Where To Start When Wallpapering: A Helpful Guide

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Where To Start When Wallpapering: A Helpful Guide

Embarking on a wallpapering project can transform your space from bland to bold, serene to stimulating, or plain to absolutely picturesque. It's an exciting journey that begins with the right preparation and knowledge. Here, we'll walk through the initial steps you'll need to take to ensure your wallpapering adventure starts off on the right foot.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose a wallpaper that complements your personal style and the room's purpose.
  • Measure your walls accurately to determine how much wallpaper you'll need.(Pro Tip: Just enter walls size on WallsNeedLove.com)
  • Prepare your walls by cleaning and smoothing them out for the best adherence.
  • Gather all necessary tools before starting to streamline the process.
  • Understand the type of wallpaper you're working with, whether it's pre-pasted or requires separate adhesive.

Unlocking the Potential of Your Walls

Think of your walls as a canvas. Wallpapering them is like creating a masterpiece that reflects your unique taste and personality. But before you dive into the world of patterns and pastes, you need to understand the potential of your space and how wallpaper can enhance it.

What Wallpapering Can Do for Your Home

Wallpaper can add depth, warmth, and character to a room. It can define spaces within your home, create focal points, and even make small rooms feel larger or cozy. The key is to choose a design that amplifies the room's best features.

For example, a small powder room can become a jewel box with a bold, graphic print. A long hallway might benefit from a horizontal stripe that visually widens the space. It's all about using wallpaper as a tool to shape your environment.

The Right Wallpaper Choice for You

When selecting wallpaper, think about the mood you want to create. Is it a calming retreat or a vibrant playroom? This will guide your choice in color, pattern, and texture. Remember, wallpaper isn't just a backdrop; it's a central design element that can dictate the room's entire feel.

Wallpaper Selection: A World of Possibilities

Today's market is brimming with wallpaper options. From traditional florals to modern geometrics, from subtle textures to bold metallics, the choices are endless. But don't let the variety overwhelm you. Instead, let it inspire you to find the perfect match for your vision.

  • Traditional prints can add elegance and a sense of history to your space.
  • Modern designs can inject energy and a contemporary edge.
  • Textures like grasscloth can introduce depth and warmth.

And remember, the right wallpaper can not only complement your existing décor but also become a transformative element that entirely reshapes the aesthetic of your room. If you ever need help, just reach out to us at WallsNeedLove and we will be there for you. 

Exploring Different Wallpaper Styles

Every wallpaper style carries its own charm and character. For instance, a damask pattern exudes sophistication and is ideal for formal areas like dining rooms. On the other hand, a whimsical motif could be perfect for a child's bedroom or a creative space.

Choosing Colors and Patterns to Reflect Your Personality

Your choice of color and pattern should be a reflection of who you are. If you're a nature lover, consider botanical prints or something with an organic feel. If you're someone who loves to travel, maybe a world map mural or an exotic pattern will speak to you.

Keep in mind that colors can also influence mood. Cool blues and greens are calming, while reds and oranges can energize a space. So, pick hues that align with how you want to feel in your room.

For example, a soft blue wallpaper with a subtle pattern can turn a hectic home office into a serene sanctuary, where focus comes naturally.

Now, let's talk about the practical side of things: getting your walls and workspace ready for the transformation.

Gathering Your Wallpapering Toolkit

Just like any good craftsman, you need the right tools for the job. Having everything on hand before you start will make the process smoother and more enjoyable.

Essential Tools for a Smooth Wallpapering Experience

Here's a checklist of the tools you'll need:

  • Measuring tape to accurately measure your walls.
  • Utility knife with extra blades for trimming the wallpaper.
  • Level to ensure your wallpaper hangs straight.
  • Smoothing tool to eliminate air bubbles and creases.
  • Sponge and bucket of water for cleaning and prepping.

Most importantly, don't forget the wallpaper itself and the adhesive, whether it's included or needs to be applied separately.

