If you’re looking for a relatively affordable way to change the look and feel of your room, think wallpaper. With a variety of colors, textures and patterns available, wallpaper can add depth, dimension and personality to your space, and with a little research, you can hang most types by yourself. When considering different options, survey your room’s décor and size to start you off on the process, and begin analyzing your own personal tastes for the colors and patterns you’d like to live in. What type of wallpaper material should you pick?
Wallpaper is available in several different materials, each with its own pros and cons. Read on to find out which one meets your needs. Embossed:
Great for covering walls with imperfections, embossed paper is textured and can be painted. It’s easy to clean and hang. Fabric:
This textile based wallpaper is tough to clean and hang, but adds great texture. A special clear paste must be used. Flocks:
This wallpaper consists of a paper or vinyl base featuring a pattern created from velvet-like raised designs. Their detailed aesthetic can be the focal point of the room, however not all types are washable or easy to handle, and it can be difficult to hang. Foils:
This metallic-looking wallpaper will add brightness to a room and works best on clean walls with no damage or flaws. Though it’s harder to hang, it’s fairly easy to clean. Grass cloth:
Woven from long strands of grass, this wallpaper is extremely textural and has an organic quality. However, it’s hard to hang and tough to remove, and you must use clear adhesive to prevent bleeding. Vinyl:
This is the basis of most stock wallpaper. It’s easy to clean, hang and remove, and great for bathrooms. What if you’re wallpapering a ‘high-splash’ room?
If you’re wallpapering a kitchen, bathroom, playroom or nursery, choose a paper that can be easily cleaned, such as vinyl. How do you choose the right pattern?
You want to pick a pattern that not only complements your décor but also the size and shape of the room being wallpapered. If you have other patterns present in the room (for example, on throw pillows or the sofa), you want to be sure to choose a complementary scale. In terms of the room being wallpapered, keep in mind that horizontal patterns will make a room seem wider, vertical patterns will make ceilings feel taller and drop patterns will distract the eye from irregularities, like an oddly shaped room. Should you go with pre-pasted, self-adhesive or non-pasted wallpaper?
This depends on what you feel comfortable working with. Pre-pasted wallpaper is pre-coated with adhesive and requires water or a manufactured activator to activate the paste. With self-adhesive paper, you simply peel the backing off and stick the paper in place without needing paste, water or activator. Non-pasted wallpaper has no pre-paste or adhesive; the manufacturer will specify what type of adhesive or paste you’ll need to hang the paper. How do you know the numbers of rolls you’ll need to finish the job?
Standard wallpaper rolls measure approximately 11 yards in length 20.5 inches in width. Wide width rolls are the same length but measure 27 inches in width. Be sure to measure your space carefully to calculate the number of rolls you’ll need to paper your desired space, then add one extra roll just in case. Be sure all rolls are created equal.
Before papering, take the rolls out of their wrapping and inspect them in natural light to ensure each carries the same hue. To be extra confident that you’re good to go, before purchasing, check that all labels carry the same batch number since colors can vary slightly from batch to batch. How easy will your wallpaper be to remove?
If you’re renting a place or like to change things up often, this is an important consideration and can affect the type of wallpaper you choose. Most pre-pasted and self-adhesive wallpaper is either strippable or peelable with water or specified chemicals. Non-pasted wallpaper is usually the hardest to remove.