Wallpaper Made Easy
This type of ultra-sturdy wallpaper comes with adhesive already on the back, so all you have to do is activate the glue with a damp sponge before installing it.
How to hang it: "Lay a strip on a table, dip a large sponge in a bucket of water, and wet the entire strip," says Scott Mulhern, a professional paperhanger in Hopewell, New Jersey, and the 2007 winner of the Winning Walls with Wallcovering award for residential work. "It will take to the wall beautifully." Wipe off excess paste that may seep from the edges with a clean, damp sponge.
Keep in mind: Be gentle when sponging water onto the paper. Overzealous rubbing can remove the adhesive.
Shown: Antoinette Damask by Blue Mountain Wallcoverings, $29 a roll*, 866-563-9872 for locations.
* Single rolls measure 34 to 36 square feet.
By applying wallpaper paste (about $15 a gallon at home-improvement stores) directly to the wall, you can hang dry paper straight from the roll, saving time and ensuring less mess.
How to hang it: Starting at the left-hand side of the wall, use a roller to spread the wallpaper paste evenly on the wall for the entire length of the strip and a bit wider than the paper's width. Unroll about a foot of paper and position the top edge near the ceiling. Smooth the paper with a wallpaper brush ($3 at home-improvement stores), 10 to 12 inches at a time, as you unroll the paper.
Keep in mind: Don't paste the whole wall at once or the glue will dry and the wallpaper won't adhere.
Shown: Joli Trail in Aqua by Thibaut, $66 a roll,
thibautdesign.com for locations.
Vinyl peel-and-stick wallpaper adheres to any clean, smooth, dry surface. It's "like a stronger version of a Post-it note," says Patrick Walker, president of 4Walls, a wallpaper firm in Cleveland.
How to hang it: Start at the ceiling and work your way down. "Don't take the backing off all at once," says Robertson Hartnett, a cofounder of twenty2, a wallpaper firm in New York City. "Remove a foot at a time, adhere the top portion to the wall, and peel away the backing as you go so that it doesn't stick to the wall where you're not working." Smooth out bubbles with a wallpaper brush. To fix large bubbles, lift and reapply. These papers are sticky enough to withstand repeated positioning.
Keep in mind: Self-adhesives are reusable, so save the backing in case you need to store the paper for a future application.
Shown: Black Jack and Ghost Stripes by Brewster, $12 for each 16-by-6 1/2-inch strip, wall-pops.com for stores.