Hanging your wallpaper - Etoffe.com

Hanging the wallpaper

For amateur decorators, hanging wallpaper in a room can seem like a daunting task. However, by following a few basic tips and adopting a precise methodology, hanging wallpaper - regardless of which type - is something everyone can try their hand at. 

Learn to hang non-woven papers by some of the top designers, with our video tutorial:



  1. The selection of the wallpaper
  2. The preparation of the walls
  3. Hanging
  4. Finishing touches
  5. Hanging in difficult places

1. The selection of the wallpaper

Some rooms require specially treated wallpapers, to offer specific types of resistance. This is the case in a bathroom, where the wallpaper must offer high resistance to humidity. In certain public spaces or in some companies, paper adhering to fire resistance security standards is required. This is generally indicated in the technical specifications of each product. Depending on your intended use of the room and the condition of the walls, follow our tips to help you choose the right paper.

2. The preparation of the walls

In order to offer good adhesion, the walls must be clean and smooth, and a little preparation is required prior to hanging the wallpaper. This step depends on the condition of the walls and any previous coverings.

New or porous walls

  • Apply a sub-layer of plaster or pre-adhesive 24 hours in advance. This protects the wall and will enable the paper to be removed without damaging the wall. This sub-layer is essential for gypsum tiles.

Painted walls

  • Clean your walls with a special detergent and rinse.
  • On gloss and satin-effect paint, roughen the surface with sand paper so that the adhesive can hold.

Already papered walls

  • Remove the wallpaper using a steam wallpaper stripper or a specific product.
  • o Dilute the product in hot water. o Smear onto the walls and allow to sit for 30 minutes. o Remove the drops of paper using a simple scraper, removing from bottom to top.
  • Take care not to leave any small scraps of paper.

Damp walls

  • Apply a special sub-layer for damp walls, being sure to observe the specified drying time.

Cracks and holes

  • Cover with a strip of adhesive.
  • Level off with filler.
  • Roughen the surface once dry using a very fine sand paper.
  • Remove any dust using a damp sponge.

Tip for dark wallpapers:

  • In order to avoid unsightly white lines at the edges of the drops, which may appear once the paper has been hung, colour in the ends of the rolls with a marker prior to unrolling it.

Tools for hanging wallpaper

3. Hanging

For a traditional wallpaper, you will need to:


Prepare the drops

Prepare the first drop:

  • Measure the height of the wall, excluding the skirting boards.
  • Measure and mark this height on the roll, adding 5 to 10 centimetres for the cuts.
  • Cut the first drop with scissors.

For wallpapers without a pattern at the join, cut the other drops in advance, measuring them against the first drop. Hang the wallpaper taking the join pattern into account.

For wallpapers with a pattern at the join it is advised that you cut the drops as you hang them in order to avoid errors. Add the height of the pattern to each drop and mark the direction.

Types of join:

  • Free join
    There is no join pattern to be followed, e.g. plain papers or vertical stripes. The drops can be hung next to one another without paying too much attention.
  • Straight join
    The pattern lines up along the entire length of the drop. This might be in the form of horizontal stripes, small geometric patterns etc. Make sure to line the drops up correctly when hanging.
  • Offset join
    The pattern extends across two drops, as is the case with a damask pattern. This type of join uses up more wallpaper. The labels state the height of the pattern, which is vital information when calculating the number of rolls required.

NB : It is sometimes the case that a wallpaper has to be trimmed when hanging, which indicates that the drop is bordered by a white margin on each side which is cut on one side only prior to hanging so that it can overlap the non-cut margin on the previous drop.



Hanging the first drop: Use a plumb line to trace a vertical line 50 cm from a window (the width of the drop - 3 cm), which will serve as your starting point. The subsequent drops will be hung successively in the same direction.

Preparation of the adhesive:

  • Prepare the adhesive, following the manufacturer's instructions in order to achieve the right consistency.
  • Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before use.

