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Wallpaper Terms and FAQ

Before determining which of our wallpapers are best for your space, it may be helpful to review important wallpaper terms and definitions to help you make an informed decision. 


Non-Pasted (Traditional)


Peel and Stick




Installation Surfaces



Straight Drop


Vertical Repeat




Tips and Tricks


Frequently Asked Questions


Non-Pasted (Traditional)

No adhesive has been pre-applied to Non-Pasted Pebble. To install this wallpaper, you will need to use adhesive that is typically applied with a brush. There are many glues and pastes in the marketplace. It is always good to consult with an expert when using this paper, and hire a professional installer to complete the project for you.



A paste has been pre-applied and dried to the back of this wallpaper. This paste is water activated as it is absorbed by the paper. You will find methods about how to activate this paste in the Booking section below. The Prepasted installation article is a great source, too. This is a good DIY paper.


Peel and Stick

This DIY option installs like a giant sticker. A backing paper has been applied that can be removed during the installation process. Peel and Stick wallpaper can be repositioned during installation, but make sure the wall is smooth and clean to maintain the adhesive properties. 



Grasscloth wallpaper requires professional installation using a ready mixed clear adhesive. Your installer should have experience with this product and will want to follow the adhesive application instructions, and then will double cut each panel for seamless installation.



Metallic wallpaper requires professional installation using a ready mixed clear adhesive. This paper has several acceptable installation applications: paste the wall, paste the paper or with a pasting machine. The paste-the-wall technique is the most recommended method. 


Installation Surfaces

Every wall surface is different. The image below shares the most common surface types. Please compare your wall to these four variations and use the following details to determine the best for your surface type.


Smooth - Works with all wallpaper types sold by Spoonflower.

Orange Peel * - Pebble and Metallic are the only wallpapers suitable for this surface type.

Knockdown * - Pebble and Metallic are the only wallpapers suitable for this surface type.

Popcorn * - Pebble and Metallic are the only wallpapers suitable for this surface type.


* - Walls properly primed and allowed to dry for four weeks may be suitable for installation of the remaining three paper types if and only if the walls are totally smooth. Any slight texture may inhibit full adherence for Prepasted, Peel and Stick and Grasscloth. Slight surface variations may be visible with the delicate nature of Grasscloth.


Booking relates to how long a paper should rest once fully saturated with paste. Booking properly ensures your paper is ready to install.

For prepasted paper, this process begins once you activate the adhesive with water. Once wet, the paper expands as it absorbs the water and will become - to use a scientific term - a bit goopy. Once you are confident the entire panel is saturated, our Prepasted Smooth Wallpaper needs 3-5 minutes to be properly booked before installation. This is important because the entire wall must be covered in glue. This absorption process is also because as the water evaporates and paper shrinks back to normal over the next 3 hours, the paper will return to its normal finish for a more professional look.

For non-pasted paper, follow the instructions with your preferred paste or adhesive.



Most of our wallpapers are printed with a straight-drop, meaning you will not need to offset rolls when hanging the paper. With straight-drop paper, you will hang each roll right next to each other in order to create a seamless repeat with the pattern. To help match this pattern as you install, we also include an approximate 0.5" (1+ cm) of overlap down the right side of each roll. This aids in aligning the design when hanging.




A small amount of our wallpaper designs are Half-Drop Repeats. This style of repeat gives a wider visual impact after installation, but it also means that every other panel must be manually offset by half the vertical design repeat during installation. This means you may need to order slightly longer panels of wallpaper so you have enough product. 

Why may I need to order different lengths for a half-drop design?

Regardless of the design repeat, all rolls of wallpapers of the same design and length will print identically. Because the vertical design repeat is different for every design we sell, the vertical offset will vary from one half-drop design to the next. Using our wallpaper calculator will help you know the proper roll length to order for your space and design.

How do I know a design is half-drop?

If a design is a half-drop, when you open the wallpaper calculator - How much wallpaper do I need - it will say Special Note and share the vertical design repeat.


How do you install half-drop paper?

Review this visual example to see how Half-Drop installation works:


The vertical repeat for this unique design is 24" (60.96cm). For a vertical repeat of this size, you must vertically shift every other panel upwards by 12" to account for the half-drop design. Since this wall is 8 feet tall, the wallpaper calculator will determine that ordering 9' rolls are enough to account for the required 12" shift from the bottom of the panel to the top to account for the half-drop. And don't worry! The wallpaper calculator will automatically adjust its recommendations for roll lengths based upon the specific vertical design repeat of your preferred designs if they half-drop. This will be clearly labeled within the calculator.

We understand this might be confusing, so if you think the design you are ordering is half-drop please contact us with any questions. Include a design link in your initial inquiry so we can help you easily! Simply copy and paste the url address at the top of the screen. It should start with ""


Vertical Repeat

It's most important to note the vertical repeat size when purchasing our Non-Pasted Traditional Pebble, Grasscloth, or Metallic wallpaper. As most of our wallpapers are printed with a straight drop, you'll need to know the vertical repeat size in order to determine exactly how much paper you'll need for your space if you are calculating it manually. The 27' (823 cm) roll length will need to be cut during installation to easily match one panel to the next. It is not possible to install by lining up the roll to the top of the wall similar to our other two DIY papers.

Note: You can find the vertical repeat size of any wallpaper design by scrolling down to the WALLPAPER DETAILS section and clicking on the + More option as shown in the image below.




Each roll is printed to install at 24" wide with an approximate 0.5" (1+ cm) additional width to use for overlap down the right side. This overlap will help align the design seamlessly when hanging. Rolls may be hung from left to right, or right to left. Once you determine the direction, be consistent.


