June DIY: Wallpaper Like a Pro

At Avi Urban, we work with tons of experts in many different fields of the home industry to help provide you with tips and advice on your new place.

We recently hung out with one of our awesome experts from Modern Wall Design. Stephen hails from Germany and is an expert in hanging wallpaper. In Germany, wallpaper often goes under any paint finish and those skilled in wallpaper installation often have their ticket and are master tradesman, like Stephen. Fun fact: Stephen once installed a wallpaper that cost $2,000 for one roll!

He recently installed a seriously sweet patterned wallpaper in the laundry room at our Sawyer Silverado show suite, and gave us some insider tips to installing wallpaper like a pro.

Supplies Required:


  • Stephen recommends choosing wallpaper that isn’t pre-pasted, because applying paste yourself usually makes the paper easier to manage (it can react poorly in dry conditions).
  • Make sure you don’t choose actual paper wallpaper. It’s incredibly difficult to work with, even for the pro’s.
  • Stephen’s rule of thumb is that if your wallpaper is over $70 a roll, don’t try to install it yourself and hire a professional. Chances are it’ll save you money and lots of wasted wallpaper in the long run.
  • If you buy a patterned wallpaper and aren’t sure how the pattern repeats, always buy extra.

Hot Water

Paddle or hard roller


Hot Water




  1. Measure your space and mark the center line of the wall: Always think ahead and measure your space before cutting your wallpaper. By measuring the center you’ll be able to work out from that line when hanging.
  2. Lay out your materials, look for a pattern and cut your pieces: Ensure you check for imperfections in the wallpaper and line up the pattern properly. Remember that depending on the roll, you may only be able to use about half of it because of how a pattern repeats, so keep this in mind when cutting your pieces.
  3. Apply your paste evenly: While Stephen uses a special paste application machine (imported from Germany), wallpaper paste from the hardware store and some sponge rollers will do the trick.
  4. “Book” your wallpaper and prep it for hanging: Booking means to fold your wallpaper paste side to paste side for transportation. Start with the top end, making one end longer than the other, then smooth out quickly to ensure no air bubbles form.
  5. Start in the center and hang from the top: The most important step is the first application of the first piece, so make sure you’re ready to go. Remember that pasted wallpaper is movable when it’s on the wall, but you’ll have to move quickly to make adjustments. Use a paddle or hard roller to smooth out the air bubbles and ensure the paper lays flat on the wall.
  6. Hang the rest of your pieces, making sure they don’t overlap: Be gentle and work with the paper, ensuring that they don’t overlap but instead butt up against each other just slightly. When the paper dries and shrinks slightly, this will ensure a nice seam. Remember, no wallpaper is ever seamless so you’ll still be able to see the seams when you’re done.
  7. Step back and enjoy your new wallpaper

Questions for the experts at Modern Wall Design? You can contact them by visiting their website at modernwalldesign.ca or by calling (403)671-6774.