Applying the adhesive:


  • Wallpaper:
    • Place the drops on the table, patterned side down.
    • Apply adhesive to around half the drop using a brush, from the centre out to the edges.
    • Pay particular attention to the edges.
    • Fold the glued section back on itself without leaving a fold.
    • Then do the same for the other half of the drop.
    • Allow the drop to soak for 5 to 10 minutes (this varies depending on the thickness of the paper).
  • Pre-glued vinyl:
    • Set up a 55-cm-wide tub filled with water.
    • Soak the drop in it.
  • Oriental straw: is hung like a thick wallpaper. Allow to soak for 10 minutes after applying the adhesive to allow the fibres to soften.
  • Non-woven paper: spread the adhesive directly onto the wall with an adhesive brush.
  • Frieze:
    • For application around a door or window:
      • Position the 2 pieces of frieze, allowing them to overlap, taking the pattern into account.
      • Cut the layers of overlapping paper using a cutter and remove the offcuts.
      • Wipe away any traces of wet adhesive.
    • For picture rail-style application, that is, in the centre of the wall: trace a horizontal line using a spirit level and a pencil. This will serve as a benchmark for the application of the frieze.

Hanging itself:

  • Wallpaper:
    • Position the paper at the top of the wall, allowing leaving half of the drop folded.
    • Align the edge of the drop with the plotted starting point, allowing an additional 3 to 5 cm at the top of the wall.
    • Apply the paper to the wall with your hands.
    • Push any air bubbles from the centre to the edges using the brush or a dry cloth.
    • Unfold the second half of the drop while holding the top section in place to avoid it slipping.
    • Press the bottom section down.
    • Hang the subsequent drops, using the previous drop as a guide.
    • Position the drops edge to edge.
  • Non-woven papers:
    • Apply the non-woven paper to the wall, unrolling the roll from top to bottom without cutting it in advance. The non-woven fabric is hung edge to edge, and does not shrink.
    • Smooth out the drop with a brush, pushing out any air bubbles.
    • Leave to dry.
    • Cut the drop at the base of the wall, along the skirting board, using a cutter.

4. Finishing touches

  • Joins:
    • To achieve an invisible join, smooth out the joins with a roller.
    • For embossed papers, use a clean cloth to avoid damaging the relief.
  • Trimming:
    • In order to achieve a clean line along the ceilings, skirting boards etc., trim the paper before the adhesive dries.
    • Carefully cut the paper using a cutter, using the blade of a coating knife as a guide.
    • Position the blade horizontally to avoid tearing the paper.
    • Soak the cutter in a glass of hot water to prevent the adhesive from drying on the blade.

5. Hanging in difficult places


(it is better to make this a two-person job):

  • Fold the lengths of paper accordian-style approximately every 40 cm, and support with a broom.
  • Align the first length, beginning at an angle o Press it down as you apply it.
  • In order to make the joins as discreet as possible, always hang perpendicular to the window.


  • Position the drop so that it runs around the corner of the wall by a few centimetres.
  • Position the next drop so that it overlaps the edge of the corner length by a few centimetres. Use a plumb line to hang this drop.
  • Recut the two layers of paper using the cutter, with the help of a ruler.
  • Remove the offcut while holding the paper with the ruler to prevent the paper from tearing.


  • If it is possible to detach the radiator, split the paper so that it runs around the water pipe and the support brackets.
  • To smooth it out, put a PVC tube or a cardboard box over a broom handle or wrap a clean cloth around a broom handle. Slide it in behind the radiator to press the paper against the wall.
  • Wipe away any traces of adhesive on the paper or radiator.

Sockets and switches:

  • Having disconnected the power supply, remove the cover of the switch.
  • Cut the paper in a cross shape level with the housing.
  • Tuck the folds inwards
  • Reassemble the socket/switch.


In case of doubt contact us on 09 72 30 30 39 for specialist advice.