It's Easier Than You Think
Don’t be intimidated by wallpaper! My husband and I have wallpapered four rooms in our home, and it is a manageable “Do It Yourself” project. One "statement wall" of wallpaper looks amazing in any room and can be accomplished without spending too much money.
Where to Shop for Wallpaper
My favorite place to peruse wallpaper is Walnut Wallpaper and Kate Zaremba’s or design your own with Rebel Walls. When choosing a design, I always order the samples and tape them up on the wall for a few weeks. I do know Walnut Wallpaper is great with offering samples and helping to calculate the rolls needed. With some larger patterns there may be, and A and B set with respect to the size of the pattern repeat. I would suggest seeing the wallpaper sample on your wall at different times of the day, the paper can reflect a different color with morning and evening light.
The tools are minimal in regards to hanging wallpaper. This is a two-person job and communication is key when installing. You will need a large long table, a step ladder, measuring tape, metal yard stick, wallpaper, wallpaper paste, wallpaper smoothing kit, two sponge rollers, paint tray, and a roll of paper towels. I have linked the items we have had success with in installing our wallpaper. Clean the walls completely the day prior to hanging the wallpaper. Make sure your hands and the table you will be laying the wallpaper on are completely clean. If you have chosen a light toned wallpaper dirt and smudges can transfer to the paper.
How To Hang Wallpaper
Once all items are prepped and in place, measure your wall height and then add approximately six inches to the total length. It is important to have some extra paper on either end, just a bit of overage for adjusting the paper. Lay your roll out on the clean table, pattern side down. Cut the paper at the measured length and weigh down corners so that it does not roll back on itself. Begin rolling the paste (much like you would roll paint) onto the back of the paper, make sure all surface area is covered, but not gloppy. Have your partner gently take one end as you hold the other and move slowly to the wall. My husband usually takes the top portion, I bring up the bottom in front of him, and then let my piece drop to the floor once he has his in general placement. Line the first piece up as carefully as you can to the side edge of the wall.
Starting the paper on the left or right side does not make a difference. Sometimes walls are not true, which forces a decision to make the best decision for the pattern being straight vs. having a small gap on the untrue wall. Once in place, use the metal yard stick to carfully cut the top and bottom edge. Repeat these steps as you move across the wall. Be sure to clean the table after each run of paper has been pasted. The wallpaper paste can leave residue on the table and then attach to the next run, a clean work space is key.
Smoothing down the wallpaper is a careful process. Start in the center of the paper and work your hand our towards the side ends to push out air bubbles, then move to using the smoothing tool gently move across the paper pushing out all bubbles and getting the paper adhered to the wall. Be careful to not catch the edge of the smoothing tool and nick the paper. Slow and steady makes for a great wallpapered wall.
Windows and ceiling beams can be tricky. We try to discuss the best plan for the particular obstacle and then work together slowly to cut around that object. Wallpaper can be forgiving if a slight miss-cut happens, the pattern will usually hide the mistake in the long run.
Before & After
Wallpaper makes a huge impact in a room and I have loved every pattern we have chosen in our home. Hopefully this Journal entry demystifies hiring a professional and gives you the confidence to create your own statement wall with the DYI tutorial.