Get recommendations from friends, family, or other respected sources for a trusted contractor. The National Guild of Professional Paperhangers, Inc. at ngpp.org is a great place to start your research.
Scope out the competition. Make sure you’re paying a fair price by getting a few written estimates from a few wallpaper hangers. An estimate is best done on site so that the hanger can consider the specifics of the space.
Secure everything in writing. Proof of insurance and licensing, time obligations, labor and supplies costs, and warranties should be in writing and signed by both parties.
Don’t pay up front except for a security deposit and perhaps material costs, the details of which should be included in your contract.
Prime it. Be sure your walls get treated with a primer made for wallcoverings for easier application and removal, and for better durability.
Have your contractor repair visible warps and cracks before applying any wallcovering.
Think beyond basic paper. Nonwoven wallcoverings are tear-resistant, washable, and breathable. Fabric wallcoverings are less durable, especially in humid coastal climates, and can be more expensive than paper. Scrubbable vinyl coverings offer the most durability and easiest cleaning.
Choose a wallpaper pattern that enhances your space. Vertical stripes make ceilings look taller; bold patterns make a larger space feel cozier. For an airy look in a small room, use light or neutral colors with a small print.
Don’t use a patterned wallpaper if walls are structurally uneven; it will draw attention to the flaws.
Consider doing it yourself. Search “how to hang wallpaper” at thisoldhouse.com for a video. By Jessica Drake