how to hang pre-pasted wallpaper


Hanging pre-pasted wallpaper is relatively easy.  It’s a little time consuming, but it’s not a difficult diy at all.   With a little patience and a weekend you could knock out a wallpaper project with no problem.  I’ve never hung a traditional wallpaper and have always opted to use pre-pasted paper.  From what I gather, it’s easier to work with, and since there are so many options available in pre-pasted papers, it just seems like a no-brainer for anyone planning to do the installation themselves. 

Since I just finished wallpapering our entry foyer, I thought I’d share a quick play by play.  You all know my tutorials are basically a “if-I-can-do-it-anyone-can” kind of pep talk, and this one is no different.

how to hang prepasted wallpaper

1.  Gather your supplies.  

Start by measuring your room to determine how much wallpaper you’ll need for your project.  Keep in mind that papers that have a pattern repeat will mean that a portion of the roll will end up as waste, although there is some waste in every wallpaper project no matter what paper you choose.  Also bear is mind that if you’re installing it yourself mistakes can and will happen……… always buy extra!  I recommend at least 2 extra rolls for every project.  The added expense is worth knowing that you have all your bases covered in case of a mishap.  #trustme  Plus, if you’re using a standard store bought paper you can always return any rolls you don’t use.


How to hang prepasted wallpaper - Allen + Roth Grasscloth Wallpaper from Lowe's

Those of you who follow me on Snapchat (@ourfifthhouse) know that I didn’t follow my own advice with this project and ended up running all over town to get my hands on a few extra rolls of this paper in order to finish up my project!  #hellonightmare   There’s nothing like running out of paper just when you’re about to cross the finish line.   But it’s even worse when the paper you need is no longer available at the store where you purchased it!  See, you could learn a lot from a dummy!  😉

This “grasscloth” wallpaper is from Lowe’s.  It’s the same paper I used on the back of the bookcases in our living room.  I also used this same paper in my hub’s office at our fifth house.  I really love this paper!  It’s not real grasscloth; it’s vinyl, but it looks a lot like the real thing for a fraction of the price.

Apparently some Lowe’s stores are clearing it out to make way for repositionable wallpaper.  Larger stores are still carrying it, and this paper as well as lots of other prepasted options are available to purchase at Lowe’s online.  The price of this paper as opposed to real grasscloth is kind of insane.  I papered our entire entry foyer for a third of what grasscloth would have cost.   Apart from the price though, I really love the clean textured look of this paper.  And when you have dogs and kids, wipe-ability is kind of nice too.

how to hang prepasted wallpaper - grasscloth

So anyway, moral of the story is always buy a couple of extra rolls of paper.  Always.

Then gather up the rest of your supplies.   I like to use moving blankets as dropcloths when wallpapering.  They’re more absorbent and do a better job of protecting your floors than painter’s dropcloths.  Also make sure your razor is sharp.  There’s nothing worse than trying to cut wet wallpaper with a dull blade.  #askmehowiknow #saveyourselftheheadache

How to hang pre-pasted wallpaper - the supplies   2.  Prep your walls. 

Fill any nail holes, and remove switch plates and outlet covers.  

3.  Measure and cut.

You’ve got your paper and all your supplies ready to go.  You have a weekend and an endless amount of espresso on tap.  You’re rocking an old pair of jeans, a ratty old hoodie and a messy bun.  You’re ready to get this wallpaper party started.  Figure out where you want to start your first panel.  Every room is different so you’ll have to figure out based on the width of your paper and your walls where a good place to start with your first panel will be.  Once you’ve decided and have measured the length of your wall from the ceiling to the top of the baseboard, lay out your paper and cut a panel about 1 to 2 inches longer.   You want a little wiggle room. 

How to hang pre-pasted wallpaper

4.  Mark a plumb line

Before you activate your glue and start pasting your paper to the wall, use a level and a pencil to lightly mark a plumb line.  Basically, don’t count on the fact that your walls are square because they probably aren’t.  So before you begin your wallpapering, make a pencil line where you want to line up your first panel.  Once you line up panel number one all other panels will fall in line with that one.

5.  Activate the glue

Prepasted paper is basically wallpaper that has a thin layer of glue on the back.  The glue becomes active and sticky when wet.  Many online tutorials recommend using a water tray for hanging prepasted papers, but I prefer to use a spray bottle of water.  Any old spray bottle will work.  Just fill her up with water, lay your cut panel down over your dropcloth and spray generously.  Wait about 5 minutes for the glue to be activated.  When it feels tacky and slightly gummy it’s ready.

how to hang prepasted wallpaper

6.  Line up your panel with your plumb line. 

Leave a little excess at the top near the ceiling and line up your panel with your plum line as you work your way down the wall.  Use your smoothing tool to work out any air bubbles.

how to hang prepasted wallpaper
how to hang prepasted wallpaper

7.  Use a razor knife to cut excess, and to cut around outlets/switches.  

You’ll have excess at the top and the bottom.  Make sure to use a sharp blade.  Go slow, don’t rush through cutting.  I find that using the smoothing tool to hold the paper in place creates a little tension and makes it easier to cut a smooth line without snagging the paper.  But give yourself some grace.  Snags probably will happen at some point.   And more often than not they won’t be noticeable at all if you just smooth them out.  No one is going to be staring at your baseboards anyway, so don’t fret if you get a couple of snags here and there.  Just keep calm, and wallpaper on.  😉

To cut around outlets and switches, use a razor to cut a small hole then use scissors to finish cutting around.  Once cut use the smoothing tool to set the paper in place.    

8. Use a sponge to wipe away any excess glue. 

As you smooth out your paper, the glue/paste will sneak out of the sides.  Use a clean damp sponge to wipe away the excess glue.

how to hang prepasted wallpaper

So that’s basically it, in a nutshell.  Once your first panel goes up, the rest of the them go up relatively smoothly.  You use the line of the panel you just hung as your plumb line and repeat the above steps until you’re all done.  Granted hanging a paper like this one where there is no pattern to match up is a lot easier, the same basic steps apply regardless.

I’m a huge fan of this paper!  It’s easy to install, inexpensive and adds great texture to a space.

how to hang wallpaper

A little something that comes in handy once your project is finished, is a tube of wallpaper seam repair.

how to hang pre-pasted wallpaper

Inevitably once you’re done wallpapering you’ll find one or two little parts of a seam somewhere that for some odd reason just didn’t stick to the wall.  This seam repair glue is an easy fix.

As simple as a project like this is to complete, I’m definitely glad to be over the finish line.  And I can’t wait to finish up with the few other projects I have planned for our entry foyer.  Just the wallpaper and lighting switch-a-roo (I brought this pendant from our fifth house’s kitchen) have already made a huge impact!

This is the view from the hub’s office.

entry foyer - before
how to hang prepasted wallpaper

The paper is so much prettier in person.  It’s so hard to capture how it really looks.   Can’t wait to get the art on the walls!

*This post was sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement.  Opinions, thoughts and overwhelming love for this wallpaper is 100% genuine, as is my affection for the fabulous sales woman who helped me track down more rolls of paper at another local store. 


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