Hire a Pro Advice: Hang Wallpaper

Get help finding a paper hanger to hang wallpaper and advice about choosing a pattern that's right for your room and decorating style.

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

To find a professional to hang wallpaper ask a friend or neighbor for a referral or ask about installers at the wallpaper store where you shop. If you're working with an interior designer or general contractor and wallpapering is part of a large scale remodeling and decorating project, the designer or contractor will subcontract the work to a paperhanger and bill you for the labor and the wallcoverings you've chosen. You'll also find paperhangers advertise in local newspapers. Online you can find a professional to hang wallpaper at one of the contractor referral websites or go to NGPP.org, the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers, Inc. Go to the Consumer section where it directs you to locate a paperhanger by typing in your Zip code for the name of a paperhanger who works in your area.

It is daunting to walk into a store's wallpaper section and see shelves of large heavy books full of wallpaper. Before going to the store and opening any of those books, sit in the room to be papered and observe the daylight coming in. Consider how the room is used and the sense of place you want to create. Try to visualize the room with stripes, florals, prints or plaids by using fabrics you have on hand, a bedspread or sheet, a tablecloth -- anything to give you an idea of how the color and pattern might look covering the walls. Then use these guidelines to help you choose.

  • To make a room look larger, a wallpaper with a light background is a good choice.
  • Dark colors make a room look smaller.
  • In general, choose a small pattern for a small room and a large pattern for a large room so the design is in scale with the space in the room.
  • For a room with a high ceiling, choose a horizontal stripe or pattern. This will tend to widen the room and lower the ceiling.
  • To add height to a room, choose a vertical stripe or pattern.