Step 4: Tuck and Trim the Paper

A straight edge and a sharp blade ensure clean cuts.
Photography by Kolin Smith
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Once the sheet is aligned, use the edge of a paper smoother to tuck the paper into the corner at the ceiling. Then, working from the top down, sweep the smoother over the entire sheet. (Don't press so hard that you push out glue.)

Trim the excess paper at the ceiling: Push a 6-inch taping knife into the joint between the wall and ceiling. Using a razor, cut above the knife to trim off the excess. Work slowly. Alternate between cutting and moving the knife. Do not slide the razor and knife together. Continue papering to a point above the door.

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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.