Reverse alternate lengths diagram

Do I really need to reverse hang my plain wallpaper?

So you’ve picked a super simple looking wallpaper and you figured it would just as simple to hang; it doesn’t even have a pattern to match up. But then you notice this funny symbol with two vertical arrows pointing in opposite directions and the instruction to ‘reverse alternate lengths.’ When the wallpaper is so simple, you might be wondering if this is really something you need to do and what happens if you don’t. In this article we will clarify why it is necessary to reverse hang some wallpapers and how to reverse hang a wallpaper.

Reverse alternate lengths wallpaper symbol

If you are interested in learning more about the different wallpaper symbols, check out our article “Undersatnding Wallpaper Symbols” for an in-depth explanation.

Read Ahead:

  • Why reverse hanging some wallpaper is necessary
  • How to Reverse Hang Wallpaper

  • Reverse alternate lengths comparison diagram

    Why reverse hanging some wallpaper is necessary

    Think of a roll of wallpaper. Depending on the printer that printed it and how it was stored, it is possible that one end of the roll might be an ever so slightly different shade than the other end. This might be because one end has been exposed to more light or because the printer didn’t print completely evenly, but in any case, this is a reality that happens with wallpaper.

    If we, then, just hang a wallpaper normally, without reversing alternate strips, the different colorations will be touching and an obvious line will appear where the seams meet. To counter this, reversing alternate strips of wallpaper will have like colorations touching so that there will be no harsh jumps in tone, leaving your wall with a seamless finish. Of course, the gradation should be much, much, more subtle than in the diagram above and should be almost undetectable if you reverse hang your wallpaper.

    This is actually a pretty fun solution; however, it is important to only reverse hang wallpaper when you have been instructed to do so on the roll

    How to Reverse Hang Wallpaper

    Reverse hanging wallpaper is actually just as simple as hanging wallpaper normally. Just start by hanging the first strip as you normally would. For your second strip, you should then hang it ‘upside-down.’ This means that the end that would normally be on the bottom should be rotated so that it is, instead, hung from the top. With your third strip, you will hang it the same way you hung the first one and you will simply continue to alternate the direction of hanging until the whole wall is covered.

    Reverse alternate lengths wallpaper pin