Today’s wallpapers are vastly different from the product of old. Now, most modern wallpaper is specially designed to be a breeze for the DIYer. However if your a Newby you might still have some trouble starting off which is why I created this guide on how to hang wallpaper fast and easy.

How To Hang Wallpaper For DIY:


Today’s wallpapers are vastly different from the product of old. Now, most modern wallpaper is specially designed to be a breeze for the DIYer with pre-pasted, scrub-able, easy-peel wallpaper making the job as easy as possible when decorating a home. Even if you’re a complete Newby you will learn how to hang wallpaper successfully in this article.


Preparation is most important when your starting to learn how to hang wallpaper. Good preparation will ensure a great result. The walls must be clean, dry, smooth, grease-free and structurally sound. For best results, remove all old wallpaper first. Any dampness must be investigated and repaired before you proceed. Previously painted surfaces need to be sanded to a matt surface.

Raw surfaces, including old plasterboard linings and surfaces painted with latex paint (PVC), should be sealed with oil based pigmented sealer prior to sanding. Gloss enamel paint surfaces should be sanded after washing down with a sugar soap mixture. Whatever the surface, dust thoroughly before applying size.

Handy Hint – To be sure that the colours between the rolls match, make sure that the rolls you purchase have the same batch number. You may want to buy an extra roll to be sure that you have enough.


Before you start to hang, double-check to ensure you have been supplied with the correct pattern, colour and the agreed quantity of the same lot number. Check carefully for any visual difference in shading between rolls before beginning. After you have hung the first three drops, check again and notify your supplier of any defective material immediately.

Before starting to learn how to hang wallpaper, here are some simple rules to remember:

  • Don’t rush. Just concentrate on what you’re doing.
  • Always start in a corner and work away from the main light source.
  • Always finish in the least conspicuous corner.
  • Determine how the pattern repeats. It will be a straight match, where every piece is the same, or it will be a half drop, where every second piece is the same.
  • For a straight match, match the same point on every length. For a half drop pattern, match the same point on the first and third length and then the second and fourth length and so on.
  • When working around switches and plugs, the power supply must be switched off at the main switchboard. (Mains switch to OFF.)
  • Never assume every window, door, architrave or corner is straight and true. Rely on your plumb line at all times. In older houses, the differences can be substantial, but even modern homes can vary from true significantly.
  • Follow the soaking instructions on the wallpaper roll. Correct soaking is vital.
  • Allow all wallpaper to dry slowly after hanging.
  • Never try and accelerate the process by using heaters etc.
  • If in doubt refer to your local Mitre 10 store for advice.
  • How Much Wallpaper Is Required?
  • The table below is an estimate of the amount of wallpaper you are going to need. Allow for a little extra if you’re using wallpaper with a large repeat pattern.

Distance around the room (include doors and windows) Wall Height Rolls:

10m 2.3 – 2.6m 5 rolls
10m 2.6 – 2.7m 6 rolls
12m 2.3 – 2.6m 6 rolls
12m 2.6 – 2.7m 7 rolls
14m 2.3 – 2.6m 7 rolls
14m 2.6 – 2.7m 8 rolls
16m 2.3 – 2.6m 8 rolls
16m 2.6 – 2.7m 9 rolls
18m 2.3 – 2.6m 9 rolls
18m 2.6 – 2.7m 10 rolls
20m 2.3 – 2.6m 10 rolls
20m 2.6 – 2.7m 11 rolls

Hanging The Paper

Where To Start?

Choose the most well-lit corner of the room, measure the width of one roll in from the corner. Subtract 15mm and mark that point (high on the wall close to the ceiling away from the corner) and hang the first drop, followed by the second (back into the corner). This will allow for an (approx.) 15mm return to cover inside the corner. Now measure all walls in the room (height). Then allow at least 50mm for trimming top and bottom (total 100mm or more per drop) over and above the longest wall measurements. Cut your first drop to this size; then use as a template for all others.

1. Make A Plumb Line

Identify your mark and place a small nail on it. Attach your plumb line then draw a line (in pencil) down the line to the floor.

2. Soaking The Paper

Fill your water trough with lukewarm water and position at the base of wall. Re-roll your pre-cut length loosely with the pattern inside. Fully immerse the roll for up to 20 seconds. Draw the top up through the wire (slowly). Place the paper loosely against the wall for 2-3 minutes. Now it is ready for placing into its final position. Always smooth out from the middle to the edges, removing all air bubbles. Then trim off excess paper top and bottom. Now, using your sponge, remove any excess water. That’s the first drop in place.

3. Proceed With Caution On Corners

Inside corners should be hung with two drops. Whenever vinyl overlaps vinyl, you will need to use PVA glue for a good join. Outside corners should be handled in the same manner, however, allow for double the wrap around onto the adjacent wall (30mm).

4. Beware Of Obstacles

Rooms, of course, have features other than walls, so make sure your aware of this when your beginning to learn how to hang wallpaper. Like doors, windows, power points and light switches. Don’t be daunted, the solutions are simple. For a simple rectangular switch, lay your drop of wallpaper over the switch (in its final position). With your pencil, mark off the four corners of the switch, then join them with a pencil line to mirror the switch dimensions.

Lift the paper off and, using your scissors, cut from the middle of the switch area to the four corner points (to create four triangles). Now push this over the switch and trim off the excess. (If you don’t feel confident at first a good idea is to take a piece of newspaper and practise the procedures before doing the real thing.)

Doors and windows are handled in much the same way. Hang a full drop of wallpaper so it overlaps the frame. Smooth the paper up to the frame as close as possible, then cut on the diagonal to the corner point of the frame. Lift the flaps and carefully smooth the edges in, crease and finally trim off the excess.

5. How To Handle Borders

Borders are usually sold in 5m or 10m lengths. Measure each wall in the room to get your overall requirement. Allow extra for any overlaps needed for the pattern repeating. Don’t join borders in the middle of walls. Finish each length in a corner. Plan the position of your border on the wall then, establish a line horizontal to the top and bottom of the wall (using a level is best). Mark this off lightly in pencil.

Now proceed as per the soaking or gluing instructions provided. To cut borders around window frames etc., place your horizontal border over the vertical one, now cut with your knife diagonally across the intersecting borders, cutting through both layers, remove excess and both edges should butt perfectly together in a diagonal join.


Paintable wallpaper (often referred to as Anaglypta or Paintons) are generally textured papers specially designed for overpainting. They are a practical solution for walls that are less than perfect as they tend to hide irregularities. However their real purpose is to allow you to combine the textures of paper with your choice of colours and really open up the creative possibilities.

Now that you guys know how to hang wallpaper, you can start remodelling the room of your dreams and save money! If you do need further assistance with painting or decorating, feel free to reach out to ASAAP Decorating to receive a FREE quote today!