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Wallpaper in Bathroom.Hanging Wallpaper and Borders

Wallpaper comes in hundreds of different patterns and colors. It allows you to create the atmosphere of your choice and add life to an otherwise ordinary room. Wallpaper is great for rooms with less than perfect walls and is usually easy to clean with soap and water.

Types of Wallpaper

  • Fabric- Difficult to hang because fabric will stretch. Hard to clean and you must use a special clear paste.
  • Flocks-Patterns with velvet-like raised designs either on paper or vinyl. Some types are washable and easy to handle while others are not.
  • Embossed-Textured wallpaper made of paper or plastic. Good to cover damaged walls, some can be painted and are easy to clean
  • Natural Fibers- Made of natural and synthetic fibers such as hemp or cork. Natural fibers are good for walls that are damaged or uneven and exposed to very little moisture. Hanging and cleaning can be difficult.
  • Foils- Adds brightness to the room by reflecting light but should only be used on walls with no damage or flaws. Use lining paper to cover less than perfect areas before hanging. Very difficult to hang because of bubbling and creasing.
  • Vinyls- Most durable and the easiest to prepare, hang, clean, and remove.

Effects Wallpaper Can Create

  • Horizontal pattern- Horizontal patterns can make a room seem wider. If your home is not fairly new the ceiling and the walls may not be perfectly squared. To make this less obvious, avoid horizontal striped patterns.
  • Vertical Pattern- Vertical patterns can make the ceiling in a room seem higher. If your home or building is not fairly new, chances are the rooms are not square or perfectly vertical. To make this less obvious, avoid vertical striped patterns.
  • Drop pattern- Pattern repeats diagonally across the strip and will require additional paper to match up. A drop pattern is a good choice if your room is not perfectly squared.

Tools & Materials

  • Pencils
  • Plumb bob
  • Utility knife (with extra blades)
  • Water trough for
    prepasted paper
  • Smoothing brush
  • Paste brush & adhesive for nonpasted paper
  • Paint roller
  • Seam Roller
  • Drop Cloths
  • Broad knife
  • Sponge
  • Sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Stepladder
  • Wallpaper
  • Triangular Scraper
  • Primer
  • Wallpaper

How Many Rolls Do I Buy?

Good idea: Make sure all of the rolls are from the same run number or dye lot. Write down the dye lot or run number for future reference.

You can easily calculate the amount of wallpaper needed by taking the square footage of the room and adding 15% for waste.

Preparing the Area

Remove as much furniture as possible. Place drop cloths on the floor around the base of the walls. Paint before you begin wallpapering. Turn off electricity for that room at your circuit breaker box and remove all electrical outlet covers and switch plates.

Preparing a Painted Area

  1. Remove paint that is peeling with a triangular scraper.
  2. Use spackling compound to fill any dents, cracks, or holes.
  3. When dry, sand all patched areas and wipe clean with water and a sponge.
  4. Seal with primer and allow to dry.

If your walls are imperfect and you are hanging thin wallpaper or foils, use lining paper to cover the wall prior to wallpapering.

  1. Seal the walls with primer.
  2. Apply adhesive to the back of the lining paper with a paint roller.
  3. Hang the paper horizontally with strips approximately 1/8" apart.
  4. Use a smoothing brush to remove any bubbles or creases.
  5. Use a damp sponge to remove any excess paste.
  6. Allow the paper to completely dry.

Preparing Wallpapered Area

All old wallpaper should be removed before repapering.

