6 tips for DIY hanging wallpaper

Published On: March 2, 20201 Comment on 6 tips for DIY hanging wallpaperTags: , , Last Updated: February 12, 20246.6 min read

Wallpaper is not only easy to hang up, it also looks great. There are a vast range of colors and patterns to choose from, and there are also wild combinations that can make your home unique. That being said, it is quite difficult to hang up wallpaper, and this sometimes prevents people from trying.

DIY hanging wallpaper

In this article we discuss five tips for hanging up wallpaper. Let’s dive in!

Tip 1: Ensure an even surface

Creating an even surface before you start wallpapering is crucial for a good result. Not everyone is blessed with even walls, but if you are, then you’re in luck! If not, it’s not the end of the world though. Thicker wallpaper can cause small uneven lumps, bumps and ridges to even out, but the smoother the surface is before starting, the better the result. If you’re not very experienced with wallpaper, it can be easier to use a slightly thicker wallpaper as it gives you more margin for error.

Try the following tips to create an even surface:

–          Take your time

Many people make the mistake of not taking the time to prepare the surface properly. At least half your time must be spent on preparing the wall prior to wallpapering to ensure the best result.

–          Dry the walls

By drying the walls well beforehand you make sure you get the best result possible. If necessary, crank up the heating for half a day to ensure that everything is dry, and open the window regularly to allow the room to air out. Make sure you bring the room back to a temperature of between 17 and 21 degrees before hanging up the wallpaper for the best effect. If the wallpaper is hung up in the heat, it may shrink slightly as it cools which can cause large lines and ridges.

–          Check everything thoroughly

Check the surface of the wall for mold or damp areas. No matter how well the wall is dried, if there is mold or moisture in the wall (or behind it), problems will arise during the wallpapering. If there is mold or moisture, this must first be addressed first before wallpapering, as not doing so can cause the wallpaper to become bumpy, moldy, or need replacing quickly.

–          Remove paint or old wallpaper

Remove all the old paint or wallpaper as much as possible before you start. This ensures that the wallpaper will stick to the wall better and won’t peel.

–          Sandpaper, baby!

Remove all lumps, bumps and ridges as much as possible. This can be done using sandpaper or a sander. By doing this, you also remove any old paint from the wall which will allow for a better result.

Tip 2: Choose the right wallpaper

Choosing good wallpaper is, of course, the first step to a good-looking wall. Low quality wallpaper can cause it to need replacing faster and can leave your wall looking less appealing. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for buying high quality wallpaper.

Often you can just go to the well-known hardware stores for wallpaper and the tools you’ll need. While the deals in the Ikea flyer are always solid, it’s best to check out the harbor freight deals for the tools you’ll need. If you’re going to be visiting your local store, then the flyers are a great place to start. If you’re going to buy your wallpaper online, Google’s going to be your best bet!

That being said, we always recommend that you view the wallpaper in real life before purchasing it. This can be done either by ordering a sample or visiting the store.

How do you know if you have high quality wallpaper? Here are a few things to watch out for:

–          Thickness

Thicker wallpaper is less sensitive to uneven walls and is preferred to thinner wallpaper, which is often cheaper.

–          Color

Check out the wallpaper before you buy it. Ordering online is easy, but the colors on the screen don’t always match the colors in real life.

–          Think about where it’s going

Wallpapering in the kitchen or bathroom is possible, but not ideal. Going for a washable wallpaper will prevent your kitchen or bathroom from becoming a mess.

Tip 3: Not too busy!

Wallpaper with small, busy-looking patterns can look great but can also make a space feel small and unorderly. By limiting the use of smaller patterns, you can maintain a calm vibe in a room, while emphasizing the wall (or option of a wall) where you did apply the smaller pattern.

The direction and color of the pattern can also have a huge impact on how light or dark a room look/feels, so it’s important to keep this in mind too!

DIY hanging wallpaper - arranging

Tip 4: Waste allowance

When hanging up wallpaper, there’s going to be a lot of waste. How much waste there is will depend on the pattern of wallpaper you use, as well as the size/shape of the room you’re working with.

There are a lot of wallpaper calculators online to calculate how much wallpaper you’re going to need. These can help a lot when it comes to knowing how much wallpaper you really need, but it varies greatly between different types. For example, wallpaper with a pattern that doesn’t have to align, wallpaper that aligns in a straight fashion, and wallpaper that needs to be aligned in a staggered fashion. These all need different waste allowances.

Wallpaper without an aligning pattern is the easiest to apply neatly, but all forms of wallpaper are doable if you take the time to prepare everything properly. Make sure you leave enough allowance for waste and take into account the pattern on the wallpaper!

Tip 5: Remove air bubbles

Air bubbles are as annoying as loose corners and edges (we’ll get to them next!). It creates an ugly look, and if there are a lot of them, it can also affect the longevity of the wallpaper. Air bubbles can often be ironed out, but if they can’t be removed or are too big, you can make a very small hole in the bubble using a pin to remove them.

Before you start making holes everywhere, make sure to get used to the technique in a place that’s less visible. This could be behind the radiator or on the darker side of the room. If there is not enough glue underneath to stick the wallpaper back down, you can apply a little extra with a small brush to make sure it stays stuck.

Tip 6: Work corners and edges away

Corners and edges can often be removed neatly with a steady hand and a little glue. Take your time when doing this, as a small loose edge becomes a loose sheet before you know it!

There are many YouTube videos online showing how edges and seams can be worked away. It is important to proceed cautiously, and to ensure there’s enough space left between the seems to account for shrinkage. This always happens when hanging up wallpaper and can therefore cause very large seams to emerge if you do not take this into account. This also applies to radiators, frames, and sockets!

Here’s a great video that will help you with any other questions you might have!

For privacy reasons YouTube needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Privacy and cookie policy.
I Accept


Wallpaper can look fantastic and there are a lot of variations to choose from. Although wallpaper can look great if hung up carefully, it can also look horrible if not hung up carefully or worked away neatly. At last, don’t forget to regularly clean your wallpaper because they can’t be cleaned properly if they haven’t been cleaned for a long time. Hopefully, these tips have helped you create a nicer-looking wall!

Share This Tip With Your Friends!

About the Author: Handyman tips team

The Handyman Tips Team is a group of authors that provides tips on the Handyman Tips website. The Handyman Tips team consists of real handymen, contractors, carpenters, woodworkers, and experts in home repairs, appliance repairs, and landscaping. The team is always there for visitors to the Handyman Tips website. If you can't find the answer to your question on the Handyman Tips website, one of them will reply to you almost immediately if you contact them through the Ask the Handyman page!

Leave A Comment

  1. Tim May 6, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Your tips are really good, and the wallpapers are lovely… i am going to apply soon on my bedroom. :)

Related Posts