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Tips for Hanging Custom Wallpapers

Over the past few months we’ve had quite a few people calling and asking for installation tips and having problems prepping their walls. As a result we’ve compiled a short but useful list of installation guidelines. If we’ve missed anything that you’re unsure of leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you!

Starting with the basics:

– set up your work space

– strip the old wallpaper (if there is such)

– prep the wall

– hang the new wallpaper up


Setting up your work space

When preparing to hang a new wallpaper in your home or office it’s important to set up a work space. Empty the room of any furniture, paintings, power outlet covers and cover the floor with drop cloth. Don’t forget to turn the electricity in the sockets off!

Once you’ve cleared the room set up a work top where you can spread the wallpaper. This could be just a plywood board atop of sawhorses. Cover the plywood with newspapers if wider than the individual drops so you can spread the wallpaper paste liberally all over the edges.

Once you’re set up make sure your wall is ready for the wallpaper.


Prepping the wall

The first thing to do, of course, would be to take the old wallpaper down should there be one. One way we’ve found that works is by getting the old wallpaper damp and then peeling it off. A bit of a tedious job but one that needs doing nonetheless.

When you’ve completely removed the paper check the wall for any irregularities, blemishes or indentations. One way to go about it is with a flashlight aimed under an angle. Should there be any bumps or old paint spatters you’ll be able to spot them and then even them out with a sandpaper. While smoothing the wall out you’ll also feel any indentations or depressions on the wall that were previously missed.

Repeat the sanding and filling process two or three times for best results. Smoothing the wall out is crucial for wallpaper hanging as any irregularities that have been missed will only be accentuated once the wallpaper is up.

After sanding and filling the wall a lot of people assume they are done and ready for the new drops to be put up. Most installers will tell you that if you want a wallpaper to stay in place without the edges peeling off it’s imperative that you seal it.

We’ve had quite a few queries actually from customers asking if they should or shouldn’t seal their walls. We’ve also had queries as to why their wallpaper is coming off round the edges. Applying a sealer to the wall guarantees that the above won’t happen to you as well!

Unsealed walls and freshly plastered walls tend to absorb the moisture from the paste causing the peeling off of the material. You can buy a prime sealer from a DYI store but a relatively good alternative is using PVA glue or diluted wallpaper paste and wait for it to  dry.

Wallpaper peeling off on a recently plastered wall. No sealer on

Hanging the new wallpaper

Once your wall has dried out you’re ready to hang the new wallpaper or mural up. Custom wallpapers are already cut to fit your walls making the whole process much easier. When applying the wallpaper paste be generous and make sure you don’t miss any of the edges or corners. Once you start overlapping the drops remove the excess material with a dry cloth. When all drops are up cut the overlaps and the excess material at the top and bottom of the wall. Now you’re all done!


To sum up!

For best results stick to these simple  steps:

sand – fill – sand – fill – sand – seal – leave to dry – hang the new wallpaper up – treat yourselves for a job well done!


If you have any questions left unanswered leave a comment and we’ll try and get back to you as soon as we can.

We’ll soon be uploading a blog with tips and step-by-step guidelines for installing a JW Walls mural.