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How to Hang Wallpaper on a Ceiling

Add texture and style to a plain ceiling by applying embossed wallpaper.

More in Home Improvement

Embossed Ceiling
  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate

Here's How To Do It:

Step 1: Prep and Measure

Before wallpapering the ceiling, make sure it is clean. Apply a special primer specifically made to work with wallpaper. It is designed to reduce the amount of glue damage should the wallpaper ever be removed. Use a standard paint roller to apply the primer.

Determine your vertical start line for the first strip of wallpaper. This is done by measuring the width of the wallpaper then using that measurement to determine the placement of your starting point (usually from a corner). You can use a level, yardstick or a plumb line tool to make the vertical start line.

Measure the distance from one side of the ceiling to the other. Use that measurement to determine the length of wallpaper you’ll need. Add an extra four inches to this measurement so you can match up the wallpaper’s repeating pattern.

Step 2: Gluing and Booking

Pour the wallpaper glue into a paint tray or a paint pail. Use a 3-inch paintbrush to apply the glue to the back of the wallpaper. Bend down and look across the wallpaper from different angles to see if you’ve missed any spots.

Once the glue is evenly applied to the back of the wallpaper, immediately begin to “book” the wallpaper by folding the glued side in half over itself. Once folded, let the wallpaper sit for about 5 minutes to let the glue set.

Booking The Wallpaper

Step 3: Apply to the Ceiling

Using a ladder or better yet, scaffolding (can be rented at a home improvement store or rental store), begin applying the wallpaper along the vertical start line. This is a two person job. One person will place the wallpaper along the vertical start line while the other person holds the wallpaper waiting to be hung, either by hand if on scaffolding, or with a dry mop from the ground.

Step 4: Sponge Out Bubbles

As you hang the paper, you may notice some bubbles showing through. Using a damp slightly soapy sponge, run the sponge along the wallpaper to push the bubbles out and smooth the paper. The sponge also serves to clean excess glue off the wallpaper. Continue to sponge the wallpaper as you hang it.

Sponging Ceiling

Step 5: Line Up the Seams

After you have hung your first strip, and cut the excess wallpaper off at the end, continue the process. Make sure you line up the seams correctly so the pattern is continuous.

Close Up Embossed Wallpaper

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