How to Wallpaper a Staircase

Beautiful floral wallpaper on a vintage staircase

Installing wallpaper in a staircase is an excellent way to enhance the visual appeal of your home, but it also presents a unique set of challenges that differ significantly from the standard tactics involved in wallpapering flat, straightforward walls. The complex angles, the varying wall heights, and the need for secure scaffolding or ladders make wallpapering stairwell areas particularly tricky.

In this guide, we will explore the specific considerations and techniques that are essential for successfully wallpapering staircase walls, with the aim of turning a potentially troublesome task into an achievable project.

Choosing Your Wallpaper

When selecting wallpaper for a staircase, the right type and pattern can significantly influence the overall impact and ease of the project. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Vintage design wallpaper behind a staircase

  • Durability – Staircases tend to be high-traffic areas, so choose a wallpaper that can withstand wear and tear. Vinyl wallpapers are particularly recommended because they are durable and easy to clean, making them ideal for the busier parts of your home.
  • Pattern and Scale – Vertical stripes or patterns can help make the space appear taller and more open, while intricate patterns can add depth without overwhelming the area. Large patterns can create stunning visuals but may require more precise matching, which can be challenging on angled walls. For this reason, many DIY installers prefer random pattern or unpatterned wallpaper for their staircase.
  • Color and Light Reflection – Lighter colors or wallpapers with a slight sheen can brighten a typically dim stairwell. Reflective surfaces help maximize natural light, which can make the stairway appear more spacious and welcoming.

Also, keep in mind that people who install wallpaper in these spaces find that paste-the-wall materials tend to work best, as this method is less messy and generally easier to handle, particularly on the angles of a staircase.

Creating a Scaffold

For many wallpapering projects, especially those involving high walls like those commonly found in staircases, creating a stable work platform is essential.

Why Use a Scaffold?

A scaffolding system offers the most stability and safety, providing multiple levels and platforms from which to work. This setup is ideal for extensive wallpapering projects that cover large, continuous areas. Scaffolding can be rented from local hardware stores or construction rental companies and should be assembled according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safety.

Extension Ladders and Planks

For less extensive projects or tighter budgets, using an extension ladder in conjunction with scaffold boards can be a practical solution. Place the ladder securely on a stable stair and extend it to the necessary height, using non-slip pads or stabilizers to prevent movement. Scaffold boards can span between the ladder and another secure point, such as another ladder, to create a makeshift platform.

Safety Considerations

Whatever setup you choose, ensure that all equipment is sturdy and well-maintained. Check that all fittings and fixtures are tightened and that platforms are level and stable. Always adhere to safety guidelines to prevent falls or injuries.

Creating the right scaffolding setup will not only make the task of wallpapering staircase walls safer but also more efficient.

Tips for a Successful Staircase Wallpaper Installation

Successfully wallpapering a staircase requires careful planning and execution. Here are several tips to ensure a successful installation:

Man pouring Roman wallpaper primer

  • Start with the Longest Panel – Begin your wallpapering with the longest strip of wallpaper. This approach allows you to handle the most challenging piece first, setting the tone for the rest of the project. The longest panel typically covers the highest part of the staircase, and starting here ensures that you can align subsequent pieces more easily.
  • Buy Extra Wallpaper – Staircases often require more wallpaper than initially calculated due to their height and the need to match patterns across angled walls. Purchasing extra rolls will help accommodate any miscalculations and allow for pattern matching without the stress of running short on material.
  • Use Vertical Lines – Employ a plumb line or laser level to ensure that each strip of wallpaper is hung vertically straight. This is crucial in a staircase where the floors and ceilings may not be perfectly level.
  • Sequencing Your Work – Progress from top to bottom, which allows you to handle the trickiest, highest areas first while you have the most energy and patience. This method also helps in managing the lengths of wallpaper more effectively, as it reduces the risk of the paper getting crumpled or torn as you work downwards.
  • Handling Pattern Repeats – Be mindful of how patterns align at the corners of the staircase. This may require additional planning and precision cutting to ensure that the design flows seamlessly from one section to another.
  • Cutting and Fitting – Due to the varying heights and angles, custom cuts will be necessary. Use sharp blades to make clean cuts, which will help in achieving professional-looking seams.
  • Snipping for Curves – If your staircase has curved or rounded areas, small snips into the paper can allow it to conform to the wall without wrinkling or puckering.

Implementing these tips will help avoid the pitfalls that come with this type of installation, so you can enjoy optimal results.

Trust ROMAN Products for Your Staircase Wallpaper Installation

For any staircase wallpapering project, choosing the right supplies is as important as the proper technique. ROMAN Products offers a comprehensive range of high-quality primers and adhesives designed for challenging installations like staircases. Our products ensure that your wallpaper adheres securely and remains in place over time, even in high-traffic areas.

Whether you’re tackling a complex patterned wallpaper or a delicate textile, ROMAN’s reliable adhesives and primers provide the perfect foundation for a flawless installation. Trust ROMAN Products to bring durability, ease, and professional quality to your next staircase project. With our help, you can realize your stairway wallpaper ideas with confidence and style.