How to Hang Patterned Wallpaper - Simple 4-Step Guide

Matching up patterned wallpaper is a breeze when you have the right strategy and tools. All you need to get started is the wallpaper pattern of your choice and some wallpaper-hanging essentials such as a utility knife, plumb line, and smoothing tool. 

Before you start hanging wallpaper with a print, visualize the space and work out which way you want the pattern to go. Then, set aside a morning or afternoon to transform the space with the patience and attention to detail that this task requires. 

Step One: Gather Your Tools

You will need the following tools for hanging patterned wallpaper:

  • Patterned wallpaper rolls 
  • A stepladder
  • Wallpaper paste and/or adhesive (if needed)
  • A pasting table (if needed)
  • A wallpaper brush or roller
  • A damp sponge
  • A smoothing tool with a straight edge
  • A sharp utility knife and scissors
  • A plumb line/chalk line to ensure a vertical straight line
  • A level
  • A pencil 

Pro tips: Be sure to buy enough wallpaper rolls to cover your wall space—whether you’re using wallpaper designs for an entire bedroom or a single feature wall in the living room. It’s always better to overestimate wallpaper quantity for pattern-matching and trimming. If you are looking for a simple way to hang wallpaper, you can get peel-and-stick wallpaper that doesn’t require messy glues or pastes. 

Step Two: Prepare and Measure Your Walls 

  1. Make sure the wall where you will hang your wallpaper is clean, dry, and smooth. This may mean patching up any holes or cracks in the wall, sanding it down, or removing old wallpaper. If you are not using peel-and-stick wallpaper, you may also want to prime the wall before you get started. 
  2. Measure the wall to determine exactly how much wallpaper you need. It’s recommended to add at least 4 and up to 20 inches for trimming when working with patterned wallpaper. These extra inches ensure a generous margin for mess-ups. If you are unsure how much wallpaper you will need, you can use a wallpaper calculator
  3. Use the level, plumb line, and pencil to mark where the first panel will go. This ensures that the patterned wallpaper is pasted on your wall in a straight vertical line. The marks should be spaced the width of one wall covering strip minus half an inch from the starting point (doorway or corner) apart. Each time you turn a corner, mark a new line. This will help you align your pattern with greater precision. 

Step Three: Cut Your Wallpaper and Hang Your First Strip

Once you’ve measured the walls:

  1. Cut your wallpaper into strips, making sure that each strip is slightly longer than the height of your wall. 
    1. If you are working with a bold pattern, like our cherry blossoms wallpaper print, cut the wallpaper so that the complete pattern is visible at the point where the wall hits the ceiling or architrave.
    2. Draw the letter “T” on the back of each strip to help you remember which side is up and which side is down. 
  2. After your wallpaper has been cut into strips, apply the wallpaper paste to one side of the strip with a brush or a roller on a pasting table. You can skip this step if you’re using peel-and-stick wallpaper.
  3. Apply the first strip of wallpaper in a straight line, working from left to right. Start at the top of the wall and use your plumb line as a guide. The best place to begin hanging patterned wallpaper is either close to a corner or in the center of the wall if you’re papering a single feature wall. When in doubt, start from the corner of the room. 

Step Four: Matching Patterns

  1. Work out which is the top and which is the bottom of each strip. 
  2. Hold up each strip to the place where the pattern matches and begin to press the wallpaper onto the wall. 
  3. Repeat the process with the rest of the strips. Pay close attention to matching up the pattern as you go. Continue until the entire wall is covered. 
  4. Trim any excess paper with the utility knife. 
  5. Smooth down any edges or seams that need finishing and double-check for air bubbles. 
  6. If you use wallpaper paste, use a damp sponge to wipe away any excess paste. Make sure the wallpaper is dry before moving your furniture back into place or adding any decorations. 
  7. Take a step back and give yourself some major credit for making your house a great place to be!

Elevate Your Walls With Patterned Wallpaper

Hanging patterned wallpaper is easier than you might think. Studies show that our homes contribute to our overall happiness and well-being and a fun patterned wallpaper print could be just what your home needs to make it truly your own!

The most important tricks for hanging patterned wallpaper are to cut the strips so that the motif is complete at the top, make sure each strip is hung the same way around, and take care to match up the pattern as you go. 

Using peel-and-stick wallpaper—such as the type we sell at Mulberry Market—is ultimately the best way to make sure the pattern matches up because you can unstick a strip that didn’t quite work out and simply apply it again!

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