How to Hang Wallpaper

how to hang wallpaper

Ready to hang your wallpaper? We make it easy to transform your space with simple installation instructions.

If new to wallpaper, when selecting a paper take note of the type of wallpaper you are using as installation can slightly vary. The main difference is prepasted wallpapers have dried paste incorporated into the back surface that is activated with water, and unpasted wallpapers require wet paste to be applied during installation. Based on which type of wallpaper you are installing the instructions may differ, but the general technique is the same.

Just remember, these four simple steps: Measure, Cut, Activate (with either paste or water) and Hang. That’s it!


Before you begin installing your wallpaper, prepare your surface and clear the work area. Make sure electrical outlets are off and remove wall fixtures. For best results, clean and properly prepare all wall surfaces. Old wallcoverings and paste residue should be removed.

Next, prepare your wall with a premixed universal wallpaper primer-sealer. Priming the wall is an important step when hanging unpasted wallpaper as it protects and seals the wall and allows for the wallpaper to remove more easily. If installing York’s Sure Strip Wallpaper or Peel and Stick Wallpaper, a primer is not required if the wall has 2 coats of cured paint.


When ready to begin, measure the wall length, then add 4” and cut your wallpaper. You want the paper to overlap at the ceiling and the baseboard by approximately 2”.

Quick Tip: Be sure to allow for pattern match, either random, straight across or drop match.


You can either paste the wall or paste the paper. If pasting the wall, apply paste evenly to the wall, covering an area for one strip only. If pasting the paper, apply an even coat of paste to the back of the wallpaper, working from the center to the edges. Then loosely fold the moistened strip, pasted sides together and let sit for three minutes. Avoid creasing the paper. This is known as booking.

Quick Tip: If installing heavy weight paper and specialty unpasted papers including cork, embroidered, and flock, you will want to use a clear, non-staining heavyweight premixed paste adhesive as opposed to a clear, light-medium weight paste.


Roll your cut strip loosely with pattern side in, paste side out. Then submerge the rolled strip in warm water for 30 seconds to activate paste. You can also use a Wallpaper Hand Sprayer, to get the same effect and activate the paste by spraying a fine mist of water to the pasted surface. (We recommend this method!) Spray in long strokes the length of the paper making sure to thoroughly wet the entire back of the strip, paying close attention to the edges. Fold each end of the moistened strip toward the middle, pasted sides together, aligning the edges carefully so they do not dry out. Avoid creasing the paper. Roll the strip up as you would a loose newspaper, set aside for 3 minutes allowing the paste to activate and the paper relax.


After booking for three minutes, carry your strip to the wall, unfold and hang. Allow overlap onto the ceiling and baseboard. Using a smoothing brush or plastic smoother, remove any air bubbles and make sure all of the wallpaper has made good contact with the wall without distorting or stretching the wallpaper. Use a seam roller to lightly flatten seams.


If butting, place the second strip to the edge of the first strip and smooth out firmly. Be certain to wash the ceiling and the baseboard to remove any paste residue. Protect the face of the wallpaper when cleaning. Seams should be vertical, have a tight fit and be free from air and paste bubbles.

After three panels have been smoothed to the wall surface and excess paste removed, examine the installed panels for uniformity in color. Proceed in the same manner around the room.

Follow the steps above to keep going and finish hanging your strips. Once all strips have been hung and excess trim cut, step back and enjoy your beautiful room!