One of the first things you do after buying a home is to determine that you donít like the existing paint, the carpet is the wrong color and the wallpaper has got to go! But hanging new wallpaper can be an intimidating job and if itís not done right it can be a nightmare do it yourself project. However, the following tips could relax your fears enough that you want to tackle that wallpapering job and save money by not hiring a professional.
What youíll need:
-Warner Tools wallpaper kit, comes with paper tray, seam rollers, utility knife, broad knife for working in corners and against ceilings, everything you need for the job
-prepasted wallpaper (we recommend this)
-a large piece of plywood (preferably 4íX8í standard size) for a large work area.
-a bucket of wall sizing
-disposable plastic tray liners for easy cleanup
-thick nap roller, the thicker the nap of the roller the more sizing it can hold without going back to the tray constantly to keep the roller wet
-spring clamps to hold paper on work surface while you cut it
Obviously, the first step is to measure the area youíre going to wallpaper and determine how much paper you need. Wallpaper comes in varying lengths and widths so pick out your pattern and paper before you measure so you can get an accurate measurement that your paper will cover.
You can either determine the square footage of what it will take to cover the area, or you can do it an easier way by measuring in lineal feet. Lineal feet simply means how many total feet of paper will you need to cover the area. The way we determined how many lineal feet we needed on our show was to take the roll of paper, still wrapped, and put it up against the wall perpendicular to the floor. Then just take the roll and walk it around the wall to determine how many rolls youíll need for your strips.
Now thereís two ways to go when you have existing wallpaper. You can either wet it down and scrape it off, or if itís tight to the wall you can paper over it which is what we did. Scraping not done right can damage the wall board so itís easier just to hang the new paper over the old. Before you begin, use sandpaper to smooth down the surface of the existing wallpaper especially on the seams so the new paper will lay smoothly.
Once this is done, thereís a very important step many people leave out and they get a bad result. You need to size the wall. You can buy wall sizing at most home center and hardware stores. Itís the same thing as priming before you paint, only here you size the wall before you hang the paper.
Pour the sizing into the paint tray and use a thick nap roller to apply it to the wall.
What the sizing does is it creates a new surface on the existing wallpaper so the new wallpaper can bond with the old. Once thatís done, youíre ready to start cutting your wallpaper strips and youíre ready to get started. However, one common but expensive mistake people make when theyíre cutting their strips is to not match up the pattern correctly.
To do this right, clamp the paper face down to your plywood work area and cut the first strip. Now, flip your first strip face up, take the roll and roll out more paper to the proper length you need to cut. Take the two pieces and put them side by side to check for where your pattern will line up. You will have to move the second piece of wallpaper to line up the pattern and in so doing you will create excess paper hanging off one end of your work area but thatís OK, you can cut that off. The most important aspect is to make sure your pattern matches up. Once it does, clamp the second piece of paper in place and cut it offl.
Once youíve got your paper cut and your pattern matches, itís time to book the wallpaper. If youíre using pre-pasted wallpaper, which we recommend, take the first strip and roll it up so it looks like it did on the original roll. Then soak this first piece in the water filled tray ( the tray comes with the kit) for a few seconds to make sure it gets wet.
Now, take the edge of the wallpaper, and slowly roll it out of the tray, leaving the rest of the strip in the water. When youíve got about ĺ of the paper out of the tray, fold the paper back onto itself with the pattern on the outside.
Pull the rest of the paper out of the tray and fold this short side back on itself. Make sure that there are no dry spots on the glue as you roll it out of the tray. If there are any dry spots, just dip your hand into the trayís water and use your fingers to wet the glue and activate it. The long fold will be the top of your paper, the short fold will be the bottom or the part that goes closest to the floor.
Once these two folds are made, you can fold the strip over on itself several more times. What booking does is it activates the glue, and by wetting the paper it relaxes the paper so itís easier to work with.
Now youíre ready to hang the paper. Take your first booked piece of wallpaper and unfold it to where there are only the long fold and the short fold still together. Take the wallpaper by the long fold and climb the ladder to put this piece up toward the ceiling. Once youíre in place, take the edge of the long fold, and let the paper drop. The short fold will still be in place so it wonít stick to the wall as youíre lining up the longer area up towards the ceiling. Leave about an inch overlap on the ceiling to give yourself room to slide the paper so it lines up on the wall.
Once youíve got it lined up with the edge of the wall, take the broad knife that comes in the kit and gently press the edge up to the ceiling, giving yourself a tight fit with the ceiling. If thereís any overlap, donít worry. You can use your utility knife to gently cut that off. Now go to the bottom of the paper, and separate the short fold and smooth it into place near the floor with your hands. As you work your way around the room line up the next piece and match the pattern. Here youíre going to have a seam. Use your hands to gently pull the paper into place, match the pattern, and use a seam roller that comes in the kit to smooth out the seam and give our paper a seamless appearance around the room.