You will finish a lot sooner and probably save yourself a few aching muscles in the process!
If you are applying the adhesive to the paper, start in the middle and then work your way out to the edges. Your paper is going to move around a little so by saving the edges for last you will keep from getting excess paste on the edges or the front.
Your paste should be about the same texture as thick smooth pancake batter. When you add the paste youíll want the layer to be heavy enough to get a good strong grip on the walls but not so thick that the paste puddles. When that happens you'll usually end up with messy bumps and lumps under the paper. Give your paper one last stroke all the way down the center to be certain that every single spot is covered. Then, pick the paper up by one end and fold it over - pasted side to pasted side. When paper is pasted and folded over itself is called ďbookingĒ the paper together. With some papers you need to ďbookĒ them and set them off to the side to relax.
Be sure to keep the table clean as you work, you donít want to get paste from the last section on the front of the next section. After each section is hung wipe down the table and make sure it is dry before laying the next section.
Since we are on the subject of the table, itís important to have a good sturdy table. Preferably one that is easy to clean off. You can also try a large piece of plywood over two sawhorses.
Since wallpaper paste is water-soluble you donít have to worry about permanent stains. The table I have is a really old one that came out of somebodyís garage. You might be able to find an old table at a garage sale. Or if you have an old table try pasting on linoleum flooring, it will clean easily and work well for your paper.
If you are working in a carpeted area of the house be sure to use a drop cloth to protect your carpet from any paste that may splatter or drip from your paint roller. The drop cloth also comes in handy for clean up. Throw all your scrap paper under the table, then when you are through, simply roll up the drop cloth, scraps and all and throw the whole thing out.
More on Clean Up!
Be sure to keep a sponge in a bucket of water under your table so you can wipe all the excess paste off the table. Start in the middle, but make sure to get the table edges clean; paste tends to gather on the edges.
You donít want to move your folded wallpaper because youíll probably drag it through the excess paste on the tableside. So carefully lift up the corner and clean up underneath your paper, then slide the whole piece down to the part of the table you just cleaned and wipe up at the other end.
Paste usually stays wet on the back of your paper for quite a while, so you can paste a couple of pieces before you start hanging. Donít get carried away though and prepare too many sections, the paste will dry eventually and you donít want to get stuck with wallpaper pasted to wallpaper. Remember papers and pastes vary so try testing the paper youíre using to make sure that it doesnít dry out before you hang it.
Pre-pasted papers are growing in popularity. In fact it is getting harder and harder to find non pre-pasted paper. However you might want to go ahead and paste them anyway. Your local hardware store or home center will have paste that is specially formulated for pre-pasted paper. While many pre-pasted papers work fine, some donít form as tight a bond and by pasting them you will get a stronger hold.
Earlier we discussed that ďbookingĒ wallpaper, means folding the pasted sides of the wallpaper over each other. Itís important know that a book of wallpaper is not easy to transport, but you have a few different options:
Try sticking your arm right underneath the book, through the middle of it, so that none of the paste will wind up on you.
Or you can try holding it by both of the top edges on both sides. The paper is pretty tough; and should be able to take it.
Before you start moving your wallpaper from worktable to wall make sure your ladder is close to the wall. Keep in mind what part of the pattern you want at the ceiling line (you donít want to have daisies growing upside down), hold on to the top part of the paper and let the bottom part just fall. By doing this, youíll have two-thirds to three-quarters of the sheet already be paste-side to the wall; the bottom part is still folded under. Rough align the right side of this first panel with the chalk line and press the sheet into the wall Ė near the ceiling line.
Slide it over if you need to adjust it so itís even with your chalk mark.
When youíve finished pressing the paper into the wall with your hands and itís pretty even and pretty smooth, take your brush and use long up-and-down strokes to work out all the air bubbles. You can go side to side; also, to be certain youíve smoothed it out completely.
If you are having problems up at the top and your paper starts drooping. One way to solve the problem, is to simply cut off some of this excess. Itís the added weight that makes that top part fall.
We hope these quick tips will help you next time you are ready to hang some paper.