How to hang wallpaper

Simple Guide to Hanging Wallpaper - Tips & Tricks

If your walls are looking a little bare and you’re looking to give a room a total transformation, wallpaper is a brilliant option. With so many prints and colours to choose from, it’s an excellent way to give your home a makeover. It’s important to know what you’re doing before you get going, so from where to hang the first piece of wallpaper to tackling how to hang patterned wallpaper just right, we’ll guide you through the process from start to finish.

What to do before you start hanging wallpaper

While it’s tempting to get stuck in straight away, preparing for hanging wallpaper properly is essential to avoid issues down the line.

Ensure you have enough wallpaper

Firstly, check you’ve definitely got enough wallpaper to cover all of your walls by measuring them thoroughly, so that you can get an estimate of how much you need. Make sure you allow for excess for working around fixtures, frames and fittings. It’s generally worth buying an extra roll just in case you run out, as this can always be returned if you don’t end up needing it.

Prep your walls

You should also ensure any existing wallpaper has been stripped away to avoid any air bubbles or bumps when you lay the new sheets. All freshly plastered walls should have wall sealer applied prior to wallpapering, as this is crucial for seamless and successful application.

Remove or cover your furniture

Avoid having furniture in the room you’re working in, too, if possible. If not, cover it with dustsheets, along with the floor. Finally, clean the surfaces you’ll be working on thoroughly using our range of cleaning products, to avoid any bumps or marks.

Make sure you have the right equipment

Here is a list of things you’ll need to hang wallpaper:

Simple steps to make hanging wallpaper easy

Whether you’ve done it multiple times or you’re wondering how to hang wallpaper for the first time, our comprehensive guide has everything you need to transform your walls.

Safety notes

Keep all chemicals you’re working with (in the adhesive and when cleaning) out of the way of children, and have windows and doors open throughout for ventilation. You’ll also be using a ladder so work with someone else nearby in case of any tricky situations.

Step 1: Prepare and clean

Lay down your dust sheets on the floors and furniture, and remove your fixtures, if possible – place matchsticks where the fittings were as a marker for later. Thoroughly clean the walls you’re working on with sugar soap and apply a universal primer if you’re working with gloss or silk paint the day before.

Step 2: Measure your wall

Get the vertical height of your wall using a measuring tape and spirit level for accuracy, and measure this out on your wallpaper, but add an extra 5 to 10cm to allow for any trimming. If you’re wondering where to hang the first piece of wallpaper, avoid starting from a corner as this edge may not be completely straight. Instead, use the spirit level (to ensure it’s straight) and mark a vertical line 50cm from the wall edge.

Step 3: Trim and hang your wallpaper

Once you’ve measured and marked your wallpaper (with the excess) on your wallpaper table, trim the first sheet and use it as a guide for the next piece. Then, paste your ready-to-use adhesive onto the first area you’ll be applying your first piece of wallpaper to, before aligning your paper completely to the guide mark you made on the wall – adjust slightly if necessary. Take your brush smoothing tool to go over the paper and set it, removing any bubbles along the way.

Step 4: Trim excess wallpaper

If there is any excess, use your knife to trim along the edge and remove it, but ensure the remaining wallpaper edge adheres to the wall.

Step 5: Hang the next strips of wallpaper

Repeat step 3 again and keep going until you get to a corner. Once you’ve laid it down in its section and are happy with the alignment, use your soft seam roller to smooth between the two wallpaper strip lines for a flawless finish.

Step 6: Tackle the corners

For corners, measure the space you are working with vertically and horizontally using your measuring tape and the spirit level. Allow an excess of a few centimetres to the height and width measurements, and mark onto the paper before cutting the piece to fill this area. Then apply the paper to the pasted wall, just beyond the corner onto the next wall. Trim the excess using your knife and smooth with the smoothing tool.

Step 7: Start hanging wallpaper on the next wall (optional)

Once your first wall and corner is covered, repeat the process from step 2 again by starting 50cm from the edge of the wall.

Top tips for hanging wallpaper


For the ideal scenario, remove the radiator from your wall before beginning your wallpapering project. However, if this isn’t possible, ensure your radiator is off and completely cool. Hang the wallpaper up against the radiator, but allow an excess overhang of around 2cm, marking this on your wallpaper. Push the paper down by behind the radiator and mark the bracket location before trimming a slit to accommodate this. Then, trim the strip of wallpaper down and adhere to the wall with the paste.

Door frames, window frames and sills, fireplaces sockets and fixtures

While these areas might seem like hassle, they’re incredibly easy to tackle when you know how. Lay your strip of wallpaper along the area of the wall with the door frame, for example, and have a little excess (1.5cm) overlaying the frame itself before pasting it down to the wall and trimming the excess with your knife.

For any wall fixtures, ensure the mains are switched off for that circuit and hang your wallpaper along that stretch of wall, then pinch and press down over the fixture’s faceplate, before trimming diagonal slits to the centre from each corner. Then cut the paper away completely, but leave a 6mm of excess. Paste the paper to the wall and where the fixture is, loosen the faceplate screws slightly, before feeding a few millimetres of excess paper inside and tightening again.

How to hang patterned wallpaper

Take things slow and pay particular attention to detail if you’re working with patterned paper, as you need to ensure that the pattern perfectly aligns. To make this a little easier, place the second piece up to the first and make any length adjustments you need to match the patterns up before pasting it down.

How to hang wallpaper on a feature wall

If you’re utilising a bold colour or printed wallpaper for a feature wall, remember all eyes will be on it the second someone steps into a room. You will need to pay extra attention to detail, particularly with corners and elements like fireplaces. So, when it comes to measurements, these will need to be correct to the millimetre – with any excess neatly trimmed away with your knife.

From the exact tools you’ll need for hanging wallpaper, to how to tackle those tricky corners and fixtures, you’ve got everything you need for that room transformation. And if you’ve decided wallpapering isn’t for you, but you’re looking for exactly what to do with your space, our step-by-step guide to painting freshly plastered walls will help to give your room that much-needed makeover.

About the Author

Dulux Decorator Centre