How to Install Wallpaper with Glue

Thinking of ways to spruce up your home’s overall appearance? Sure, you can spend your valuable bucks on purchasing antiques or getting new furniture and what not, but there’s only so much they will be able to achieve when it comes to changing the ambience.

On the other hand, there are ways to make minor changes that end up looking much bigger and apparent, like installing new wallpaper. While painting or tiling your walls is surely a great strategy to uplift a room’s appearance, it can turn out to be a hefty investment, both in terms of time and labor. Wallpapers, on the other hand, can easily be installed without professional help.

So, whether you like your walls soft and subtle or dark and bold, here’s a detailed guide on how to install wallpaper with glue.

Here Are All the Tools You’ll Need

  • Your chosen wallpaper
  • Measuring tape
  • Paste/glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Wallpaper brush
  • Putty knife
  • Wallpaper tray/table
  • Clean cloth
  • Level

Step 1: Make Sure Your Wall Is Well-Prepared

In a nutshell, preparing a wall entails that there shouldn’t be any hooks, screws, or nails fixed in it. Moreover, while you use your screwdrivers and pliers to remove any such items, also make sure to turn the electricity off. This is because wallpaper glue activation requires water, and it may as well result in electrocution.

In case your wall is already covered with old wallpaper, do not make the mistake of applying the new one over it. Here’s where your putty knife can come in handy. Use it to scrape old wallpapers off entirely. Since scraping can take a significant amount of time, make sure you schedule the wallpaper application well. In some cases, the scraping process can even take days. Once you’re done removing all traces, make sure to clean the wall thoroughly with a gallon of water and two cups of bleach.

Smoothen any cracks you can see on the wall by applying putty. Make sure not to leave any holes or cracks behind as they’ll have a negative impact on the final outcome.

Step 2: Measure the Wall

Getting the right dimensions is extremely crucial to ensure that your wallpaper fits perfectly. This is where you use the measuring tape to:

  • Note down the dimensions
  • Add an extra 20 cm into the wallpaper you spread out (just to make up for any incorrect measurements

Once you’re done taking the measurements, gently unroll your wallpaper on an even table and draw lines to be able to cut it accurately.

Step 3: Cut and Paste Your First strip

Here’s an important rule to keep at your fingertips at all times: Never apply your glue or paste on the wallpaper. Instead, apply a generous amount on the wall. Not only will it save your wallpaper from sticking to the table where it’s placed but also to itself.

Unless you’re looking for torn wallpaper applied on the wall in a grubby and messy way, you should save yourself the trouble and apply the first strip gently. Make sure to leave about two inches on the top near the ceiling and two inches at the bottom near the floor. Then press your wallpaper firmly by starting from the middle to the edges.

However, don’t be too surprised if you don’t get that ideal finish on your very first attempt. In rare cases, it’s also possible that you may have to peel it off and start over. However, in such a case, make sure to pull the paper away gently when you see wrinkles forming up before you start smoothening it up again.

Step 4: Paste Your Second Strip

Applying the second strip is often much harder than applying the first one, especially if your wallpaper has a certain pattern sequence on it. You’ll not only have to make sure that it’s stuck to the wall properly, but you’ll also have to avoid overlay and match the patterns correctly. In many cases, you can also expect wastage. Again, while matching the patterns may not turn out to be easy, you should aim to get it at least close enough by starting from the middle.

At this point, your focus should primarily be on avoiding overlap and matching the designs, so they don’t appear too uneven. As you apply your second strip, make sure that it meets the first one right at the edge. You may have to repeat some steps again, like leaving a few inches at the top and bottom. However, don’t press too hard on the wallpaper as you don’t want the glue coming out from underneath.

Step 5: Pay Attention to the Corners

This step has to be one of the most important aspects of how to install wallpaper with glue. When your first wall is lined well to the corner, you can start by making an incision with scissors right where the ceiling meets the corner. This way, you should be able to fold the paper easily. Repeat the same step for the bottom where the floor meets the corner, and don’t move on to the second wall yet.

You may have to press the paper with a wallpaper brush or a cloth thoroughly to make sure that it doesn’t pull away from any corner. There are many tricky areas you’ll have to be careful about, like switches and outlets, as you wouldn’t want your wallpaper sticking all over them.

While initially, it’s important that you simply lay the wallpaper over them, do not press it down too much. Later, you can use the scissors to cut the center part out and then try to make it smooth around the socket’s edges. Once your paper rests well on the wall, your outlet shape will turn out to be much clearer. You can then use a knife to cut any excess paper.

Step 6: Don’t Leave the Excess Paper Stuck

While scissors are the most recommended way to cut the excess paper out, you can also use a ruler, a knife, and your free hand, based on your preferences. For some people, using a knife and pushing a rule into the crevice can turn out to be tricky. If that is also the case for you, just rip the indented line using scissors and pull out your wallpaper slightly.

Don’t be Scared to Make Mistakes.

It’s only by messing it up a few times that you’ll learn the art of applying wallpaper flawlessly. If mistakes seem like hurdles, don’t let them be, because fortunately, most of them are fixable. Let’s take a look at some of the most common issues that arise while applying wallpapers and the possible solutions to them.

Edges May Start Peeling

What causes edges to peel? More often than not, it’s the rough surface underneath the wallpaper. What can you do about them? All you have to do is sand the wall down by lifting the area. Then add your paste or glue again and start sticking the wallpaper. If the issue still persists, then you should definitely consider getting another paste brand.

Trapped Bubbles May Start Appearing

At first glance, it may seem like you’ve ruined everything but don’t give up just yet. All you need is some seam adhesive, a glue injector, and a knife to turn it around. Create a tiny incision on the side of the air bubbles, then insert your adhesive through a glue injector and gently press it down. Use a clean piece of cloth to remove any excess glue.

Excessive Cutting of the Paper

Sometimes you may end up cutting out more than what you had planned to while removing the excess wallpaper, but don’t panic because it’s still possible to stick it back. However, this time make sure not to overlap and meet the cut line. Once your wallpaper dries out, the cut will no longer be evident.

Final Thoughts

In the end, while we’re all for applying wallpapers at home, it’s also important to do your research beforehand. It’s possible to mess up calculations or end up with a disappointing result, but that’s alright, especially if it was your first time.

Even though wallpapering your home is not very hard, you must be ready to deal with any mishaps during the process. For one, bubbles and uneven corners are extremely common. The earlier you detect them, the quicker you’ll be able to fix them.

The key is to follow the steps mentioned in this guide on how to install wallpaper with glue and let your hands do the rest. Make sure to choose the right color and pattern that complements your furniture and the rest of the accessories.

All in all, you can either end up with the best or the worst results. However, the latter is only possible if you’ve missed out on any crucial steps stated in the guide. Remember, there are a million ways to experiment with your home décor, and changing your wallpaper is only one of them.

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