IMPORTANT: Your rolls will arrive with a quantity number - such as 1 of 8 - along the bottom edge (see below). However, since all rolls of the same length are printed identically you do not need to worry about hanging each panel in order. Your installation will still be seamless no matter the order you install each panel.



Overlapping the design allows for a quick and easy installation, especially for first-timers and DIY installers! If you would like to see a demonstration of how this works for our Prepasted Removable Smooth as well as Peel and Stick, please visit the following links:

Prepasted Removable Smooth Wallpaper Installation

Peel and Stick Wallpaper Installation


Can I order wallpaper rolls without the edge of ~1/2” overlap?

All of our wallpaper rolls will print with an approximate 0.5" (1+ cm) overlap along the right side. It is not possible to remove this overlap in our printing process. This addition is not displayed in the design preview window, but is automatically generated when the file is processed. Use the pattern as a guide while installing, being certain that it runs seamlessly from one panel to the next.

How can I remove the overlap?

While we believe it is not necessary to remove the overlap, the extra ~0.5" (1+ cm) can be removed by a professional installer using the double-cutting method. This process involves trimming the overlap so that each wallpaper roll will be “butted” together and can appear more seamless. The double-cutting method is not recommended for Prepasted Removable Smooth wallpaper as the paper will slightly shrink after the adhesive dries.

Will the overlap show after installing?

Our wallpaper overlap will have a seam once installed properly. It can be more apparent for designs with white backgrounds and design elements that have larger amounts of spacing. Generally, the overlap is not noticeable for busier designs. If you would rather not have an overlap seam, you can always reach out to a professional installer to remove this with the Double-Cutting method.


Tips and Tricks

Before going over any tips and tricks we recommend for our wallpapers, it's also good to keep in mind the information below:

  • Always double check that the surfaces you are applying to are clean and dust free. This includes around outlets and along ledges and molding. It is likely best to remove outlet and switch covers during the installation process.
  • Keep in mind, the number printed onto any roll does not indicate which roll should be installed first, this is simply a number for the quantity of your order. Your rolls will be printed with "1of8," and so on.
  • Each DIY wallpaper option has its own removal process. For more information take a look at each installation article:
  • Only work with accurate measurements to determine the best amount for your space. As we might say, "Measure twice, order once." Check out our recommended guidelines for measurement.


Frequently Asked Questions

Should I order a Test Swatch first?

We always encourage getting a swatch first to make sure the wallpaper type, color and scale meet your expectations in all types of light, but also so you can do a test installation on your unique surface.

To order a wallpaper swatch of any type, just select the wallpaper type first in the drop down menu for WALLPAPER. Then, in the ROLL SIZE drop-down menu select Test Swatch (2' x 1'). For more information on ordering a swatch, please go here.

Test Swatches don't come with a squeegee. What is the best way to install this sample?

Since the proper tool is always preferable, you can visit your local hardware store or search online for a squeegee or smoothing tool. You can also use a credit card, or other similar artifact. Just be sure not to scratch the printed design!



Do you have dye lots? How can I receive the same rolls again for another order?

Since every Spoonflower product is custom-printed, each individual order is like its very own dye lot. While large color shifts between orders should not be an issue, there can be slight changes between orders placed (and therefore printed) at different times. Just like when buying commercial fabric, yarn or wallpapers with dye lots, it's best to order as much digitally printed wallpaper as you need for your project the first time. If you ever need to order additional paper for another wall or room, reordering is easy. As long as the design is still public in our marketplace, you can sign into your account and find the design through your Order History. If you don't have an account, create a free one using the email address from your first order, or search in our system using the Design ID.

Is there a way to order double rolls?

Customers often reach out asking if a certain wallpaper will arrive as a double roll. While Spoonflower does not use this language, a quick explanation may be helpful. Traditionally, wallpaper rolls were defined by the area of wall they covered. Our Non-Pasted Traditional Pebble Wallpaper, Grasscloth, and Metallic wallpaper rolls, each 2' x 27', cover an equivalent amount of square feet as a standard double roll would cover. We simply don't use that labelling to describe these products.

Will a dent, scratch, or any other imperfections on my wall show through the paper?

Major wall imperfections may become noticeable once installing your wallpaper. It's best to prep your walls and make sure you have a smooth surface prior to installing. Keep in mind, we recommend at least 4+ weeks for your paint to fully cure before starting any install.

Should I remove any outlet or switch covers?

If you would prefer to wallpaper under an outlet or switch cover, it's best to remove them first. Make sure any dust is removed around the edges, as this could prevent the adhesive from applying properly.

How do I wallpaper around doors or windows?

Best results vary depending upon the paper. First, apply the wallpaper as normal around the window or door frame. With our Smooth wallpaper, because it takes about 3 hours to dry, and therefore fully shrink back to normal size, you will want to wait to trim it flush. If the paper is a bit clumsy or heavy around the edges, you can do a rough cut leaving about two inches overlap to the frame, and then come back later for the final cut. With our Peel and Stick Wallpaper, you can trim the panel down once the wallpaper is flush with the moulding.

How can I install with corners?

It's best to avoid using almost a full roll width of paper when crossing over the corner of a room during installation. It takes a bit of planning, but you might want to start your installation on the wall in a place that makes sure you aren't crossing over the corners with large amounts of paper. Having to wrap only a few inches around a corner isn't that hard, but squaring over 12" of paper across the same space can be challenging. Some people think trimming to the corner is a good idea, but we do not recommend cutting the wallpaper for this practice. It is tricky to create a seamless repeat this way.

What temperature is best to install with?

It's best to install with a normal room temperature you are comfortable with daily. We do not recommend installing during severe humidity or cold temperatures. Sudden changes in temperature can occasionally cause bubbles if applied too quickly. These bubbles can expand or shrink in other temperature extremes and can cause issues with installation integrity.


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