A Step-by-Step Guide to DIY Roman Wallpaper Installation


Roman shades are timeless and elegant, adding a touch of sophistication to any room. But what if you could achieve that same classic look with the ease and versatility of wallpaper? Enter Roman wallpaper – a beautiful and surprisingly DIY-friendly option!

This guide will walk you through installing Roman wallpaper and transforming your space from bland to beautiful in simple steps.

Before You Begin: Gather Your Supplies

Preparation is vital to a smooth installation. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Roman wallpaper: Choose a design that complements your decor. Consider factors like pattern repeat and the number of rolls needed for your wall size.
  • Primer: Ensure your walls are clean, smooth, and primed for better wallpaper adhesion.
  • Measuring tools: Tape measure, level, straightedge
  • Cutting tools: Sharp utility knife, scissors (optional)
  • Application tools: Smoothing tool (plastic or felt), spray bottle with water, sponge, seam roller.
  • Optional tools: Wallpaper paste (for non-pre-pasted wallpaper), wallpaper activator (for pre-pasted wallpaper), stepladder

Step 1: Wall Prep is Essential

  • Clear the Canvas: Remove any furniture, pictures, or wall hangings from the area. Cover your floors with drop cloths to protect them from debris.
  • Clean Up Your Act: Wash your walls with a mild soap and water solution to remove dust, grease, or residue. Let them dry completely before proceeding.
  • Prime Time: Apply a coat of high-quality primer suitable for wallpaper. This creates a smooth surface for better adhesion and a flawless finish. Follow the drying time recommendations on the primer label.

Step 2: Measure Twice, Cut Once (Literally)

  • Measure Up: Using your measuring tape, determine the height and width of the wall you cover.
  • Factor in the Drop: Add 2-3 inches to the height and width for any pattern repeats and potential trimming at the top and bottom.
  • Mark Your Spot: Using a level and pencil, lightly mark a straight line on the wall where the top of your wallpaper will be. This will serve as your guide during installation.

Step 3: Unroll and Match the Pattern

  • Lay it Out: Carefully unroll the wallpaper on a clean, flat surface. Identify the pattern repeat and ensure the design flows seamlessly across the width of the wallpaper.
  • Cut to Size: Using your straightedge and utility knife carefully cut the wallpaper to the desired length based on your measurements.

Step 4: Prepping Your Wallpaper (Depends on the Type)

  • Pre-Pasted Wallpaper: These wallpapers come with adhesive already applied on the back. According to the manufacturer’s instructions, you’ll need to activate the paste using a wallpaper activator spray.
  • Non-Pre-Pasted Wallpaper: You’ll need to apply wallpaper paste according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spread the paste evenly on the back of the wallpaper, ensuring all corners and edges are well coated. Let the wallpaper sit for the recommended time to allow the paste to activate.

Step 5: Installation Time!

  • Helping Hand: Grab a friend to assist you with this step. It’s much easier to install wallpaper with two people.
  • Start at the Top: Carefully fold the top section of the wallpaper about 6 inches inwards (like a book). This will create a clean edge at the top that aligns with your marked line.
  • One Person, One Side: One person should hold the unfolded top section of the wallpaper against the wall, aligning it with the marked line and ensuring its level.

Step 6: Smoothing Things Out

  • The Other Person’s Job: The other person should slowly unpeel the remaining wallpaper from the folded section, pressing it gently onto the wall.
  • Squeegee Away the Bubbles: Use a smoothing tool (plastic or felt) to gently smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles as you work your way down the wall.
  • Work Your Way Down: Continue unfolding the wallpaper a section at a time, pressing it firmly onto the wall, and smoothing out any bubbles.

Step 7: Trimming the Top and Bottom

  • Sharp & Steady: Once the entire length of wallpaper is in place, use your utility knife and a straightedge to trim the excess wallpaper at the top and bottom carefully.
  • Precision is Key: A clean and precise cut will ensure a professional finish.

Step 8: Seams Like a Dream

  • Matching Up the Pattern: You’ll likely need to create seams where two pieces meet for patterned wallpaper. Carefully match the pattern at the seam for a seamless look.
  • Rollercoaster Ride (Not Really): Use a seam roller to gently press down on the seam, ensuring a good bond between the two pieces of wallpaper.

Step 9: Cleaning Up the Mess

  • Wipe Away Excess Paste: Use a damp sponge to remove any excess paste residue from the wall surface and around the edges of the wallpaper.
  • Let it Breathe: Open windows and doors to allow the wallpaper to dry completely. This can take several hours, depending on the type of wallpaper and humidity levels.

Step 10: Finishing Touches

  • Corner Time: Use your utility knife to trim any excess wallpaper around corners or near outlets.
  • Standing Ovation (for Yourself): Take a step back and admire your handiwork! You’ve successfully installed Roman wallpaper and transformed your space.

Bonus Tips for Success

  • Read the Instructions: Every wallpaper brand might have slightly different recommendations. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific application details.
  • Double-Check Measurements: Taking precise measurements beforehand saves you time and frustration during installation.
  • Start with a Small Project: If you’re a DIY newbie, consider practicing on a smaller, less noticeable wall before tackling a larger area.
  • Patience is a Virtue: Don’t rush the process. Take your time, ensure everything is level and smooth, and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.

With some planning, these steps will guide you toward a successful Roman wallpaper installation. So unleash your inner DIY enthusiast, embrace the elegance of Roman wallpaper, and get ready to transform your space into a haven of classic beauty!

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