How To Properly Hang Wallpaper Border

Wallpaper borders can really add a lot to the beauty and style of your room. The colors and designs available in borders is almost endless, so there’s sure to be something that will fit in with the rest of your rooms decor.

Borders can add definition to plain painted walls and be used as a separator instead of or even with chair rails. Borders were basically designed to be the matching accent for wallpaper, they were intended to provide a finished look at the top of the wallpaper where it meets the ceiling. But, now borders are even used on surfaces other than walls!

Wallpaper borders are still wallpaper, they come in the same materials and even come pre-pasted or unpasted just like wallpaper. You can find almost any design that you need and some will even have tear-away sections that will create scalloped edges or allow the main background of the wall to show through flower petals or other items on the border.

If you’re shopping for border, make sure that you measure your room and take the measurements with you. You can find various widths of border, but depending on the manufacturer the lengths will also vary. Some rolls of border are in 15′ lengths and some may be as long as 30′. The only way to make sure you buy enough is to know the size of your room.

Wallpaper borders are very easy to hang, you hang them in the same way that you do regular wallpaper. Except of course, they go on the wall horizontally instead of vertically. And, since they’re smaller versions of wallpaper, they’re not as difficult to install even by yourself.

Although, if you’re hanging the border by yourself, you really should cut it into sections. The weight of the wet wallpaper isn’t going to allow the paper to just hang there while you get down and move your step stool or ladder. The paper will fall pulling it all off of the wall.

Whenever I’ve hung wallpaper border I generally try to cut it in sections just a bit wider than my arms can stretch out. As long as you continue cutting the next piece off of the same roll, the cut ends will match up perfectly. And, once they’re dry you won’t even be able to see the seams at all.

You will need the same basic tools to hang border as you do when hanging wallpaper. A good sharp utility or wallpaper knife and a smoothing brush. However, if you prefer you can simply use a sponge to gently rub the border against the wall. I prefer the sponge, it’s lighter and just much easier to handle and as long as you rinse it in clean water now and then it works great.

If you bought border that has the tear away edges, you can either remove the edges after the paper is wet or before. My kitchen border had the tear away edge, it has sunflowers and the petals and some of the leaves extend out onto the painted section of the wall. I removed the tear away edge before I wet the border, just because I was afraid once the paper was wet it might tear when I pulled the edge off.

If you bought a pre-pasted border the only other thing you really need is warm water! But, if the border is unpasted, you’ll need to purchase wallpaper paste. You can buy it either pre-mixed or in powder form that you mix water with yourself. If you need to apply paste, you’ll need a large table or counter to spread the border out and you’ll need a brush to apply the paste, although a small, soft paint brush will work fine.

Most people generally wet the border and immediately hang it on the wall, I myself have been impatient and hung wallpaper or border to quickly. You want the border to book, I have no idea why it’s called booking. But, it just means that you want to fold the wet wallpaper so that the pasted sides are touching. You don’t want the pasted side to be next to the design on the border.

Booking is just a process that allows the wallpaper to relax. As the wallpaper or border relaxes it will swell and increase in size. If you don’t give the paper time to do this you’ll end up battling a lot more air bubbles and wrinkles when you hang it on the wall. If the border books on the wall, as it swells it pushes away from the wall and creates the air pockets and bubbles!

While I have always just pressed my wallpaper or border into the corners, smoothed it out and went on til I ran out of border, this isn’t recommended. You should cut the border just so that it reaches about 1/4 inch onto the next wall. Then start the next piece right in the corner overlapping the 1/4 inch you left on the last piece.

Doing your corners in this way will prevent the little gap in the main corner that will usually appear when the paper dries and shrinks! I have gotten lucky many times and the corners have stayed in place, but there’s also been times that if you looked close you could probably stick a pencil under the paper in the corner!