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When I told my husband that I wanted to put up wallpaper in my daughter’s nursery, let’s just say he was less than thrilled. I believe he said, “Isn’t that so 80’s?” Um, no! Wallpaper is back man! I quickly replied, that I was so excited to design a nursery for a baby girl after having two boys, and I didn’t care about his opinion. I am only slightly joking. I knew I had a vision, and I knew it would be beautiful, and I knew he would be on board once it was done. The problem was, I did not know how to install wallpaper. Well, a little help from my mom and am I so glad I did it. We get so many compliments on my daughter’s room and specifically, the beautiful, bright, floral wall paper that is the focal point of her room.
If you are nervous or hesitant about knowing how to install wallpaper, don’t be! It is actually quite simple. It’s a great way to bring a bold statement to a room, and it’s relatively inexpensive. It was so easy to install the first time (thanks to some help and training from my mom) that when we moved, I decided to install it again in our new house.
Deciding on a Wallpaper to Install
The hardest part for me was deciding on a wallpaper. Wallpaper is, well permanent, so you want to make sure to pick a pattern that can grow with your child and the different stages of life. Stay away from “character theme” or “baby themed” wall paper that your child will outgrow in just a couple of years. If you are choosing wallpaper for a different room of your house, choose a pattern that is timeless. You want it to compliment your style but also be able to evolve with your changing tastes.
Stick to neutral patterns for living spaces. It’s okay to go with bold patterns in bedrooms and smaller spaces like the bathroom. Remember, that the pattern or color should compliment the space, not overwhelm it.
How Much Wallpaper to Install?
Measuring for wallpaper can be a bit tricky. If you are ordering wallpaper from an online source, they will likely have a calculation tool for you to determine how much to order. It is not as simple as measuring the width and height of the wall and ordering enough square feet to cover. If you have a pattern, you have to account for how often the pattern repeats. You will have excess wall paper in order to accommodate lining up the pattern. This is where math class comes in handy. Here’s the answer to “when will we use this in real life?”
How to Install Wallpaper
- Measure a piece of wallpaper that is a few inches taller than the wall. When you start, measure over about an inch shorter than the width of your paper. Use a plumb line to get a straight line up the paper and start there. You’ll have a little bit extra in the corner where you start but you’ll trim that off. No wall are perfectly straight and you don’t want to start off with a crooked pattern.
- Dip the wallpaper in water to activate the glue (I like to use a bathtub, it’s less mess and super convenient). Fold the wallpaper with sticky side touching (don’t crease it). This is called booking and activates the glue making it easier to go on the wall. Let is sit a few minutes ensuring that the entire back of your wallpaper glue is activated. Carry it over to the wall, placing the paper against the corner of the wall and ceiling.
- Use the wallpaper brush to smooth out all wrinkles and bubbles being very careful not to rip the wallpaper. You might need a towel to wipe up any drips. Allow the paper to stick a little above where the wall meets the ceiling as well as a little past the baseboards. Use the straight edge of the putty knife to create a crease in the “corner” of the ceiling and baseboards.
- Use a razor blade to cut a straight line in the wallpaper at the baseboard and ceiling. You will need a very sharp razor blade to ensure that you don’t rip the wallpaper. Do not trim freshly hung paper because it will rip, hang a few more pieces and come back after it has dried a bit but before it’s completely dry.
- Repeat these steps with each strip off wallpaper, making sure to line up the pattern.
PRO TIP: Cut two strips of wallpaper to begin. Measure the height of the wall for the first strip and line up the pattern on the floor before cutting the next strip. Measure the next strip using the previous strip on the floor each tim first.
I can’t tell you how fast wallpapering actually goes. I am a painter and love to paint walls in my house. I even painted a football field in my son’s room, see it here. What I don’t like about painting is how much time it takes, how messy it is, and how long it takes to dry. While I love painting, I hate, and I mean HATE, the clean up. Wallpapering is my new love. It’s a little messy but, man it goes quick and the cleanup is nothing compared to paint. It makes such a bold statement in a room. Check out how great my daughter’s nursery came out.