A professional has equipment that will smoothly and evenly apply wallpaper adhesive. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Thomas D.)
Before you start the process of applying wallpaper to the walls, look at the layout of the room and visualize how you would like the walls to look. This gives you an idea of how to lay the wallpaper on the wall before you start making any real changes. If not applying to every wall, it might help to mark the walls with a piece of painter’s tape to indicate where wallpaper should or shouldn’t be applied.
Be sure walls are clean, cracks or holes are filled and sanded and that the walls are ready to be wallpapered.
1. Pasting: The first thing you are going to do is apply a primer to the wall. While this is drying, you can cut the wallpaper sheets slightly larger than the height of your wall or area you want wallpaper to be applied. Typically, you will want an excess of 4 inches. Check the wallpaper for any irregularities or damage, then lay it flat and face down. Use a paint roller to apply the paste to the back of the wallpaper, taking care not to get any paste on the table or surface below the sheet.
2. Booking: Without applying pressure or creasing the wallpaper, fold the ends of the wallpaper inward and onto itself to allow the paste to evenly absorb. Make sure that the sheet is lying flat, and leave it to soak for the amount of time recommended on the label of the wallpaper paste.
3. Lining up the first strip: It is imperative that the first strip is lined up correctly, as all subsequent strips will be aligned based on this first strip. Alignment is easiest when starting both near a door and a corner. Leave some overlap, approximately two inches, on the ceiling, with approximately an eighth of an inch overlap on the corner. Press gently and allow the booked paper to fall, hanging it on the wall from ceiling to floor. You can check that the paper is hanging straight by referencing whether it is parallel with the door.
4. Tucking and trimming: Use a paper smoother to tuck the paper and keep it looking neat. After you have finished tucking the paper, you can use a knife to cut off excess wallpaper. Using a level to mark your cutline ensures a straight, clean cut. This process will also be used around moldings, windows, switch plates and other permanent fixtures.
5. Closing the seams: You will need to use a seam roller to close the seams. This tool allows you to roll the seam under and press the seam closed for a streamlined look. You will need to check periodically to verify that you are evenly closing the seam. Once you are finished closing the seams, smooth out the wallpaper.
6. Repeat: Repeat this process around the room, using the paper smoother to keep the wallpaper even and to remove air bubbles. Any glue that seeps out as a result of smoothing can be gently washed away with a slightly damp sponge.