Hang It Right

These are the hallmarks of a job well done:

Smooth walls. Fill nailheads, nicks, and cracks, then sand flush; or hang thick white liner paper. Really rough surfaces may need bridging liners. Run both liners on the wall horizontally.

Balanced layout. Make a plan that keeps patterns intact next to doors, windows, and the ceiling. Hold a strip against the wall to determine its best top-to-bottom position. Then mark out on the wall where each strip will fall. Adjust the layout from side to side as needed. At the seams, make sure patterns, particularly those at eye level, are properly aligned.

Straight strips. Mark the starting line with a plumb bob or level, and check the edge of each strip whenever you turn a corner.

No bubbles or wrinkles. Flatten freshly installed paper with a plastic smoothing tool, not a brush.

Tight, butted seams. Edges that overlap leave bumps. To get tight seams, push strips together, then go over them lightly with a smoothing tool, taking care not to squeeze adhesive out of the seam. Liner paper helps seams stay tight and flat.

Wrapped outside corners. To prevent peeling, wrap paper over projections, such as a chase or bumpout, so that seams land at least 6 inches from outside corners.

Tidy inside corners. Cut the wallpaper strip so that about inch covers the adjacent wall. Butt the edge of the next strip tight into the corner; an overlap here is acceptable.

Aligning patterns from strip to strip helps hide seams.
Shown: Loopy Lines in Rock-a-Billy Blue, on paper, $85 for a 56-square-foot roll; Graham & Brown
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