Wallpapering New Walls

  1. Apply primer with a paint roller and allow to dry completely.
  2. Select an inconspicuous corner to begin.
  3. Mark the
    Completely submerge rolled strip in lukewarm water.
    width of the paper minus 1/2" on the wall. Use your plumb bob to mark a vertical line from the ceiling to the floor.
  4. From that point, mark the width of the paper around the room to provide a guideline. Always start a new plumb line when turning a corner.
  5. Measure the distance from the baseboard to the ceiling and add about 2".
  6. Cut the first strip using a sharp utility knife and straightedge. Subsequent strips may need to increase in length to match patterns. Save remnants for smaller areas that may need piecing together.
  7. For unpasted paper, spread the strip, pattern side down, on your flat working area. Using a brush or paint roller, apply paste starting at the top and working from the inside out to the edges.
  8. For prepasted paper, roll the strip with the pattern side in. In a half full tray of lukewarm water, completely submerge paper. Allow paper to soak for 2-3 minutes.
  9. To remove paper from tray, pull the edge out slowly to allow excess water to drain off. Change the water in the tray after every 6 strips of paper.
  10. Booking.
    Book the paper, folding the ends of the strip toward the middle.
    Book the paper, folding the ends of the strip toward the middle. Allow the pasted sides to rest against each other for 3-5 minutes. DO NOT crease the folds.
  11. Unfold the top section, align with the ceiling and allow 2" overlap at the top. Move the edge of the paper against the first vertical plumb line and press into place. You will have 1/2" overlap on the opposite side of the plumb line.
  12. With a smoothing brush, remove air bubbles, going from the top to the bottom and then from the center to the outside.
  13. Unfold the bottom half and brush it into place. If you get a bubble that won’t come out, stick it with a straight pin and work the air out with the smoothing brush.
  14. Double Cut.
    Trim excess overlapping paper with a utility knife.
    Trim any excess overlapping paper by pressing the broad knife blade into the seam between the object and the wall. Cut the excess with the utility knife using the broad knife as a straight edge. Make sure your blade is sharp to avoid tearing the paper.
  15. Wipe off any excess paste with a damp sponge and clear water after each strip is hung.
  16. Place the next strip of paper plumb to the previous strip then smooth.
  17. About 15 minutes after the paper has been up, firmly press seams with a seam roller. Wipe off any excess paste. Do not roll seams on flocks, foils, fabrics, or embossed paper. Gently tap these seams with a smoothing brush.
  18. Trim strips that overlap each other in corners using a vertical straightedge and cutting through both pieces of paper at the overlap. Gently peel both strips off and seal strips with a seam roller.

Wallpapering Around Obstacles:

Cut at 45° Angles.
Cut the wallpaper diagonally at the corners of window frames.

Windows and Electrical Outlets

Wallpapering around obstacles doesn’t have to be difficult.

  1. For a window, use a ceiling to floor length strip and brush into place; pressing the paper as close to the seam of the window as possible.
  2. Where the wallpaper overlaps the window, cut the wallpaper diagonally at the top/bottom corners of window frames.
  3. Using the broad knife as a straight edge, press paper into the crease and cut with a utility knife.
  4. For electrical outlets, paper over the opening and cut an X over the opening to expose fixtures.
  5. Trim the paper around the inside edges of the outlet using the broad knife and utility knife. Replace the plate.

Wallpapering a Bathroom

Use Roller in Tight Places.
Smooth paper behind the toilet.

When wallpapering a bathroom, make sure to choose a paper that will withstand humidity and is durable. Once you have chosen your wallpaper, take a sample piece home, and rub it with a wet sponge to test for colorfastness. Also, if the sample tears easily, choose another paper.

  1. Prepare the walls as you would in any other area. Remove any existing wallpaper.
  2. Remove bathroom accessories such as towel bars and electrical covers.
  3. Wallpaper directly over any brackets that cannot be removed.
  4. Cut an X with your utility knife through the paper covering the bracket.
  5. Press the paper securely around the bracket and trim the excess using a straightedge and utility knife.
  6. Work the paper behind the sink and toilet. To smooth the paper in a tight place, use a small paint roller.
  7. If the area behind the sink or toilet is too tight, brush the wallpaper strip as close to the edge as possible.
  8. Trim the paper around the edge leaving a slight overhang to be tucked between the object and the wall.
  9. Fitting around a pipe.
    Slit the paper from the bottom of the pipe to the floor.
    To paper around fixture collars, slide the collar back. Apply paper as close to the pipe as possible and slit the paper from the bottom of the pipe to the floor.
  10. Smooth the paper around the pipe and trim as close as possible.
  11. Slide the collar back on.

Hanging Wallpaper Border
  1. For chair rail borders, mark a faint line around the room at the desired height. Use a level to make sure your line is even.
  2. Measure the length of one wall and cut a strip of border to fit. Allow a few inches for trimming.
  3. Prepare the strip according to the type of paper you have, prepasted or not.
  4. Start in a corner following the line you marked. Allow about 1/2" overhang. Smooth with a wallpaper brush.
  5. Cut the next strip to match the pattern on the previous strip allowing for a little overlap.
  6. Double cut the overlap with a straightedge and utility knife. Remove excess paper.
  7. Use a seam roller to assure proper adhesion.


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