The Hassle-Free Way to Hang Wallpaper
Paste (specific to your paper type)
Foam paint roller
Work surface (such as a dining table)
Wallpaper (try vinyl-coated with a free match pattern — no design to line up!)
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Make a date: Wallpapering is a two-person job, says Frank Fontana, a designer on HGTV. Measure the length of the wall and multiply that number by the room's height to determine how many rolls you'll need. (A standard roll is 15 feet.) Remove everything from the walls and spackle any holes. Then give the entire wall a wipe-down with a damp sponge.
Measure your wall and divide its width by the width of the paper to determine how many strips you'll need. Cut paper into strips six inches longer than the wall's height, to allow for shifting to match patterns. Use a level to make a plumb vertical line at the wall's midpoint — you'll align the paper with this straight line rather than your likely uneven ceiling.
Lay your paper pattern-side down and use a paint roller to apply a thin, even layer of paste to the back, making sure to completely cover the entire surface, including all edges.
Gently fold the strip into thirds by bringing the two ends toward the center (don't overlap them), being careful not to crease the paper. Allow to set for 10 minutes. This technique, known as booking, will help the paper absorb the paste and make it easier to manipulate on the wall.
Unfold the top half of the booked strip, lining it up with the plumb line and overlapping the edge at the ceiling by about three inches. Smooth the paper outward and downward with a wallpaper brush to remove air bubbles. Once you reach the middle, unfold and smooth down the bottom half.
Paste doesn't stick immediately, so you can shift the paper until the seams match and the design is straight. Then, trim excess paper at the top and bottom with the utility knife.
Clean off any visible paste from the seams and surface of the paper using a damp (not wet) sponge. Let dry for at least 48 hours before hanging anything on the wall. Our pick: We used Thibaut's Julian wallpaper in the cream and metallic color scheme ($52 per roll; thibautdesign.com for store info).