When installing wallpaper, you may wonder if each panel should overlap. There are a few answers out there that can make this confusing. So what should you do with wallpaper? In this article, we lay out our research to help you find the right answer!
Wallpaper panels should not overlap, except in the corners of a room. The corners are not always even, so to keep your wallpaper straight, you will have to line the panels up strategically.
Overlapping all of your wallpaper panels will create an uneven surface, so avoid this during installation.
You may be installing wallpaper for the first time or repairing a bad wallpaper job. You might find this task to be intimidating at first. To make things easier to follow, we have laid out some handy tips and a quick and easy guide on how to properly hang wallpaper. Read on for more information!
Should You Overlap Wallpaper?
When hanging wallpaper, you do not want any panels to overlap. The only exception is when you are hanging wallpaper in the corners of a room. In those areas, you want to make the wallpaper plumb. This means that the wallpaper is level.
Level wallpaper will keep the next panels aligned and will make the application more efficient. With patterned wallpaper, you need to be very careful.
When working on corners, a minimum of 1/8 inch overlap will be enough. This is the overlap that folds into the adjacent wall and goes under the first panel on that same wall.
If you find that this area is a little crooked, you can add or trim as much of the overlap as you see fit.
When it comes to the next few panels that cover the flat majority of the wall, they should never overlap. If you are worried about the seams and how to fill them, you can check out the next few sections of this post.
How To Install Wallpaper
Before going any further, you will first need to have at least a basic understanding of what a proper wallpaper installation looks like.
The term for this is "hanging". This can have varied methods depending on the type of wallpaper, room, or paste you have, but the foundations are the same.
Here are the standard steps for hanging wallpaper:
- Clear out your room and walls
- Prepare the wallpaper
- Apply the paste to the back of your wallpaper panel
- Start with the corners (including overlap)
- Hang the wallpaper on the walls (without overlap)
- Finish seams
As mentioned, there are many different types of wallpaper. You can select the variety based on your needs, though most require paste or a type of adhesive to stick to your walls.
How To Hang Wallpaper Without Paste
Wallpaper comes in pre-pasted, unpasted, and peel-and-stick varieties. Pre-pasted and peel-and-stick wallpapers already come with adhesive, while the unpasted does not.
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You can hang unpasted wallpaper by either adding paste to the back of the wallpaper or adding it to the wall.
Depending on the type of wallpaper, it may not be able to handle the weight of the paste. So it is better to apply the paste to the wall with a roller and then add the wallpaper panels after.
Use paste that is specifically made for wallpaper. These are usually starch-based to best adhere to the wallpaper backing. Do not use other adhesives like tape, as this can cause damage to the paper.
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Did you know you can also make your own wallpaper paste? You will have to enough to cover your whole wall and a little extra. You'll be better off making too much than too little, since it will be a hassle to run out of paste in the middle of hanging wallpaper.
The simplest homemade wallpaper paste only calls for two ingredients: cornstarch and water. One cup of cornstarch can make about a gallon of paste. Dissolve the cornstarch in one gallon of water and stir over heat until the mixture thickens.
How To Install Peel-And-Stick Wallpaper
The technique for hanging peel and stick wallpaper is to peel off the backing as you roll the wallpaper down the wall. It is handy to have a putty knife or similar tool with you to smooth down the wallpaper.
Follow the basic steps for hanging wallpaper. However, instead of pasting, peel off a few inches of backing from the top of the wallpaper.
Line this section up with the top of the wall and press it down. Carefully peel off the backing as you go along, pressing the length of the wallpaper so that it sticks to the wall.
Use the putty knife as you hang the wallpaper to make sure it lies flat. This will also push out any air bubbles.
How To Install Wallpaper On A Painted Wall
You should prime your wall before hanging wallpaper. This is a good preparatory step for any type of wall, but it's especially good to do on painted walls. Once the primer dries, it will help the wallpaper adhere.
On the other hand, if you are replacing wallpaper on a wall with freshly removed wallpaper, you should give the wall a good sanding. This will remove any leftover adhesive and wallpaper to prep the surface. Afterward, you should add primer.
How about if you are trying the reverse? You can paint over wallpaper as long as you properly prep and prime. As for laying new wallpaper over old wallpaper, you need to make sure that the old wallpaper is made of porous material.
The wallpaper will not stick to a non-porous surface. If the old layer of wallpaper is coated in a non-porous vinyl coating, then your new layer will not stick. In this case, you have to remove the old vinyl wallpaper before hanging up the new one.
How Do You Get Rid Of Wallpaper Seams?
Proper wallpaper installation with well-aligned panels should not lead to visible seams. If there are visible seams on an otherwise well-done job, they will probably appear right after the paste dries. Visible seams can be a result of tightening as the moisture leaves the paste.
Wallpaper seams make the finished product look uneven. As the wallpaper lifts at the seams, it will may tear.
You can remedy this by carefully brushing paste into the seams. Leave it for a while to let the paste go tacky, and then close up the seams. Clean off any excess.
Wallpaper seams that show up on a painted wall are a little harder to manage. Depending on how bad they look, the difficulty of the fix will vary. Seams that go inward need to be filled, and ones that go outward need to be flattened.
Why Is My Wallpaper Coming Away From The Wall?
If your wallpaper is coming away from the wall, something probably wrong during application. Ideally, the wallpaper should lie flat once it dries. Visible seams are already one indication that there is something wrong with the wallpaper.
There are a few reasons why wallpaper comes off a wall. Here are some of them:
- Poor paste quality
- Poor paste application
- Misaligned wallpaper panels
- Wrong humidity conditions
- Weak adhesive
- Unprimed wall
While this list does not cover everything, these are the most likely causes. Hanging wallpaper is a tricky process, and you will need to get all the conditions right to ensure a clean, successful job.
Should you encounter any issues with your wallpaper such as peeling, you may backtrack on your work and inspect the source of the issue. This way, you can try and figure out what went wrong and attempt to remedy it.
If something is too tough to fix, you can always call a professional for help.
Wrapping Things Up
Wallpaper should not overlap except in the corners of a room. In this case, you can add between 1/8 inch to 1 inch of overlap between wallpaper panels. This ensures that the paper is well aligned.
Well-installed wallpaper will not show any seams. Make sure to use the correct paste and to use enough of it. If you do not want to roll on the paste yourself, you can use peel-and-stick or prepasted wallpaper.
Did you find this post helpful? If you did, check out our other articles!
Can You Paint Over Wallpaper With Any Type Of Paint? [A Detailed Guide]
How Long To Let Primer Dry [Inc. Before Paint, Before Sanding, Before Wallpaper, Or Between Coats]?