An Easy Step by Step Guide to Hanging Non-Woven and Paste-the-Wall Wallpapers
With the development of non-woven wallpaper, installing wallpaper is now easier than ever – I really mean it! Non-woven is an incredible material that is flexible and easy to work with, yet strong so there’s no risk of wrinkles or tearing while working with it. But the main difference between non-woven and paper material wallpaper, is that with non-woven, you can apply the paste directly to the wall and then simply stick the dry wallpaper to it; no more pasting tables and soaking times. As well, the synthetic fibers of non-woven material aren’t absorbent like paper is, so the strips won’t grow when wet with adhesive, shrink when drying or wrap in anyway. So to whoever picked a non-woven wallpaper – good choice! Keep reading to get into the details of how to hang a non-woven or any other paste-the-wall wallpaper.
Before you jump into hanging the wallpaper, it's a good idea to double check that you bought enough wallpaper and that you have all of the necessary supplies you might need. Also, it's important to have already prepared your space and walls, as well as, prepared your strips of wallpaper by pre-cutting them.
How to know if the wallpaper is paste-the-wall?
To know if this guide applies to your situation, look for the paste-the-wall symbol that should be on the label of the wallpaper roll. Knowing that the wallpaper is ‘non-woven’ is also enough to assume a paste-the-wall hanging technique in 99% of cases.
Note that paper wallpapers are hung differently than non-woven material wallpapers! Please see our guide, “[Guide] How to Hang Paper & Other Paste-the-Product Wallpapers ” if you have one of these types.
1 - Find Wallpaper Direction
Depending on the pattern you’ve chosen, there might be a top and a bottom to your wallpaper, and not all wallpapers will be rolled on to the roll in the right direction! The last thing you want is upside-down birds on your walls – so make sure you know which ends are up and down!
2 - Mix & apply paste starting closest to the light source
Some classic wallpapering advice is, on each wall, start wallpapering closest to the window or other main light source. This will ensure that any unintended overlapping at the seams is unnoticeable as it won't cast a tiny shadow.
Mix your adhesive now and when you are ready to hang your wallpaper, only apply adhesive to the wall before hanging each strip (not the whole wall at once!) as the adhesive evaporates rather quickly. When hanging the wallpaper, you should notice that you are able to “slip” it around on the wall a bit – this is a good thing and is how you will straighten the strip perfectly. If there isn’t this mild slippery feeling, you probably haven’t applied enough paste and should now do that, but be careful not to overdo it, the walls shouldn’t be so slippery that the wallpaper just melts off of them. Non-woven is a great material that is strong and flexible, making adjusting it on the wall practical with little risk of rips or wrinkles.
Smooth out the bubbles as you hang the paper
3 - Hang the wallpaper
Go to hang your first strip now, starting from the top and lining it up to the vertical line you drew earlier on one side. Remember to never trust the walls or ceiling in your room to be straight or level; always follow your plumb lines and even double check with a level as you are hanging. Something slightly off-kilter at the beginning might not seem like a big deal, but this will only grow exponentially as you continue to the other side of the room. So, once the wallpaper has been anchored to a plumb line on one side, use your smoothing tool of choice (smoothing brush, dry foam roller or a plastic smoother) to gently work the top of the paper on to the wall to the other side while also smoothing out bubbles. Don’t just hang the wallpaper then work with the bubbles; better is to smooth the bubble out as you hang the wallpaper. Always be checking that the wallpaper hasn’t shifted from the plumb line and don’t worry about trimming the top and bottom until the wallpaper is secure on the wall and all of the bubbles have been removed.
Non-woven wallpaper is the easiest type of wallpaper to hang. A big reason is because it’s non-absorbant and doesn’t expand or shrink when the adhesive is applied. That means that you can expect it to stay as you’ve hung it with no guess work at all.
4 - Remove Excess Paper & Paste
After hanging each strip, you should trim the excess paper from the top and bottom by jamming the joint knife or metal ruler into the corner and cutting along it with a sharp razor. This is also a good time to wipe away any paste that may have made its way onto the surface of your wallpaper. In between hanging each strip, do a little clean up, making sure that all of your work surfaces (the floor or table) and your hands are free of sticky stuff – this will keep things from getting too chaotic.
5 - Dry Wallpaper Slowly
Once you’ve finished wallpapering your space, as tempting as it might be to open a window to allow it to dry faster, you must actually dry the wallpaper rather slowly. Should your wallpaper be exposed to intense drafts or dry heat, the glue around the edges can evaporate to quickly, causing the edges to peel. The ideal setting for drying wallpaper is actually 20◦c with no drafts.
- Non-woven and paper wallpapers are hung differently! Non-woven is paste-the-wall while paper is paste-the-product.
- Preparing your wallpaper strips for each wall before you start handling the paste is easier and will also give you a chance to check for defects and that everything lines up and is well planned.
- Never trust your walls or ceiling to be straight and always use a level or plumb bob.
- Wallpaper needs to dry slowly so don’t even think about opening the windows to speed up the process!
Happy wallpapering and let us know how it goes in the comments below! p>
For some extra hints on what not to do when hanging wallpaper, check out our article “8 Most Common Mistakes People Make When Hanging Wallpaper”.