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A Beginner’s Guide to Hanging Wallpaper: Step-by-Step Instructions and Tips

Wallpaper has been a popular choice for home decor for centuries. With its wide range of colors, patterns, and textures, it can instantly transform a room and add a touch of personality and style.

However, choosing the right type of wallpaper and knowing how to hang it can be a bit daunting. In this article, we will explore the different types of wallpaper applications and provide step-by-step instructions on how to hang wallpaper.

Whether you are a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner looking to tackle your first wallpaper project, this article will guide you through the process.

Types of Wallpaper Applications

Before we dive into the process of hanging wallpaper, it is important to understand the different types of wallpaper applications available on the market.

Non-pasted Wallpaper

Non-pasted wallpaper, also known as unpasted wallpaper, does not come with adhesive already applied to the back. Instead, you will need to apply the adhesive yourself.

This type of wallpaper is versatile and can be used in any room of the house. It is also a great option if you want to customize the adhesive to suit your specific needs.

Pre-pasted Wallpaper

Pre-pasted wallpaper comes with a thin layer of adhesive already applied to the back. To activate the adhesive, you will need to wet it with water before hanging the wallpaper.

Pre-pasted wallpaper is easier and quicker to hang compared to non-pasted wallpaper, making it a popular choice for those who want to save time.

Self-adhesive Wallpaper

Self-adhesive wallpaper, also known as peel-and-stick wallpaper, is the most user-friendly option. It comes with an adhesive backing that is protected by a removable liner.

All you need to do is peel off the liner and stick the wallpaper onto the wall. Self-adhesive wallpaper is a great choice for renters or anyone who wants to change their wallpaper frequently without leaving behind any residue.

Now that we have covered the different types of wallpaper applications, let us move on to the step-by-step process of hanging wallpaper.

How to Hang Wallpaper

Step 1: Clearing and cleaning the wall

Before hanging wallpaper, it is important to clear the wall of any furniture or decor. This will give you ample space to work and ensure that no objects get in the way.

Additionally, make sure to thoroughly clean the wall surface to remove any dust or dirt. A clean surface will help the wallpaper adhere properly and prevent any imperfections from showing through.

Step 2: Applying a primer

Applying a primer is an essential step to prepare the wall for wallpaper. Primer helps seal the wall surface, creating a smooth and even base for the wallpaper to adhere to.

There are two types of primer you can use: oil-based primer or wallpaper primer. Oil-based primer is ideal for walls with stains or discoloration, while wallpaper primer is specifically designed for enhancing adhesion.

Step 3: Mapping out the wall

Before hanging the first panel of wallpaper, it is important to map out the wall to ensure that the pattern aligns correctly. Start by measuring the width of the wallpaper and mark guidelines on the wall with a pencil.

Use a level to ensure that the guidelines are straight and level. This will help you align the wallpaper panels accurately and achieve a seamless look.

Step 4: Cutting wallpaper to length

Measure the length of the wall and cut the wallpaper accordingly. Take into consideration any pattern on the wallpaper and make adjustments as needed to ensure a seamless flow.

It is always a good idea to cut the wallpaper slightly longer than the measured length to allow for any mistakes or adjustments during the hanging process. Step 5: Applying wallpaper to the wall

Depending on the type of wallpaper you are using, follow the adhesion directions.

For non-pasted wallpaper, apply the adhesive to the back of the wallpaper using a roller brush. For pre-pasted wallpaper, wet the back of the wallpaper with water to activate the adhesive.

For self-adhesive wallpaper, simply peel off the liner and stick the wallpaper onto the wall. Make sure to align the wallpaper with the guidelines you marked earlier and smooth it out as you go.

Step 6: Smoothing the panels

Once the wallpaper is applied to the wall, use a smooth cloth or a wallpaper brush to remove any air bubbles or wrinkles. Start from the center and work your way outwards, ensuring that the entire panel is smooth and free from imperfections.

A roller brush can also be used to achieve a more even and professional finish. Step 7: Trimming the excess

Finally, trim any excess wallpaper using a sharp utility knife.

Be careful not to cut too close to the edge of the wallpaper, as this may cause it to peel away from the wall. Leave a small overhang of wallpaper, around 1/4 inch, and tuck it into the corner or behind any trim for a clean and finished look.


Hanging wallpaper may seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and techniques, it can be a rewarding and satisfying DIY project. By understanding the different types of wallpaper applications and following the step-by-step instructions provided, you can transform any room into a stylish and personalized space.

Remember to take your time, pay attention to detail, and enjoy the process of bringing your vision to life.

How to Remove Wallpaper

Removing wallpaper can be a tedious and time-consuming task, but with the right techniques, it can be done efficiently. Whether you are removing self-adhesive wallpaper or traditional pasted wallpaper, this section will provide step-by-step instructions to make the process as smooth as possible.

Removing Self-Adhesive Wallpaper

Self-adhesive wallpaper, also known as peel-and-stick wallpaper, is designed to be easily removable. Here’s how you can remove it from your walls:


Start by peeling off a corner of the wallpaper. If it comes off easily, you can continue peeling it off in long strips.

However, if it is difficult to remove, you can use a hairdryer to apply heat to the surface of the wallpaper. The heat will help loosen the adhesive and make it easier to peel off.

2. Slowly and carefully continue peeling off the wallpaper, working your way across the wall.

Use a putty knife or your fingers to gently lift the edges of the wallpaper and pull it away from the wall. Be cautious not to damage the underlying wall surface.

