Line a room with background and you have instant decoration. From blah to bold in a matter of hours, newspaper can push boundaries beyond what paint can do. It enlivens walls with textures or patterns or your choice.

But as often as homeowners attempt to hang paper themselves, they rarely get it right, cursing their peeling seams and mismatched patterns–it is enough to drive you up a wallsocket. Input John Gregoras, a pro paper hanger from Somers, New York, with nearly two decades’ experience. We asked Gregoras to demonstrate a few of his best wallpapering tips and shortcuts for pasting, hanging, aligning, and trimming. And, boydid we learn a lot – everything from how he plans the layout to how he lines up the last seam. With this kind of insider know-how, papering just got a whole lot simpler.

Greatest Wallpaper Techniques Overview

Layout is your key when you’re learning how to hang wallpaper. Paying attention to the order where the paper goes up guarantees your pattern will remain well-matched and seem straight. John Gregoras recommends working in 1 direction around the room to keep the pattern consistent.

But no matter how good your strategy, the routine between the first and last strip will seldom match up. Because of this, Gregoras always starts his job behind a door, papering from the corner until he reaches the space over the doorway — the least conspicuous spot in the room.

Frequently, the last strip of paper on a wall is not a full sheet. Another wallpapering tip Gregoras uses would be to constantly paper the corners with broken sheets.

Click button at top right to expand illustration.

Apply Wallpaper Paste

Paint the whole room with a wall mounted primer/sizer.

Unroll the background. As you do, check out flaws and drag the paper from the edge of your worktable to take away the curl.

Cut at the exact same region on the repeat so patterns on adjacent sheets will lineup.

Lay a cut sheet onto the desk, face down. Using a paint roller, apply a thin film of clear premixed wallpaper paste on the back of the newspaper.

Tip: Don’t allow paste to have on the table or it will mar the next sheet (wash it off with a barely damp sponge if it will ). Slide the paper all the way into the border of this table to apply paste to the ends and edges.

Novel the Paper

Twist the pasted back of the paper on itself, bottom and top ends meeting in the middle. Make sure that the side borders line up perfectly. Smooth the paper onto itself as much as you can without creasing the folds.

Place the paper aside to allow the glue to soak in and also the paper to relax. Be sure to adhere to the precise booking time recommended on the background’s label, which differs depending on its content (much more for vinyl-coated wallcoverings, less for uncoated papers).

Start at a corner near a doorway. If the door is nowhere near the corner, draw a reference line parallel to the doorway near the corner.

Unfold the top of the reserved paper and hang it on the wall. Overlap roughly 2 inches at the ceiling and 1/8 inch in the corner. Lightly press it in position.

Unfold the bottom of the book and let it hang. Check the measurement between the paper and the door casing or reference line. Adjust the paper to help keep it parallel to the door but still overlapping at ⅛ inch at the corner.

Tuck and Trim the Paper

Once the sheet is aligned, use the edge of a paper simpler to tuck the paper to the corner at the ceiling. (Don’t press so hard that you push glue.)

Trim the excess paper in the ceilingPush a 6-inch taping knife to the joint between the wall and ceiling. Using a razor, cut over the knife to cut the surplus. Work slowly. Alternate between moving and cutting the knife. Don’t slide the knife and razor together. Keep on papering to some point above the door.

Continue Papering

On the adjacent wall, draw a plumb line (if there is no door or window).

Hang a strip in the corner. Overlap the existing piece on the adjoining wall by 1/8 inch. Measure to the plumb line and correct the paper to maintain the distance equivalent. Smooth the paper. Trim at the ceiling and cut on the corner.

Hang the next strip of newspaper. Unfold the top of the novel and place it on the wall. Match the pattern as tightly as you can, leaving just a hair’s breadth between the sheets.

Suggestion: Push air bubbles out by sweeping the newspaper simpler from the middle out to the edges. Wipe off paste on the surface with a sponge.

Close to the Seams

Gently press on the top of the paper to the wall. Then gently roll the seam using a seam roller to flatten down the borders.

Unfold the bottom of the sheet and then complete matching and shutting the seam. Then tightly roll the entire seam, working a full 3 inches in from the border.

Smooth the entire sheet. Continue papering the space, overlapping and trimming corners as shown in Step 5.

Suggestion: If the booked end of the strip starts to dry out before you hang it, then wipe the wall with a damp sponge. This may remoisten the glue when you hang on the paper.

Cut in Around Moldings

At doors and windows, allow the paper float the molding by an inch.

Carefully run the razor out of the molding corner out to the border of this paper. Utilize the molding for a guide.

Smooth down the whole sheet.

Tip: Mistakes are unavoidable once you’re learning how to hang wallpaper. Hide little cutting errors on darker papers by bleach the wall or the white border of the paper with a mark that matches the newspaper. Some pros even color all the paper’s edges so seams are not as evident should the newspaper shrink as it dries.

Cover Switch

Paper the cover plates of electrical fixtures to make them disappear. Cut a piece of wallpaper larger than the plate. Cut from the part of the pattern that matches the paper on the wall around the switch.

Hold them on the wall and correct the paper to match the pattern onto the wall.

Hold the paper and turn the plate face down. Cut the corners off 1/8 inch off from the plate. Wrap the paper above the plate and then tape it on.

Cut out the change or receptacle holes using a razor. Make Xs in the screw holes. Screw the plates back on the wall.