A wallpaper border can lend an added measure of style to a room. If the wall had been previously painted, see Preparing Wall Surfaces for Wallpaper before starting. To place a border between two wallpapers, wait until the wallpapers are completely dry and then apply a primer sealer just to the area you’re covering.

Top border adds a decorative element to wallpapered wall.
Top border adds a decorative element to wallpapered wall. ©Auremar / Shutterstock.com

Wallpapering a Ceiling Border

1 Draw plumb lines

First, check the walls you’re bordering for plumb. If the walls are not plumb, subtract the width of the border from the shortest wall. Next, with the aid of a carpenter’s level, draw a plumb line on the walls.

Draw plumb lines.

2 Prepare the strips

If you are papering over vinyl wallpaper, use vinyl-to-vinyl paste and then book the border in an accordion fold, taking care not to crease it.

Prepare the strips.

3 Hang the border

To keep the paper manageable, apply only an arm’s length at a time. Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles as you go, and clean off any extra paste immediately. If the beginning of the next strip matches the pattern at the end of the first strip, simply paste the second strip right next to the first. If it doesn’t, overlap the strips where the pattern matches and then double-cut the seams. Use lap seams at the corners.

Hang the border.


Making a Chair Rail Border

1 Set border guidelines

Using a carpenter’s level, draw border guidelines for the top and bottom edges of the border, allowing the lower guideline to overlap the existing wallpaper.

Set border guidelines.

2 Hang the border

Hang the border according to the top guideline. Using a straightedge or broad knife at the bottom edge of the border, cut the existing wallpaper with a razor or utility knife and remove the excess. Then smooth down the border and roll the seam.

Hang the border.

Above & Below Borders

1 Draw guidelines

Draw a line on the wall midway between where you want the border to go. Hang the top wallpaper to just below the line and trim.

Draw guidelines.

Finish the job.

2 Finish the job

Hang the bottom wallpaper to butt with the wallpaper above. Then hang the border, aligning it with a design element of the wallpaper above and below.