12 “Pro-Tips” for Installing Wallpaper in Your Home

12 “Pro-Tips” for Installing Wallpaper in Your Home

Spring is coming and home improvements are in the air. Wallpaper is a great way to freshen up any room in your home, whether it's the entire space or a single accent wall.

Although you could call a professional installer, DIY is just more fun and it gives you the freedom to experiment. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions, but here are a few "pro-tips" to bear in mind as you embark upon your project.

The vestibule is painted in Benjamin Moore’s coral-hued Hot Spice and covered in a Cuban-inspired floral wallpaper by fashion designer Matthew Williamson for Osborne & Little.

1. Measure your space.

Make sure your measurements are accurate, and always round up so that you can trim the paper for a snug fit. It’s also always better to have a little extra in case you need it—the excess paper will make it easier to match your pattern.

"We draw inspiration from artists like James Turrell or Donald Judd, who understand color and form in an advanced way. Or even Raf Simons. We're definitely pulling inspiration from various mediums," Calico co-founder Nick Cope says. Nick and Rachel review materials in their Brooklyn-based studio.

2. Make sure you have enough.

Order all the wallpaper you’ll need at the same time, and double-check your wallpaper when it arrives to make sure everything matches. 

3. Layout is key. 

Make sure your pattern matches and looks straight. Roll out the wallpaper prior to pasting and use a measuring tape and pencil to mark what you need. 

At the helm of the Brooklyn-based furnishings brand is Shanan Campanaro, whose dreamy watercolor-like designs feature soothing repetitive patterns that are nothing short of hypnotic. She just recently moved her offices into a new space that the team tackled as a project, giving it the Eskayel stamp and making it look like an inspiring place to work. 

4. Levelling is critical. 

Make sure both your papers and your walls are level. 

In the new powder room, Jill Malek wallpaper adds graphic punch to custom cabinetry.

5. Protect your workspace. 

Use a dropcloth to protect your work table and floors. Don’t use newspaper because wet print can smudge.

May Lawrence sits at the dining table, which features mahogany planks attached to an actual I beam. Above her sprawls a Rigo 99 painting of a bustling Taipei street scene, which according to Ward helps import some "city energy" into the suburbs.

6. Prep your walls. 

You should always have a smooth, clean, and dry surface prior to installation. 

In the adjacent bedroom, decorative touches like the silver wallpaper and mirrored regency-style side table juxtapose with the exposed concrete and duct work.

7. Consider your space. 

If your room has an architectural focal point like a fireplace or bed, use that to center the placement of your wallpaper. Otherwise, just start in the corner. 

The husband-and-wife team behind Rethink Design Studio sent us this bedroom shot from a home they designed for a family of four. They covered the bedroom wall with a bold patterned wallpaper from Hygge & West and finished it with artwork from the Animal Print Shop.

8. Read the manufacturer's instructions. 

Check the label on your paper to see what adhesive the manufacturer recommends. 

A Calico team member is shown working in the company's Brooklyn-based creative studio.

9. Make sure everything goes on smoothly. 

Use a plastic smoother to push out air pockets. Start at the center of the panel and work out towards the edges. As long as you don’t have wallpaper with an embossed design, you can use a seam roller to press the seams. 

Simon and Eva Luna play in front of a wall covered in Daks wallpaper from Walnut.

10. Blot it out. 

Remove excess adhesive from the wallpaper with a slightly damp rag or sponge. 

Magid selected lively Whitby wallpaper by Mini Moderns for Linus’s room, along with Oeuf’s Perch bunk bed. The homeowner found the light-up rocket-ship mobile on a trip to Mexico City.

11. Trim carefully.

Use a straightedge and a utility knife to trim around window frames. If you have a lot of excess paper, use a good pair scissors. If you need to do more precise work, you can use a putty knife. 

The tiny powder room is outfitted with a foliage-print wallpaper from Hermès, a vintage teak mirror, brushed-fold Moderne fixtures from Kohler, and a custom sink made of swirling soapstone.

12. Safety first!

Always remember to shut off power if you need to open electrical outlets or switchplates.

Aurora Ray, a color-gradient wallpaper inspired by the sunset as seen from Red Hook, accents the master bedroom, furnished with a custom bed frame by VIDIVIXI. The couple also designed a collection named after their daughter, Willow, exploring the movement of water and trees.

Shop Our Favorite Wallpaper Designs
Fornasetti Nuvolette Wallpaper
Taking inspiration from stormier times, the Nuvole wallpaper is from the classic Cole & Son’s Fornasetti Panels collection.  With large gusty clouds appearing to flow menacingly across the wall, this wallpaper is an ideal centerpiece to any space and creates a stunning backdrop.
Goodbye Moon Midnight Wallpaper
This midentury-modern wallpaper features metallic starbursts, making it an eye-catching design perfect for a home bar, office, or entryway.  Make a statement with our assortment of vibrant, vintage-inspired wallpaper in a variety of patterns, colors, and styles.
Boråstapeter Herbal Wallpaper
The Swedish wallpaper designers at Borstapeter have been crafting classic Scandinavian motifs since 1905.


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