Step 1: Apply Wallpaper Paste

Rolling on wallpaper paste
Photography by Kolin Smith
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Paint the whole room with a wall primer/sizer.

Unroll the wallpaper. As you do, check for defects and drag the paper against the edge of your worktable to take away the curl.

Cut the paper into sheets 4 inches longer than the height of your walls. Cut in the same place on the repeat so patterns on adjacent sheets will line up.

Lay a cut sheet on the table, face down. Using a paint roller, apply a thin film of clear premixed wallpaper paste on the back of the paper, ABOVE.

Tip: Don't allow paste to get on the table or it will mar the next sheet (wipe it off with a barely damp sponge if it does). Slide the paper all the way to the edge of the table to apply paste to the ends and edges.

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    Tools List

    • two-foot level
      2-foot level
    • 30-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • wallpaper smoother
      Paper smoother
    • seamroller
      Seam roller
    • single edge razor
      Razors
    • bucket with sponge
      Bucket with sponge
    • paintroller
      Paint roller

    Shopping List

    1. WALLPAPER

    Check the size of the rolls before calculating how much you need. Wallpaper is often priced by the single roll, but can be bought as a continuous double roll. Depending on the size of the pattern's repeat and the width of the rol, a double roll will cover anywhere from 36 to 50 square feet. Many paper companies and retail shops will calculate how much paper you'll need if you provide the square footage of your walls (subtract for windows and doors). Or you can use the wallpaper calculator in the Helpful Info section below.



    2. PREMIXED CLEAR WALLPAPER PASTE

    Paint that's not mixed correctly can ruin a wallpaper job. So for most papers, it's better to buy premixed products. One gallon is enough for 5 rolls.



    3. WALL PRIMER/SIZER

    such as R-35 by Roman Adhesives. These products make the wall feel tacky but actually extend the working time of wallpaper paste and make manipulating the paper easier. You'll need 1 gallon per 100 square feet.



    4. PAINTER'S TAPE

    or masking tape. For holding wallpaper onto switch plates and receptacle covers while the paste dries. One small roll is all you'll need.