How to Put Up a Wallpaper Border

Whether you’ve got a beautiful-but-plain painted room which needs a boost, or a half-and-half room in need of something to separate your patterns, a wallpaper border might be the best solution for you.

Image shows an unmade bed with a soft pink throw on top. Behind the bed is a wall with a pink and grey thick border and then a window with dazzling sunlight to the left.

Hanging a border might seem a little intimidating, especially if you’ve spent a long time getting the rest of the room how you want it, but our handy how-to guide is here to make sure you get a fabulous finish and the straightest of straight lines. Read on…


  1. Decide where you want the border. There are no rules here, just your own personal style and taste.
  2. Clean the area with a warm, soapy cloth, ensuring there is no dust, damp, mildew or anything else on the wall which might stop it sticking. At this point, if the wall is painted, you could sand the paint which could help the border adhere, but this isn’t essential.
  • Fix any imperfections in the wall with filler and sand this down once dry to give a smooth finish.
  1. Measure the length of all of the walls or space where you want the border. Go tightly into any corners and add at least 15% to allow for pattern matching and any tears in the paper.
  2. Use a measuring tape, a spirit level and a pencil to mark what will be the TOP edge of the paper.
  3. Then, using the width of the paper, measure and mark where the BOTTOM will lie.
  • Cut the first strip of paper, using the wall length and then adding approximately 3-4 inches in addition.
  • Prepare the paper according to the manufacturers’ instructions (either pasting it or soaking it if the paper is already covered in adhesive) and then reverse roll the paper, so that the pattern faces inwards and the plain side faces outwards.
  1. Working your way outwards from the least visible corner, slowly and carefully roll the paper out, following the lines you marked and smoothing the paper as you go to remove any air bubbles.
  2. Once you get to the next corner, press the paper as far in as possible and score the paper to mark the corner. Cut or slice the paper so that it fits exactly into the corner.
  3. Cut the next piece of paper, allowing for the 3-4 inches and allowing for pattern matching. Follow the above step and make your way outwards.
  • Once you’ve finished all walls, wipe away any glue and mess that’s been made.
  • Marvel at your finished walls and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
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