How to Hang Lining Paper

Lining paper can cover imperfections on your wall, giving you a smooth base for hanging up your new, stylish wallpaper.

But, as lining paper creates the perfect base for your wallpaper, it’s important to get it right to avoid any bumps or ridges from appearing in the future.

If you’re a keen DIYer, worry not! Follow our guide to everything you need to know about lining paper, from calculating how much you’ll need to how to hang it on the wall.

Table of Contents

  1. Why use lining paper?
  2. How to choose lining paper
  3. How to calculate how much lining paper to use
  4. What you will need to hang lining paper
  5. How to hang lining paper

Why use lining paper?

Lining paper is a quick and convenient way to get a smooth finish on your walls before hanging your wallpaper.

It can disguise small imperfections on the wall, whether stains or small cracks, providing a smooth surface for a perfect finish.

Lining paper also adds an extra layer of insulation to the room and can prevent the wallpaper from shrinking when it’s hung up.

If you’re a keen DIYer who wants a professional finish, you must choose a good lining paper to start your project.

Wooden Slat Wallpaper

How to choose lining paper

The main things to consider when choosing lining paper are the grade, application and width. 


Available in various thicknesses, lining paper grades range from 800 (the thinnest) to 2000 (the thickest). The type you need mainly depends on the condition of your wall. For a smooth wall with minimal imperfections, choose a thinner paper. If the wall has more noticeable damage, use a thicker grade lining paper to help cover up for a smooth surface.

Application method

Lining paper can usually either be applied by pasting the wall or by pasting the paper. Paste-the-wall papers are usually easier to hang as you apply the adhesive to the wall, meaning there is less chance of ripping the paper when wet. 

However, it’s important to choose whichever application you’re most familiar with. For more information, follow our guide on the difference between paste-the-wall and paste-the-paper.

Paste the wall lining paper


Lining paper varies in width, between 500 and 1000mm. Choosing a wider lining paper means you will need fewer rolls to fill the room. However, a narrower paper can be easier to hang for a quicker project.

How to calculate how much lining paper to use

If your lining paper is a similar width to normal wallpaper, use our guide on how to measure for wallpaper to find out how many rolls you will need. It’s always best to overestimate in case of damage when hanging it up.

  1. Calculate the square footage

(Total width of the room x height of the room) + 10% = Square footage

  1. Calculate the wallpaper coverage

Wallpaper roll width x Wallpaper roll length = Square metres of usable wallpaper

  1. Calculate the number of rolls needed

Square footage of the room / Square metre of usable wallpaper = Total number of rolls needed

What will you need to hang lining paper?

For preparation:

  • Sanding paper
  • Spirit level or plumb line
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Clean sponge
  • Scissors
  • Filler
  • Dust sheets

For pasting:

  • Paste brush
  • Bucket of water
  • Pasting table

For hanging:

  • Smoother brush
  • Sharp Stanley knife
  • Seam roller

How to hang lining paper


Hang your lining paper horizontally on the wall if you’ll be wallpapering over it. This will prevent the seams from falling in the same place and avoid visible bumps in the wallpaper.


Hang your lining paper vertically if you will paint over it, as it is easier to smooth down the wall for a more professional finish.

1. Prepare the wall

Although lining paper will cover any imperfections on the wall, it’s important to fill in any large holes or cracks before hanging it. 

Remove any existing wallpaper, fill in any holes or cracks and smooth the wall with sandpaper. Dust the wall with a clean cloth to remove dust and debris and ensure the lining paper sticks properly.

If your wall is already smooth or only has small cracks, you can skip the above steps. If the wall has been freshly plastered, you need to prime it to stop it from absorbing too much wallpaper paste.

Apply an even layer of wall primer with a paint roller and leave it to dry fully before hanging the lining paper.

2. Measure and cut lining paper

Measure the width or the height of the wall, depending on which way you will hang the lining paper, and add 10cm to allow the paper to overlap the corner on each side. 

To create a guideline, start by measuring the width of your lining paper. If it’s 40cm, take off 10cm to measure 30cm down from the wall or the corner and mark a pencil line on the wall. Taking off the 10cm allows the paper to overlap the edges for a clean cut.

Do this across the wall and join up the dots using a spirit level to create a straight line you can follow as you hang.

3. Apply the paste 

If you’ve chosen a paste-the-paper liner, you’ll need to lay it out on a pasting table, apply a layer of wallpaper paste and leave it to soak in for about 8 minutes before hanging.

For paste-the-wall paper, there is no soak time. Simply paste the wall using a roller and paste beyond the edges of where the wallpaper will sit before hanging.

4. Hang the lining paper

Start on one edge of the wall or the edge of the ceiling, depending on your method. Match the lining paper up to the first line you made on the wall, leaving some spare paper around the ceiling and corner.

Press down and slowly move across the paper to stick it to the wall. Then, use a roller to smooth the paper down, remove any creases or bubbles, and cut off the excess paper with a knife to get a crisp edge.

Once the first row of paper is applied, apply the next piece. Leave about 1mm between the pieces to prevent them from overlapping and forming a ridge when you wallpaper over the top. 

Repeat these steps until the room is complete, and wait at least 24 hours before painting or adding wallpaper.

Tropical Leaf Wallpaper in modern living room

Start your project with Wallpaper Shop

Now you’ve learnt everything you need to know about hanging lining paper, it’s time to start planning your new interior decor style. 

Browse our full wallpaper collection at Wallpaper Shop to find on-trend styles, top brands and style inspiration to get your makeover on the go. With affordable price tags, bring your dream makeover to life with Wallpaper Shop.

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