Some basic tips for installing wallpaper
It is important to have a plan in place before you start. Wallpaper installation is about preparation, knowledge and execution, just like everything else in life. Non-woven wallpaper (also known as “paste-the-wall” wallpaper) is the easiest type of wallpaper to install. This wallpaper looks seamless, is easy to install and doesn’t contract or expand.
1. Prepare the walls
If there is old wallpaper on the wall it will have to be removed. You’ll want it to stick well before you start the installation process. This may require painting over any dark colors that might show through your wallpaper, sanding off old paint lumps, or filling in nail holes with spackle, depending on the condition of the surface.
You should allow the new paint to dry for three to four weeks. Some people choose to apply a layer of wallpaper primer, also known as sizing. This acrylic-based liquid helps your paper adhere more easily and makes the removal process easier. Wallpaper primer can dry in a few days, depending on the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Cover the floor using a protective plastic sheeting, or a dropcloth. Fill in any holes on the wall with spackle, let it dry and then sand to a smooth finish. This step is crucial to ensure a smooth wallpaper installation.
Remove all electrical outlet covers and, safety first, turn off the power at the circuit breaker, as water will be involved. Painter’s tape can be used to cover the sockets so that glue does not seep into them. You’ll have to carefully cut around these spots using a metal blade.
2. Add a plumbline
To determine where to place the first panel, use a pencil with a spirit level or straight edge to draw a vertical line down the wall (to the bottom of the baseboard). Start on the left and work your way to the right if you do not have a focal point in the design that you want to center. Make several plumb marks across the wall to ensure that your wallpaper is straight.
3. Cut your wallpaper to size
Cut two short pieces of paper again and stick them on the wall.
Mark the leading edge of each strip. Continue to mark around the room by pulling up the strips and re-adhesive them.
You don’t want a wallpaper edge within an inch of a door, window or corner. It’s difficult to deal with tiny strips of wallpaper and they are prone to tear. Also, you don’t want to have any of the strips end in an inside corner. If you think you might run into this situation, you can see how the strips will fall if you subtract 4” from the width of your first strip. You can cut the left edge off the first wallpaper strip if everything falls into place. You can save the cut-off strip for when you finish.
Add three inches both to the top and bottom of the wall height to allow for trimming. This is the size of the paper you’ll use. Trim the excess.
If you want to use wallpaper that has a dominant feature, center it on “the focal wall”, the wall the people notice first. Mark the midpoint of this wall’s width and height.
4. Apply paste to wallpaper
It is important to place the first sheet of paper correctly, as it will determine whether or not your application will be straight. Starting in one corner, work your way around the room from left to right. If you choose a direction for your work, stay with it.
Use a paint roller with a nap of 3/8 inch to apply generous amounts of paste to the edges.
Booking is a way to give the adhesive time to work. Fold both ends of the strip gently, but without tearing the paper.
If you are using pre-pasted papers, roll up the strip loosely with the adhesive facing out. Then, immerse the strip in a trough filled with cold or lukewarm (depending on the instructions of the manufacturer) water until it is completely wet. As above, book the paper for 3 to 5 min.
The top half of the strip should be applied to the wall by aligning the edge with the plumbline.
Installing your first wallpaper strip begins by unfolding the upper half of the strip. Slide it onto the wall and align the wallpaper edge to the line you marked. Keep the 2″ of extra paper on top. Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles with your smoother. The bottom half can be installed after the top half. Continue to smooth the strip from the middle outwards until it is free of wrinkles and air bubbles.
5. Trim the edges
Trim the excess paper using a razor blade held parallel to the wall. To prevent tearing, guide the blade using a 6-inch putty knives. Use a sponge wet to wipe any adhesive from the face of the paper, gently pushing toward the edges. Next, sponge-clean all woodwork and the ceiling.
Hang each strip by sliding it up or down the wall. Align the pattern, butt the seams tight, and avoid overlaps. When you apply paper to walls near windows or doors, the leading edge should overlap the trim. Make diagonal cuts from the waste edge of the paper to the corners on the trim to make the paper lay flat.
You can use online wallpaper calculators to estimate the amount of wallpaper you will need. You may need to order more wallpaper if you are running low on it. And it might come from a different batch, and the color may not be exactly the same. The exact same wallpaper can have a slight color variation between batches. So plan ahead, order some extra; allow yourself to make a few mistakes in your first Orlando wallpapering project without worrying about running out of paper.