sure to align the design from strip to strip prior to cutting and hanging each strip. Cut and trim the product with a sharp razor knife, changing the blade often to maintain a smooth, clean cut.
Mark your starting point
Measure the width of the wallpaper roll. All of our pre-pasted rolls are 24 inches wide. Starting from the corner of the wall farthest away from an entry or line of sight, measure the width of the wallpaper minus one inch (to allow for trimming on the wall edge) and mark with a pencil. Using a level, draw a straight, vertical plumb line from the mark against which you can line up the edge of the wallpaper.
Activate the paste
Loosely roll the first strip with the patterned side facing in. Completely submerge the rolled wallpaper in water (ideally in a wallpaper tray) for 10 to 15 seconds to activate the adhesive. Remove the roll by slowly pulling the leading edge out of the tray, glue-side up.
Book the wallpaper
"Book" the wallpaper by laying it on the floor glue-side up, then folding the glue side against itself for approximately 1 minute (avoid creasing the paper when booking).
Note: This product expands slightly in water; for best results, soak and book each panel for the same amount of time.
Position the first strip
Unfold the top half of the wallpaper, leaving the bottom half of the wallpaper booked, and position the glue-exposed portion of the top of the wallpaper on the wall. Line up the strip with the plumb line (from Step 4), allowing for an inch on both the top, bottom, and edge for trimming.
Apply and smooth the wallpaper
Once you're satisfied with the initial positioning, unfold the wallpaper to expose the remaining glued surface. Using a damp sponge, smooth downward and outward. Tip: Do not over smooth the paper—bubbles smaller than the size of a U.S. quarter (about 24 mm in diameter) will dissipate as the wallcovering sets.
Trim the edges
Using a straightedge and craft knife, carefully trim the edges. You may need to change the blade frequently; it is important to keep the blade edge very sharp to minimize any risk of tearing the paper.
Apply the remaining strips
Be sure to match the pattern on the wall at eye level and tightly hug the seams together. Smooth out all air bubbles. Wipe with warm water and a sponge, taking care to remove all the paste from the surface. Rinse thoroughly a second time with clean warm water. After hanging two strips, be sure to check for any defects and contact us if any are found.
Frequently asked questions
It's important to "book" each strip of wallpaper before applying it to the wall. Booking is simply folding the paper onto itself, pasted side to pasted side, and then gently rolling it like a newspaper, being careful not to crease the folds. Allow the paper to sit like this for approximately 1 minute.
Booking ensures that all the paste is activated, which prevents air bubbles from forming while drying. Booking also gives each strip time to relax to its final size so it can be hung properly without shrinkage and visible seams once it dries.
The best way to get an accurate color match to your wallpaper is to bring in a swatch from your actual rolls to a paint store for the color match. This will provide an exact match between your wallpaper and paint.
Have a question?
Our wallpaper experts are happy to help.