How to Install Vinyl Wall Covering


Vinyl wall coverings are popular for their durability and easy installation. They come in numerous colors, patterns and styles, in wide rolls that reduce cutting and measuring time. Unlike paper and fabric wall coverings, vinyl is washable, which makes it appropriate for kitchens and bathrooms that see heavy use. It's also heavy enough to hide small flaws in drywall. Remove all previous wall coverings and start with a clean, dry surface when installing vinyl wall covering.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinyl wallpaper primer
  • Paint roller and tray
  • Metal yardstick
  • Utility knife
  • Vinyl wallpaper adhesive
  • Smoothing brush
  • Straight pin
  • Pour primer into a paint tray and use a paint roller to apply it to the wall. Work in smooth strokes to fill in tiny flaws and help the adhesive stick to the vinyl wallpaper. Clean and dry the tray and roller after application.

  • Measure and cut the first piece of vinyl with a sharp utility knife and a metal yardstick to guide your cut, leaving 1/2 inch of extra wallpaper to adjust for any errors. Turn the piece over. Pour vinyl adhesive into the paint tray, and apply it to the back of the piece with a paint roller.

  • Apply the vinyl paper to the wall, working from the top line down. Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles as you go with a smoothing brush. Vinyl wallpaper is thicker than other wall coverings, so brush firmly up and down and side to side. Cut the next piece and butt the edges together to form a tight, almost invisible seam.

  • Trim off excess at the bottom of the sheets with the utility knife when you've set three or four sheets. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 until the wall is completely covered.

  • Focus a strong light on the surface when you are finished. Look for any bubbles you may have missed. Puncture them with a straight pin and press out the air or adhesive that is causing the bubble.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the wall is slightly out of plumb leave a small overlap at the upper corners so that the pattern remains straight and matches correctly.
  • Choose a simple pattern to work with if you're doing this for the first time. Complicated patterns may be difficult to match correctly, especially if you're working in an old house where walls are settled and not quite square.

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  • Photo Credit sunburn wallpaper image by Nicemonkey from
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