How To Start a Wallpaper Project

How To Start a Wallpaper Project

Posted by Elizabeth Ford on 8th Jan 2018


You’ve fallen in love with a wallpaper you saw on Pinterest... dreamed about it, talked about it, and the decision is made... BUT where to begin?  Wallpaper is an investment in your home, and there are some considerations to be made before ordering your paper and starting your project.

Order a sample of the wallpaper or a few samples of wallpapers that you are considering.   It is important to order wallpaper samples to ensure the color and paper quality is what you want.   Write down the dimensions and repeat of the wallpaper(s).  This can be confusing for someone new to wallpaper.  Wallpaper rolls come in many different widths and lengths.   There are single rolls, double rolls, European rolls and some designers sell by the yard or meter. (See box for details)

Have a paperhanger come out and measure your space.  We recommend using a professional wallpaper hanger, rather than DIY.   Visit the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers at for recommendations in your area.  Your installer should come out and measure free of charge, and will tell you how much wallpaper you will need for your project.  This is an important step!  Typically, wallpaper is not returnable, due to its custom nature, so you don’t want to over order, and be left with extra (although, a little extra is not a bad thing).  Keep in mind, that wallpaper is often produced in batches or dye-lots and the color might not be a perfect match, if not from the same batch, so you also need to make sure you buy enough to finish your project.

You are ready to order your wallpaper... be prepared for some lead-time.  Some companies stock wallpaper and some papers are made to order, most wallpaper designers do a little of both.

Schedule your installation.  Once your wallpaper has been delivered, check that the batch number or dye-lots match, and check for flaws.  Do not cut or install defective material.  Wallpaper cannot be returned if paper that has been cut, or hung.  Wallpaper is returnable if there are flaws in the material.   It's finally time to hang your wallpaper and enjoy your fresh and beautiful space!

Wallpaper guidelines: sizes and lingo

Single roll                          27 inches x 5 yards

Double roll                         27 inches x 10 yards

European roll                     21 inches x 11 yards

Wallpapers sold by the yard or meter can save a lot of wallpaper wastage. You only order what’s needed... not as much left over paper!

Wallpapers with no repeat or a random match are also wallpaper savers.  No wastage when hanging... something to consider.

Repeat:  The length in inches that the pattern repeats down the wallpaper roll (or the distance from the center of one pattern to the center of the next pattern). This is important to consider since you will need the pattern to match up horizontally. 

Match: This is how your paper lines up horizontally. You can have a random match, a drop match and ½ drop or a straight match.