How to Wallpaper a Ceiling
While there is a plethora of information about painting, wallpapering, decorating, and covering your walls, there is little information about ceiling décor. Perhaps you want to freshen the look up in your home, modernize the look, or cover an ugly ceiling. The task may seem daunting, but wallpapering a ceiling on your own is very achievable if you take your time and have the correct tools at your side. You may not have the luxury of additional help, but if you do, don't hold back on inviting your friends or family for assistance.
With any project, having all the tools necessary to get the job done correctly is essential to its success. Each stage of the project, we list the required tools to ensure your new wallpaper installation is a glowing success. This article is a guide on wallpapering traditional flat ceilings. If you have ceiling tiles or dropped ceilings, we have a guide for you! If you need more inspiration before putting one on your ceiling, check out this article!
For this part, with any painting or wallpaper installation, a clean surface is always recommended to give your new ceiling mural a chance to become a work of art. Below are suggested tools:
- Broom or vacuum cleaner
- Clean rags
- Warm water
- Protective gloves
First, move out as much furniture as you can to make cleaning, painting, and installation easier. Ensure you have proper ventilation during the entire procedure as paint, cleaning solvent, or other materials could be harmful to breathe. You'll also want to remove any air vent covers, ceiling or light fixtures as well. **Don't forget to turn off the electricity when doing this step. Remove any dust or cobwebs with either a broom or vacuum cleaner. Depending on the ceiling height, you may need a stepladder to reach the higher points of your ceiling.
Next, take a clean rag or tack cloth and wipe down the surface of your ceiling to catch anything you may have missed with your broom or vacuum. If you find any mold or mildew, with gloved hands, dab the area with some diluted bleach and a clean rag. Stains or spots? Take a clean rag and some warm water to wipe down any hard to clean areas gently. If you do use water or bleach, make sure you give your ceiling 24 hours to dry before the next step thoroughly.
You may ask what painting has to do with wallpapering a ceiling, but painting your ceiling with primer gives you an excellent foundation for your ceiling mural installation. Once your ceiling has dried from any cleaner or water application, you'll need the following to begin the primer step:
- Drop cloths
- Ceiling primer
- Paint roller
- Paint tray
- Painter's tape
Place drop cloths over the entire floor, and over any furniture you did not move out of the room. Tape any edges or trim with painter's tape to avoid getting any primer on them. Using a ceiling primer, paint the entire surface, allowing at least 24-48 hours to dry before wallpaper application. (Note: Ceiling primer is formulated to spatter less and has a flat finish to help hide any cracks or imperfections.)
Measure and Mark
To make sure you have enough wallpaper and to minimize waste, it is best to measure your ceiling to know the square footage you'll need. It is also advised to mark out the placement with a chalk-line or pencil to ensure a straight installation. You'll need the following to accomplish this step:
- Measuring tape
- Pencil or Chalk-line
- Right-angle tool
Measure your ceiling dimensions and confirm wallpaper width. To make installation of wallpaper easier on a single person, try to lay out the wallpaper along the shorter width of the wall. Due to the weight of glued or moistened wallpaper, laying on the shorter side reduces the weight that you need to carry during installation.
Draw the line at your starting point to ensure straight placement. You can use a chalk-line (tack on one side) to snap a guide or use a pencil and make incremental guide marks. Using a right angle ensures your line is parallel to the corner and wall. Once you have your measurements and placement, make sure you allow a few inches for adjustments for pattern alignment.
Installing Your Ceiling Murals
Now to the final step, installing your ceiling wallpaper. To complete the last step, you'll need the following:
- Stepladders (or other scaffolding)
- Large bucket
- Wallpaper Paste
- Pasting brush
- A large table or flat surface
- Wallpaper hanging brush
- Scissors or utility knife
- Putty knife
First, you'll want to build some scaffolding by using a couple of stepladders or renting a scaffold from a home improvement store. This allows you to apply the wallpaper in larger pieces by being able to move along the trestle boards. If you want a different approach, you can depend on a wallpaper hanging brush with a long handle. The choice is yours.
Pour your wallpaper paste into a large bucket, and with a pasting brush, apply a coat where you plan to place your first piece of wallpaper. Using a utility knife or scissors, cut your first piece. Allow yourself a few extra inches to give you flexibility in the fit and alignment of any patterns in the wallpaper. Fold your first piece in a concertina fashion to allow for smoother application, making sure not to crease the folds. Hold the folded wallpaper opposite your dominant hand. Take the top fold and position it with your dominant hand where you applied the paste, aligning it with the marks you made earlier. Smooth the wallpaper down with your fingers until you're satisfied with its placement.t
Once you're happy with its placement, take your wallpaper hanging brush and gently glide along with your newly placed wallpaper. You may want to take a flat edge or putty knife to smooth out any air bubble or excess glue. Using a damp sponge, wipe away any excess glue before it dries. Apply more paste to your next piece, then take the next section and align it with the pattern already in place. Make sure you keep the folds of wallpaper close to the ceiling so as it does not pull away from your application. If it does start to pull away, apply more paste, or make your glue stronger by using less water. As you get to corners and edges, use your putty knife and press along the edges of the wall and ceiling. Trim off any excess paper. After installing your last piece of wallpaper, take a damp sponge and wipe down the entire ceiling removing any excess glue left behind.
Voila! Nothing classes up a room than an elegant ceiling wallpaper. At first, you may have been puzzled about where to start, but hopefully, our sound advice on how to wallpaper a ceiling by yourself allowed you to have stunning results. With time, patience, and some ingenuity, you'll have a beautifully decorated room, sure to please your family and friends.
We wanted to show how adding a mural to a ceiling can put the icing on the cake. Our easy-to-install wall mural material allows you to cover the ceiling walls without any mess or prep protection to the rest of the room. Peel the liner off and stick the mural to the ceiling. Our murals have a unique adhesive that sticks to the ceiling without peeling or falling off.
Here's an example of a real room with a wallpapered ceiling that will spark your imagination!
Like what you see?