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How to Hang New Wallpaper Over Old Wallpaper

When moving into an older home, finding remnants of previous occupants’ wallpaper isn’t uncommon. Stripping old wallpaper is a time-consuming task you may be able to avoid. If the existing wallpaper is firmly adhered to the walls and has a smooth texture, free from any embossing, raised embellishments or flocking, you can add a fresh layer of wallpaper over the old by following tips and tricks used by the pros.
1.Remove any nails from the walls. Wash the walls down using a weak solution of warm water and dish detergent. Allow to dry completely.
2.Cut away pieces of existing wallpaper that have peeled or bubbled using a utility knife. Repair any imperfections or indentations in the wall with nail hole filler, applying the material with a putty knife. Lightly sand the repaired areas when completely dry.
3.Use a level to draw a straight, vertical line down the center of the wall. Avoid drawing the line along any existing wallpaper seams.
4.Measure and cut the first strip of wallpaper, allowing at least 4 inches of excess on the top and bottom. Use a straight edge and utility knife to cut the strips cleanly and evenly. Lay the paper face down on the table. Apply an even coat of adhesive across the entire back side of the paper. Loosely roll the paper with the adhesive side out.
5.Using the ladder, apply the wallpaper by unrolling it slowly and pressing into place with the sponge. Begin at the top of the wall and guide your paper to ensure the outside edge lines up to your pencil marks. Leave a 2-inch overhang of paper at the top of the wall to be trimmed after all paper has been applied.
6.Work out any bubbles in the paper using the smoother. Work from the top down and from the center out. Use gentle, even strokes until the paper is smooth and firmly adhered to the wall.

7.Follow the same steps with subsequent strips of wallpaper. Use the first strip of paper to line up the second, butting the edges tightly together without overlapping them. Use a seam roller to press butted seams in place.
8.Use the utility knife to trim excess paper from the top and bottom of the wall. Run the seam roller over the top and bottom edges to ensure tight adhesion after trimming.
Things You Will Need
  • Tape measure
  • Ladder
  • Wallpaper
  • Adhesive
  • Adhesive brush
  • Work table
  • Utility knife
  • Straight edge
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Bucket
  • Dish detergent
  • Sponge
  • Putty knife
  • Hole filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Wallpaper smoother
  • Seam roller
  • Choose a high quality wallpaper that is not pre-pasted. These papers tend to be thicker and heavier making them better suited for installation over existing paper.
  • Ensure wallpaper rolls are from the same dye lot for consistent colors and patterns.
  • Use a piece of plywood to protect your worktable and provide a stable cutting surface for sizing wallpaper strips.
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