3. If you encounter stubborn adhesive residue after removing the wallpaper, you can use a glue removal solution or a mixture of warm water and dish soap to dissolve the residue.

Apply the solution to the wall using a sponge or spray bottle, and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen the adhesive. Then, use a putty knife or a sponge to gently scrape off the residue.

4. After removing the adhesive residue, thoroughly clean the wall with warm water and a mild detergent to remove any remaining residue or cleaning solution.

Removing Pasted Wallpaper

Traditional pasted wallpaper requires a slightly different approach for removal. Here’s how you can remove pasted wallpaper from your walls:


Start by scoring the wallpaper using a wallpaper scoring tool or a utility knife. This will create small punctures in the wallpaper, allowing the removal solution to penetrate and loosen the adhesive.

2. Prepare a wallpaper stripping solution by mixing warm water and a wallpaper removal concentrate or fabric softener.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct proportions. 3.

Apply the stripping solution to the wallpaper using a sponge or sprayer. Make sure the solution thoroughly saturates the wallpaper.

Allow the solution to soak into the wallpaper for the recommended time, usually around 10-15 minutes. This will help loosen the adhesive and make it easier to remove the wallpaper.

4. Once the wallpaper is sufficiently soaked, you can begin peeling it off.

Start at a corner and slowly peel away the wallpaper using a putty knife or your fingers. Work in small sections and be cautious not to damage the underlying surface.

5. If any stubborn pieces of wallpaper remain, use a putty knife or a wallpaper scraping tool to carefully scrape off the remaining wallpaper.

Be gentle to avoid damaging the wall. 6.

After removing the wallpaper, thoroughly clean the wall with warm water and a mild detergent to remove any remaining adhesive residue and cleaning solution.

Hanging Wallpaper FAQs

As you embark on your wallpaper hanging journey, you may have some questions along the way. This section aims to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about hanging wallpaper.

Starting Point for Hanging Wallpaper

When hanging wallpaper, it is important to choose the right starting point to ensure a seamless and professional finish. Here are some tips for determining the best starting point:

– Start in a corner: Begin hanging wallpaper in a corner of the room, preferably one that is less visible or hidden behind furniture.

This will allow you to align the pattern more easily and cover any small imperfections that may occur during the hanging process. – Horizontal or vertical alignment: Decide whether you want to hang the wallpaper horizontally or vertically.

Horizontal hanging is more common and can make a room feel wider, while vertical hanging can create the illusion of higher ceilings. Consider the dimensions and layout of the room to determine which alignment would be most suitable.

– Measure and mark guidelines: Before hanging the first strip of wallpaper, use a measuring tape and pencil to mark guidelines on the wall. This will help ensure that the wallpaper is hung straight and aligned properly.

Dealing with Windows, Doors, and Outlets

When hanging wallpaper, you may come across windows, doors, and electrical outlets that need to be dealt with. Here’s what you can do:

– Windows and doors: When you reach a window or door frame, cut the wallpaper to the size of the frame.

Start by wrapping the wallpaper around the outer edge of the frame, then make diagonal cuts from the corners to the window or door edge. Peel back the excess wallpaper and cut along the edge of the frame.

Smooth the trimmed edges with a wallpaper smoothing tool or a cloth. – Electrical outlets: Before hanging wallpaper, make sure to turn off the power to the room.

To hang wallpaper around electrical outlets, carefully cut a hole in the wallpaper where the outlet is located. Use a utility knife to make precise cuts and ensure that the hole aligns with the outlet.

Once the wallpaper is hung, you can reattach the outlet cover using screws.

Hanging New Wallpaper over Old Wallpaper

Hanging new wallpaper over old wallpaper can be a convenient way to update the look of a room without going through the hassle of removing the old wallpaper. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

– Assess the condition of the old wallpaper: Before hanging new wallpaper, ensure that the old wallpaper is in good condition.

If there are any loose or peeling sections, it is best to remove them first to create a smooth and even surface. – Prep the old wallpaper: Use a wallpaper scoring tool or a utility knife to create small punctures in the old wallpaper.

This will allow the adhesive of the new wallpaper to penetrate and adhere to the wall better. – Apply a primer: To improve adhesion and ensure a better bond between the old wallpaper and the new wallpaper, apply a wallpaper primer to the old wallpaper before hanging the new wallpaper.

Easiest Type of Wallpaper to Hang

If you are a beginner or looking for the easiest type of wallpaper to hang, self-adhesive wallpaper is a great option. Here’s why:

– Easy to apply: Self-adhesive wallpaper comes with a ready-to-use adhesive backing, eliminating the need for additional adhesive or water.

Simply peel off the liner and stick the wallpaper onto the wall. – Easy to reposition: Self-adhesive wallpaper can be easily repositioned if you need to make adjustments during the hanging process.

It is forgiving and allows for flexibility. – Durability and longevity: Self-adhesive wallpaper is designed to be durable and long-lasting.

It can withstand everyday wear and tear, making it a practical choice for high-traffic areas. – Easy to remove: When it comes time to remove self-adhesive wallpaper, it can be peeled off without leaving behind any residue or damaging the wall surface.

This makes it an ideal option for renters or those who like to frequently change their wallpaper. In conclusion, removing wallpaper and hanging new wallpaper can be daunting tasks, but with the right techniques and knowledge, they can be accomplished successfully.

By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article and considering the tips and advice for each topic, you can transform your space and create a beautiful and personalized environment. Remember to take your time, be patient, and enjoy the process of bringing your vision to life.

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