With your tools at the ready and a clear plan in mind, you're all set to begin the wallpapering process. In the next part of this guide, we'll delve into the nitty-gritty of measuring, cutting, and applying your chosen wallpaper to achieve a stunning end result.

Kicking Off Your Wallpapering Journey

Alright, you've chosen the perfect wallpaper and you've got your toolkit together. You're standing in front of your wall, ready to go. But where exactly do you start? The beginning of your wallpapering journey is just as crucial as the finish, so let's ensure you start on the right foot.

Choosing the Ideal Starting Point

Begin by choosing the right wall to start on. It's usually best to start wallpapering in a corner and work your way around the room. Pick an inconspicuous corner, perhaps behind a door or in an area where furniture will hide the edges, because the first and last panel might not match up perfectly.

Use a plumb line or a level to draw a straight vertical line from the ceiling to the baseboard, about a wallpaper width away from the corner. This line is your guide to ensure the first strip of wallpaper is perfectly straight, which sets the stage for the rest of the room.

Laying the First Panel: Best Practices

When laying the first panel, it's all about precision. Carefully align the edge of the wallpaper with your guide line, allowing a bit of overlap at the top and bottom for trimming. Smooth the paper onto the wall from the center outwards to avoid air bubbles, and use your smoothing tool to adhere it firmly.

If your wallpaper has a pattern, make sure the top of the design is aligned with the ceiling line, even if this means wasting a bit of paper. It's worth it for a professional-looking finish.

Methodically Applying Wallpaper

Now that your first panel is up, the rest will follow much more easily. Your next panels should butt up against the first, without overlapping. Pay close attention to the pattern; it should match up across the seams as if it's continuous.

Navigating Corners and Obstacles

Corners and obstacles like windows and doors can be tricky, but they're just a part of the journey. When you reach a corner, measure the distance from the last full panel to the corner at the top, middle, and bottom, and cut your next piece of wallpaper to fit, adding an extra half inch for leeway.

For obstacles, make relief cuts in the paper to help it lay flat around the impediment. Then, smooth the paper down and trim any excess. It's a little like wrapping a present; you want the paper to be neat and tidy around all the edges.

Remember, it's better to measure twice and cut once. Take your time to ensure accuracy and your walls will look as if they've been dressed by a professional.

Matching Patterns Like a Pro

One of the trickiest parts of wallpapering is ensuring your patterns align. When cutting a new piece of wallpaper, always compare it to the previous strip to find where the pattern matches. Sometimes this means you'll waste a bit of paper to get the alignment just right, but the seamless look is worth the extra effort.

It's not just about the side-to-side pattern match, either. Be mindful of how the patterns align at the ceiling and baseboard. Consistency is key to a polished finish.

  • Always check the pattern match before cutting your paper.
  • Align the pattern at eye level for the most visually pleasing match.
  • Don't rush the matching process—patience pays off in a beautiful finish.

Avoiding and Addressing Bubbles and Wrinkles

Bubbles and wrinkles can mar an otherwise perfect wallpaper job, but they're not inevitable. When applying each panel, use a smoother to push air pockets out toward the edges. If a bubble appears after the wallpaper has dried, you can use a fine pin to puncture it and then smooth it down.

If you're dealing with wrinkles, gently lift the paper and reapply it. The key is to move slowly and carefully to avoid stretching or tearing the wallpaper. Remember, a little patience goes a long way in ensuring a smooth, wrinkle-free surface.

Finishing Touches for a Flawless Look

You're nearly there! Your wallpaper is up, and it's looking fantastic. But before you step back to admire your handiwork, there are a few finishing touches that will elevate your project from good to great.

Trimming and Sealing Edges

With a sharp utility knife, trim the excess wallpaper at the top and bottom of each panel. Hold the knife at a slight angle for the cleanest cut. After trimming, seal the edges with a seam roller to ensure they lay flat and stay adhered to the wall.

Also, take a moment to wipe down the walls with a damp sponge to remove any excess adhesive that might have squeezed out during application. This will prevent any shiny spots once the wallpaper dries.

