How to Install Traditional Non-Woven Wallpaper Efficiently and Beautifully: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn to install non-woven wallpaper with our expert guide, ensuring smooth application and stunning results. 

If you're planning to rejuvenate your walls with wallpaper but need help figuring out where to start, this guide is your go-to resource. From gathering the right tools to the final touches, we will cover everything you need to know to ensure a smooth and successful wallpaper installation.

Gather the Appropriate Wallpaper Tools

First things first, let's talk about what you'll need:

  • Bucket
  • Paint Brush
  • Smoothing tool or a Wallpaper brush: This helps eliminate bubbles and creases.
  • Putty knife or Trim guide: Ideal for tucking the edges of the wallpaper.
  • Level and plumb line: Essential tool for hanging your wallpaper straight.
  • Sponge and warm water: For cleaning and removing excess paste.
  • Sharp scissors and a utility knife: For cutting the wallpaper precisely.
  • Roller and tray: Use a roller and tray to apply the paste evenly to the wall before hanging the wallpaper.
  • Seam roller: Use a seam roller to press down the seams between wallpaper panels, ensuring they adhere well and create a seamless look.
  • Ruler and a Pencil



Preparation is Key

Before you hang your wallpaper, it's crucial to properly prepare your walls. Make sure they're clean, dry, and smooth.

Any holes or bumps can be fixed with a little spackling paste and sanding. Remember, the smoother your base, the better your wallpaper will look.

Draw Your Guide

Draw a straight vertical line from the ceiling to the floor using a level. This line will guide you to ensure that each panel of paper hangs straight, avoiding a tilted pattern, which can throw off the entire project.

Mix Wallpaper Paste

Choose wallpaper paste suitable for non-woven wallpaper, and mix it as per the instructions on the packaging.

Generally, fill a clean bucket with water and slowly add the paste powder while stirring briskly. Leave the paste to stand for the recommended time and stir until it reaches a consistent, lump-free texture.

Apply the Adhesive

Apply the paste directly to the wall using a roller or brush. Covering the whole area with paste is essential because an unpasted spot will create a blister in the wallpaper. Apply the paste approximately one-panel width in advance.



Hang the First Panel

Start at the top of the wall, aligning your wallpaper with the guidelines. Gently smooth the paper onto the wall from the centre outwards using your smoothing tool. This method helps to push out any trapped air bubbles and ensures firm adhesion.




Ensure Pattern Matches

As you hang each subsequent panel, ensure the patterns align at the seams for a seamless look. This might mean you'll need to shift the wallpaper slightly, which is perfectly normal. Carefully match the patterns—it's worth the patience!






Trim and Tidy

Once your wallpaper is in place, trim any excess at the top and bottom using a sharp knife and a putty knife to guide your cuts. This will leave you with clean, crisp edges that look professionally installed.



How to Handle Obstacles when Applying Wallpaper?

Precision is critical when encountering obstacles like light switches or door frames.

Carefully cut the wallpaper to fit, using your putty knife and scissors to make precise cuts around these areas. With each accurate cut, you'll ensure the wallpaper fits perfectly without tearing, which is a testament to your skill and attention to detail.

Final Check

Once all your panels are up, go over them with a smoothing tool. Please pay special attention to the edges and seams, pressing them down firmly to secure them into place.

Wipe down the wallpaper with a damp sponge to remove any excess adhesive and to help the seams settle.

Wait and Enjoy

Wait 24 hours to see the finished results. Sit back and enjoy your newly transformed room!

Key Takeaways

  • Proper preparation of your walls is crucial for a flawless finish.
  • Use a plumb line to ensure your wallpaper panels are perfectly vertical.
  • Carefully match patterns at the seams for a professional appearance.
  • Handle obstacles with precision for a neat installation.

By following these detailed steps, you're well on your way to mastering the art of wallpaper installation. Whether you're going for a bold pattern or a subtle design, the right approach can make all the difference. Need some inspiration? Check out our wallpaper patterns and designs gallery for ideas on transforming your space. Enjoy your beautifully wallpapered room!

Glossary of Wallpaper Installation Terms

  • Adhesive: The paste or glue used to attach wallpaper to the wall. It may be pre-applied on peel-and-stick wallpapers or mixed and applied separately. I personally prefer the traditional wallpaper.
  • Seams: The lines where two strips of wallpaper meet. Proper alignment and adhesion of seams are crucial for a smooth and visually appealing finish. Seams should be matched so that the wallpaper pattern appears continuous.
  • Smoothing Tool: This tool smooths out air bubbles and ensures good wallpaper adhesion to the wall. It can be a brush, a plastic smoother, or a dry sponge.
  • Plumb Line: A line made with a plumb bob or a laser level that ensures wallpaper strips are hung vertically straight. This is crucial for the first strip of wallpaper, as it sets the alignment for subsequent strips.
  • Pattern Matches: Refers to aligning the wallpaper pattern from one strip to the next. Different types of pattern matches, such as straight match, drop match, and free match, require different alignment techniques.
  • Panel (or Panel of Paper): A single strip of wallpaper cut to fit the height of the wall.
  • Putty Knife: A tool used for various purposes in wallpapering, including smoothing down edges, tucking wallpaper into tight spaces, and trimming excess paper with a sharp blade.
  • Straight Plumb: Refers to using a plumb line to ensure that wallpaper panels are hung perfectly vertically.
  • Top and Bottom: These terms refer to the alignment of wallpaper at the ceiling line (top) and above the baseboard or floor (bottom). Proper trimming at the top and bottom is essential for a neat finish.
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