By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Today's wall coverings do more than cover a wall. The patterns, colors and designs create a backdrop for your furnishings while adding texture and personality to the room. The biggest challenge is going through the stacks of enormous sample books to choose the wall covering that's right for you.
Once you choose your wallpaper, it's time to decide whether you want to hire a professional paperhanger or do it yourself. We recommend you base that decision on the cost of the material and your time and talent.
If you've never hung wallpaper and want to do it yourself, choose an inexpensive paper so you're learning on a Chevy not a Ferrari. Hang it in a bedroom or back room where you can learn by doing, and practice the basic techniques of measuring, hanging and cutting. Make it easy by choosing a room with straight walls - not a bathroom or kitchen with tight spaces and tricky corners to negotiate.
A professional paperhanger will charge $854 to hang a moderately priced wallpaper in a 12-by-15-foot room, which includes labor and material. You can buy the paper and tools and do the job for $200, saving 76 percent.
Figure you'll need more time if you have to remove existing wallpaper or repair damaged walls. If you're papering over new drywall you have to apply a primer/sealer to soak up and seal the paper surface of the drywall. Whether you're do the job or hire a paper hanger, make sure the new drywall is primed before the paper goes on or you'll never be able to remove it without damaging the drywall. If you plan to paint the woodwork and trim in the room, schedule painting before hanging the wallpaper.
If you're buying the wallpaper make sure all the rolls have the same pattern number and dye lot or dye run to guarantee the colors are the same.
Hanging wallcovering is the last phase of redecorating a room so keep that in mind when scheduling the job. That means all the woodwork and trim in a room should be painted before the walls are covered. As the final element decorating a room, the new wallcovering will create an amazing transformation.
Sound too complicated and time consuming? Here's a link to Home Advisor, a free referral service that matches homeowners with local wallcovering contractors.
You can find help calculating how much wallpaper you need for a job by typing "wallpaper calculator" in a search engine.
Watch this video from Brewster Home Fashions How to Hang Wallpaper.
The average price to hang wallpaper noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020