Wallpaper has made a big comeback in home decor. No longer is it a thing of the past, only seen in midcentury homes that haven’t been updated since the 70s. Wallpaper can add colour and personality to any room, whether it’s an accent wall or covers every square inch.
However, for some people applying it isn’t as easy as they thought it’d be. Let’s face it, there are some areas people find difficult to apply wallpaper. This is especially true when there’s a window or door frame. That’s why I’ve put together this tutorial on how to wallpaper around a window.
Tools and Materials
- A damp cloth for cleaning walls
- Rosin paper or drop cloth to protect floors
- Tape measure
- Paste brush
- Putty knife
- Utility knife
A Step-By-Step Guide to Wallpaper Around a Window
There are two different kinds of wallpaper you can use: unpasted and prepasted.
Each has its pros and cons, and what you decide to use will depend on your personal preference.
Prepasted wallpaper already has paste on it, which means you don’t have to put paste on the walls. However, you’ll have to wet the back of your wallpaper before applying it, ensuring you don’t get it too wet. Prepasted wallpaper comes off sooner than unpasted.
Unpasted wallpaper can be messier and more expensive, but it lasts longer. Of course, there’s still the risk of using too much or too little paste.
No matter if the wallpaper is unpasted or prepasted, you need to prepare the walls beforehand. To do this, wipe off debris with a damp cloth and ensure the walls are clean. Next, fill in any holes and then spackle and smooth out any rough areas so your walls are perfectly flat (or as much as it can be).
Remember to always strip away old wallpaper before applying the new wallpaper.
When preparing the room, also be sure to use rosin paper (for hard floors) and canvas drop cloths (for carpet) to protect your floors.
2. Cut Wallpaper
You will have a much easier time if you pre-cut the wallpaper, especially when it comes to applying wallpaper around a window.
Using a measuring tape, measure the wall and add an extra 10-15cm for overhang. This will make the process much quicker and you won’t have to deal with a bunch of extra wallpaper to work with.
3. Paste The Wall
If you’re using unpasted wallpaper, you’ll need to mix the paste and apply it to the wall before you hang the strips. If it’s prepasted, you’ll likely have to spray the back of the wallpaper with water. Either way, always follow the instructions that should have come with the wallpaper you purchased.
4. Hang Strips
Once you’ve made your way to the section of the wall that is by the window, hang the wallpaper so it overlaps the frame by 10-15cm. It’s easier if you start on the right-hand side of the window and work your way across.
Once the wallpaper has been put up around the window, feel for the corner of the window frame and mark it with a pencil, then cut the paper straight across the top and bottom so it’s easy to fold and paste the flap into the window reveal or ledge if there is one. The video below demonstrates how to do so.
If the window has trim around it the process is a little bit different. Instead of cutting the wallpaper straight across, start by making diagonal cuts in the paper from the edge of the overlap to the corner of the trim on a 45-degree angle. Once the wallpaper has been smoothed out with a putty knife, use it to push the wallpaper right up against the edge of the window trim.
Then, with a sharp blade, cut the excess wallpaper off by putting your putty knife up against the edge of the window trim and cut it with your utility knife. The video below gives a good demonstration on how to do this.
Finish wallpapering above and below the entire window frame.
6. Continue Rest Of The Room
Once you’ve made your way around the window you can continue wallpapering the rest of the room!
7. Let It Dry
Before you start hanging things back up on the walls or putting furniture back in place, please wait at least 24 hours for the wallpaper paste to fully dry and set. Most of the time wallpaper should be dry by the next day but better to be safe than sorry! When wallpaper is still wet it can rip easily and all your hard work will be ruined.
Wallpaper is a fantastic way to add personality and colour to your home, but when it comes to wallpapering around certain areas, like windows, it can be a little tricky.
I hope this guide gives you the confidence to go ahead and put up wallpaper anyway. Once you start, you’ll realize it isn’t all that difficult and the finished look will be so worth it.