How to Hang Lining Paper – A Step-by-Step Guide

You’d think hanging lining paper would be a pretty straightforward task, but these things can be confusing for first time DIYers. If you’re in this boat, don’t fret. With our quick and easy guide, you’ll soon be able to hang lining paper wherever you want. Check out the materials and tools checklist for everything you need to get started, then read on for our step-by-step guide for the best way to hang lining paper. 

What you’ll need


  • Lining paper
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Sugar soap 
  • Water 


  • Step ladder
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Bucket
  • Pasting table
  • Pasting brush
  • Paperhanging brush/ smoother
  • Sharp knife
  • Metal guide

How to hang lining paper in 6 easy steps

1. Check your arsenal

The first step is to make sure you have all the correct materials and tools. After all, you can’t start the job without them. Doing so could mean you have to stop and start all over again. So, before you even put on your scruffs, double check our materials list to be sure you have everything to hand.

This is also a good time to remove furniture from the room or cover it with a dust sheet. We’d also suggest covering your floor with a protective sheet in case of spills.

2. Prepare the walls

Next, it's time to prepare your walls. Most people will need to do this step, but you can skip it if you feel like it's not needed. Although lining paper will cover minor imperfections and small cracks, you’ll need to fill in any major holes or cracks on your walls before applying it. Once filled, sand down the filler so it’s as flat as possible, then clean the wall down with a sugar soap solution to remove any dust and debris. This will help to ensure that your paper adheres to the wall properly once dry.

You should also remove any pre-existing wallpaper and check for any mould before applying the lining paper. If this step isn’t taken, the mould may grow onto the paper and ruin it, which isn’t what anyone wants. If it is a serious problem, you may need to speak to an expert.

3. Apply wall primer

Step three is to seal the walls if you have new plaster on your wall. A wall primer is vital as it stops the walls from absorbing too much of any sticky wallpaper paste that is required to keep the wallpaper up. All you need to do is mix 2 parts water to 1 part adhesive wallpaper paste and apply an even layer with a paint roller. Leave this to dry fully before moving onto the next.

4. Mark out the wall and cut the paper to size

First you need to measure your wall using a tape measure. Which way round you do this will depend on what you plan to do with the wall once it’s lined. If you’re planning to hang wallpaper after lining your walls, it’s advisable to hang your lining paper horizontally. But if you plan to paint over it, stick to vertical hanging.

If you’re working horizontally, add an extra 100mm to the width of the wall to ensure there’s enough lining paper to overlap the corner of the next wall on each side. We’d suggest pre-cutting a few lengths of paper ahead of time to speed up the process.

Next, to help you make sure the lining paper goes on straight, you’ll want to create a guideline to follow. Start by measuring the width of the paper. If it’s 500mm, deduct 100mm and measure 400mm down from the ceiling, then mark the spot. This allows extra paper for any uneven edges around the ceiling and the excess can be cut off later. Do this several times along the wall then use a spirit level to create a straight line across by joining the dots.

5. Apply the paste

If you’re working with a standard paste-the-paper liner, you’ll need to coat your lining paper with an adhesive on one side. Lay it out on your pasting table, apply a layer of wallpaper paste and then leave it to soak for around 8 minutes before hanging the paper so it’s nice and sticky.

Alternatively, if you opt for one of our paste-the-wall lining papers, you won’t have to soak the paper at all. You can simply apply the ready-made adhesive to the walls using a roller, then follow the next step to hang your lining paper.

6. Hang the lining paper

Finally, you can start hanging the lining paper. You’ll need to move quickly and continuously for a smooth finish, so get ready! Start on one edge of the wall and match the lining paper up to the guideline you created, remembering to leave some spare paper around the ceiling and the corner. Press down the first metre or so, then slowly start to move across the wall, smoothing it out and pressing it down as you go. You might need an extra set of hands and an extra step ladder to do this!

Once up, use the paperhanging brush or smoother to remove any bubbles or creases. You can then work on sticking the corners down. If you want a crisp edge, gently fold the paper over and pull it back just enough for you to cut a straight line up the crease. You’ll also need to go around the ceiling edge with a knife and a metal guide to cut off any excess.

Once the first row is complete, which is the hard part, you can now start on the next length of lining paper. Keep repeating this step until your wall is complete. Be sure to leave a gap of about 1mm between each row of lining paper. This is to prevent the paper overlapping, which will form a ridge on the wall that would be visible under your wallpaper or paint.

Once your wall or room is fully lined, wait 24 hours before adding any wallpaper or a layer of paint, to ensure the lining paper has time to fully set. 

Choose the right lining paper for you

If you’re looking to line your walls, the process is much easier with the right products on your side. At Cover Your Wall, we have a selection of high-quality lining papers to provide the best results on your walls. We also offer paste-the-wall products, which are quicker and easier to hang with no need to soak the paper beforehand.

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact our team or take a look at these lining paper FAQs for more decorating advice.

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