Buying Guide

Wallpaper & Borders

Size and Application

The most popular wallpapers are pre-pasted vinyl and vinyl-coated papers, which offer effortless application, are resistant to tears, can be adjusted before the paper hardens, and are easy to clean and care for.

Wallpaper can be made from a variety of materials, including paper, fabric and substances such as glass, sand and even natural fibers like grass or bamboo.

Foil accents and embossed patterns add extra dimension and texture.


Wallpaper comes in a wide range of lengths and widths. How much you need will depend on the square footage of the space you are wallpapering.

  • Borders are much narrower and vary in size depending on the design. They can be used to complement a wallpapering project or on their own to add a decorative accent to a painted room.
  • Wallpaper is usually priced as a single roll but comes packaged as a double or even triple roll to provide ample coverage.
  • Before shopping, measure the surface area of the space you intend to cover.


Wallpaper can help you create themed rooms, add subtle accents or cover up imperfections and allow you to produce patterns and effects that are impossible to achieve with paint.

  • Pre-pasted wallpaper has an adhesive already applied for easy hanging.
  • Dry back wallpaper requires the use of a separate paste.
  • Strippable and peelable wallpaper can be removed easily for frequent redecorating.

Be sure to use colors and patterns that complement the shape, size and d├ęcor of a room. Also remember that larger patterns can require the purchase of additional rolls to match up properly.

There are a number of ways to make sure you get the desired look from your wallpaper. One key thing to remember when buying is to make sure each roll is from the same dye lot. This number is also called the batch or run number. It ensures that rolls bearing the same number were made from the same batch for a correct color match every time. Mixing wallpaper from other lot numbers may result in visible irregularities as the ink colors may vary slightly.

Darker colors

  • Makes large rooms seem smaller  
  • Offers a cool, relaxed feel

Floral or repeated patterns

  • Hides bumps, nicks and other imperfections 
  • Can be used to highlight smaller areas

Large patterns

  • Creates a cozy, intimate environment  
  • Adds visual appeal to complement your decor  
  • Makes larger rooms feel less intimidating

Light colors

  • Makes rooms look bigger  
  • Accents hanging art, sculptures and more  
  • Creates a sense of warmth

Small patterns

  • Creates a sense of spaciousness  
  • Calls attention to overall color schemes  
  • Works well in smaller rooms


  • Vertical stripes make walls and ceilings look higher
  • Horizontal stripes elongate narrow rooms 
  • Good for areas with low ceilings or in tight spaces

Pick your wallpaper based on your needs. If you have young children likely to use the wall as their easel, get scrubbable wallpaper. Use faux surfaces on your wallpaper to pull a certain look into any room.

Scrubbable wallpaper withstands more thorough scrubbing with a brush and mild detergent to get stains out.

Certain papers with acrylic coatings are washable. This means that you can use a sponge to give them a light cleaning as needed.

When you want to give your room a more tactile dimension, choose wallpaper with interesting texture and embossed elements. Some wallpapers can mimic materials such as leather or tin ceilings for more interesting and eclectic effects.

Wallpaper is designed to work with a complementary border for a complete look. Use the manufacturer's suggested selections or mix and match your own to create a custom style.

Replicate the look of a log cabin in your living room or install an intergalactic landscape in your bedroom with specialized wallpaper designed to create the effect of faux surfaces and landscapes. These wallpapers are especially useful in creating specialty or themed rooms, such as a child's bedroom or a game room.