How to Wallpaper a Corner Properly & Securely

You may have mastered the art of wallpapering a flat wall, but do you know how to wallpaper a corner? Though tackling inner and outer corners is another skill to get to grips with, it's not difficult once you know how.

How to Wallpaper Inner Corners

If you are one of the people embracing the boom in home improvements since the pandemic—annual spending on improvements and repairs to owner-occupied homes rose 24 percent between 2019 and 2021—getting your wallpapering job just perfect will be an important step for achieving your dream interior.

Because inner corners aren’t usually perfectly vertical, it can be tricky to paper around the corner. If your corners aren't straight, it may change the orientation of your paper and cause the paper not to sit perfectly straight on the next wall. Luckily, there's a solution for hanging wallpaper on these types of walls. Follow these steps to wallpaper insidecorners:

1. Measure the Wall Carefully

Measure the distance from the edge of the last piece of wallpaper to the corner you wish to paper. Measure this distance in at least three different places down the wall. Cut the strip to the longest length you measured plus 1/4 inch.

2. Paste and Hang the Paper

Paste the paper, paste the wall, or remove the backing if using peel-and-stick wallpaper. Hang the drop as you would anywhere else and use a wallpaper smoothing tool to smooth the paper toward the corner. Trim any excess that overlaps too much onto the adjoining wall, making sure that you make a straight cut. Trim the excess from the top and bottom as usual.

3. Ensure the Next Drop Is Straight

Use a plumb line to mark the adjoining wall and hang the paper against that line. You can use the offcut from the last piece or a full width of wallpaper. Measure the width and add a 1/4 inch for a slight overlap. Match up the pattern as well as you can and smooth the paper using a smoothing tool or seam roller. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any excess paste, if relevant.

Pro Tips:

  • Peel-and-stick wallpaper offers two important benefits: It takes away the messiness of dealing with paste, and allows you to try again if things don't go to plan. Many people prefer peel-and-stick wallpaper for these reasons.
  • If using wallpaper paste, apply some paste to the corner itself before wallpapering corners to help the wallpaper stick perfectly into the curve.
  • If the paper creases as you ease it into an inside corner, make a very small cut at the crease and continue.

How to Wallpaper Outer Corners

Follow these steps to achieve a perfect outer corner on normal walls or chimney breasts:

4. Measure Up

Use a tape measure to determine the distance from the edge of the last strip to the corner. Measure at the top, middle, and bottom of the strip and add 1/2 inch to the largest measurement.

5. Cut the Strip

Cut the strip lengthwise to the largest measure.

6. Hang the Paper

Hang the strip, smoothing it carefully toward the edge of the corner. Cut the paper at the ceiling and the baseboard. Wrap it around the adjacent wall and trim the excess.

7. Allow for Overlap in the Next Piece

Hang the next strip, allowing for a 1/2-inch overlap.

Pro Tips:

  • If your walls are crooked, add 1" to the distance between the last strip and the corner. The extra 1" should wrap around the corner. Add 1/2 inch to the next piece and overlap it with the corner piece.
  • If you want to end the paper job at an outside corner, trim the last strip 1/8" away from the edge to prevent fraying.

Additional Tips & Tricks

These are a few additional tips for wallpapering corners:

Which Corner Do You Wallpaper First?

The easiest place to start is the corner that will give you the fewest problems. Avoid corners with extra obstacles like a window frame or a light switch if possible. Choosing a corner with an uninterrupted drop will allow you to create a straight edge to use as a basis for your next drop.

How to Wallpaper the Chimney Breast

Wallpapering a chimney breast is no different in principle or in technique from papering any other wall in your home. The most important consideration is where to start, but this is often dictated by the size of the wallpaper pattern; large patterns like this vintage chrysanthemum wallpaper must be placed carefully. As long as you place the first piece exactly in the middle using a plumb line to ensure accuracy, you will be able to add the other pieces of wallpaper just like on any other wall.

Do You Need to Overlap Wallpaper on Corners?

The simple answer is yes. That's because corners aren't usually straight. So when wallpapering corners, it's important to ensure that the drop stays vertical and parallel to the other drops. 

Another risk you run if you don't overlap is that when the paper dries, you may be left with a gap that exposes the wall underneath. This can be an issue withpatterned wallpaper, so be sure to leave enough paper for an overlap.

How to Master the Double-Seam Cut

A steady hand and the right tools are all you need to do the perfect double-seam cut in a corner or elsewhere. You will need a sharp blade, wallpaper edge trimmer, patience, and precision to make a neat straight cut through both sheets of paper.

Don't Be Intimidated by Corners

Wallpapering can be a daunting task for absolute beginners, but it doesn't have to be! Whether you're tackling your first inner or outer corner or even your first straight wall, having the right tools and the will to change your room is enough to transform your living space.

Choosing a beautiful paper can truly change a room and the way you feel when you're in it. With the invention of peel-and-stick wallpaper, there's even less reason to worry—if things don’t go according to plan, you can simply remove the drop and try again!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You may also like

View all
Example blog post
Example blog post
Example blog post