If you're new to wallpaper, the easiest way to do it yourself is by using grass cloth wallpaper. This ensures you don't have to match the patterns from strip to strip. The best wallpaper adhesive for beginners is paste the wall.
- Set up the work area. Lay down drop cloth to protect your floors, and ensure you have all your tools (ladder, putty knife, straight edge razor, booker, paintbrush, spray bottle, wallpaper adhesive, etc)
- Prep the walls. This involves washing, sanding, spackling, floating, and just overall ensuring the walls are completely clean and smooth. Remove all electrical fixture covers.
- Measure from the floorboard to the ceiling. This is how long you'll want your strips to be. Cut them just a few inches longer than your measurement, so you have room to adjust if needed.
- Start in a corner. Draw a plumb line to ensure your first piece is totally straight.
- Apply adhesive according to the directions of the wallpaper you chose
- Starting from the bottom, carefully lay the wallpaper up the walls. Roll out any bubbles. Careful to not press too hard and squeeze out all the adhesive from under the wallpaper!
- Repeat until the whole wall is covered
- Cut out the wallpaper over electrical outlet, and replace the outlet coverings.
- Make sure to wash the wallpaper beforehand so it's free of dust (this can be done with a damp sponge, vacuum, or wallpaper dough)
- If the wallpaper is really old, ensure any peeling edges are re-glued before beginning painting
- Always test the paint on a hidden area first
These days, there are several kinds of wallpaper, some need paste and some don't. For the wallpaper that needs paste, there are several varieties. Most of them come as a power that must be mixed with the correct amount of water.
- Cold paste
- Heavy duty paste
- All-purpose paste
- Pre-mixed paste
We use Roman Pro880 ultra clear strippable wallpaper adhesive. Its the best on the market and a favorite among many wallpaper hanging pros.
- Try to remove a small area. Does it come right off? Great, someone properly installed it in the past and used a removable glue. It should all come off easily.
- If the paper doesn't want to come off, don't force it!!! Sand the seams, apply an oil primer, and remove any bubbles or peeling areas. Sand and spackle over everything else. It may feel weird to spackle over a whole wall, but this is actually easier than trying to remove the old permanent type of wallpaper. Think of it as reinforcing the integrity of your wall! After resurfacing the walls they'll be ready for their new layer of paint or wallpaper.
- If only the vinyl front comes off, dampen the wallpaper several times. Get it wet, wait a few minutes, get it wet again, wait a few minutes, and do it again. Once it's sufficiently damp it will come off.