Cleaning Up and Caring for Your New Walls

After all your hard work, you'll want to keep your wallpaper looking as good as new. Most wallpapers can be gently wiped down with a damp cloth if they get dirty. Be sure to avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbing too hard, which can damage the surface.

Lastly, stand back and take it all in. Wallpapering can seem like a daunting task, but with careful planning and execution, the results can be truly transformative. Enjoy the fresh new look of your space, and don't forget to bask in the glory of a job well done.

There you have it—your comprehensive guide to starting your wallpapering journey. With these tips and techniques, you're well-equipped to tackle your project with confidence. Happy wallpapering!

Finishing Touches for a Flawless Look

As the final strip of wallpaper smooths into place, the sense of accomplishment is palpable. But to ensure your work not only holds up but also looks impeccable, a few finishing touches are in order.

Trimming and Sealing Edges

Armed with a sharp utility knife, it's time to trim the excess wallpaper. Pressing the blade firmly against a ruler or straightedge, slice away the surplus paper at the ceiling and baseboard. This step is about precision, as a clean cut will give your wallpaper a professional, seamless finish.

Once trimmed, it's crucial to seal the edges. A seam roller is your friend here, as it firmly bonds the wallpaper to the wall, ensuring it won't peel or curl over time. Roll over each seam, applying even pressure to create a bond that lasts.

Cleaning Up and Caring for Your New Walls

The beauty of wallpaper is not just in its initial allure, but in its lasting charm. To maintain this, a simple wipe with a damp cloth can remove any marks or spills. Avoid harsh chemicals or scrubbing, as these can fade or damage the wallpaper's finish.

  • Use a soft, damp cloth for cleaning.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners to preserve the wallpaper's color and texture.
  • Address spills and marks promptly to prevent staining.

And there you have it—the walls that once stood bare now tell a story, one that you've brought to life with your own hands. Wallpapering is an art, and you've just created your own masterpiece.

But questions might still linger, so let's address some common inquiries to ensure your wallpapering knowledge is as robust as the walls you've just adorned.


When it comes to wallpapering, there's no such thing as a silly question. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions to help you navigate your wallpapering journey with confidence.

Can You Wallpaper Over Painted Walls?

Yes, you can wallpaper over painted walls, but there's a catch. The paint surface needs to be clean, dry, and free of flaking. A light sanding may be necessary to ensure the wallpaper adhesive can grip the surface effectively. If the paint is glossy, a quick de-glossing with fine sandpaper is a wise move.

How Much Wallpaper Do You Need for a Room?

Calculating wallpaper needs is a mix of art and science. But at Walls Need Love we make it easy for you. Simply input the length and width of your walls into our order page and we calculate what you need immediately. 

If you would rather order by panel. Our paper is 26" wide per panel with a strait match. Simply calculate how many 26" wide panels you need for each wall and be sure to add 2" to all sides of your wall for installation and trimming. (Left, Top, Right, and Bottom)

What's the Best Way to Remove Air Bubbles?

Air bubbles can be pesky, but they're not unbeatable. When applying wallpaper, smooth it from the center outward to push out any trapped air. If a bubble appears after the wallpaper is set, prick it with a fine needle and gently smooth the air out. A little wallpaper adhesive applied with a tiny artist's brush can reseal the puncture.

How Do You Align Wallpaper Patterns?

Pattern alignment is key for a visually pleasing wallpaper application. Start by choosing a focal point in the room and align your first strip there. For subsequent strips, match the pattern at eye level and ensure continuity across seams. It may mean wasting some paper to get the match just right, but the result will be worth it.

Do You Need to Prime Walls Before Wallpapering?

Priming your walls can improve wallpaper adhesion and make future removal easier. It's particularly important if you're wallpapering over bare drywall or if the previous surface was glossy or stained. A good primer can also help to mask imperfections and provide a uniform surface for your wallpaper to cling to.

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