When it comes to interior décor, wallpaper holds a very special part. While it is a fact that application of wallpaper is better done by professionals, there are many who do this task on their own. You may also do the same; if you have enough time and patience. Gather the required material, and start the task. It is always recommended to remove the old wallpaper, before applying a new one. However, in some cases, you may hang the new wallpaper over the existing one. In both cases, you have to do certain preparations.
Prepare the Wall
Old Vinyl-coated Wallpaper: Assess the condition of the existing wallpaper. It will be better to avoid hanging a new wallpaper over the old vinyl-coated one. As we all know, wallpaper application requires a porous surface, that vinyl coated ones may not have. You may either remove the existing vinyl wallpaper and hang the new one, or apply a vinyl-to-vinyl primer on the surface of the existing wallpaper. In the latter case, let the primer dry out completely, before applying the new wallpaper. Otherwise, the adhesive in between the old and the new wallpaper may stay wet, and develop mold and mildew.
Old Single Layer Wallpaper:If the old wallpaper is a regular one, make sure that it has a single layer only. Otherwise, refrain from hanging the new one over the old. If it is a single-layer wallpaper, ensure that its surface is smooth. This can be done by sticking the loose ends, sanding surfaces, and by removing bubbles. Sometimes, the old paper would bleed ink. Remove a small piece from the wallpaper, and dip it in water for a few seconds, before wiping with a sponge. If you find ink on the sponge, then apply stain sealing primer over the old wallpaper and let it dry, before hanging the new one. If there is no stain on the sponge, you may hang the new wallpaper over the old one, without using the primer.
No Wallpaper: Turn off electricity, and remove the electrical fixtures, outlet plates, wall plates, etc. Fix the cracks, crevices, and holes on the wall, using plaster or spackling compound. The wall should be either painted or primed, so that it does not absorb the adhesive. In case the wall has a gloss paint, sand it slightly before hanging wallpaper. Wash off the surfaces with a solution made of two cups of bleach per gallon of water. This removes the dirt as well as grease, and even mold and mildew. Let the wall dry completely, before you hang the wallpaper. In case of a new drywall, a coat of white primer would be beneficial. Once the wall is ready, you may hang the new wallpaper.
Tips for Hanging Wallpaper
- Collect the required materials, like scissors, wallpaper rolls, a clean pasting table, pencil, plumb line, wallpaper paste, paper hanging brush, soft wall brush, and tape measure.
- Determine the starting point for hanging wallpaper. It will be better to start from a corner (like the one behind a door).
- Measure the height of the wall, and cut wallpaper strips of the same length. Make sure to leave 50 millimeters on both ends. The stray ends can be trimmed off afterwards.
- If the wallpaper has a specific design or pattern, make sure to cut the paper in such a way that adjacent strips match with each other. Mark the top and bottom ends of both strips, so as to avoid confusion at the time of hanging wallpaper.
- Make an inconspicuous line, along the plumb line, using a pencil. The distance between the starting point and the line must be a few millimeters less than the width of the roll. This is essential, because, the line may become visible through the seams.
- Cut the wallpaper in strips of required size, and hang them one by one, after applying the adhesive. If the wallpaper is prepasted, follow the manufacturer's instructions, to activate the adhesive.
- Stick each strip from the ceiling to the base. The first strip must be aligned with the plumb line made on the wall. You have to remove the air pockets and smooth the wrinkles, using the wallpaper smoothing brush.
- Use a putty knife to press the wallpaper's lower and upper end to the wall. Use a sharp razor blade to trim off the excess.
- Continue sticking the strips, and use a seam roller over the seams in a gentle manner. Once you are done with the whole wall, use a dry rag or sponge to wipe off excess adhesives.