Wallpapering an Archway

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated April 30, 2021)


Have you ever noticed how difficult wallpapering an archway can be? If it isn't one thing, it's another when it comes to this tricky task. While archways are great architectural elements in a home, they are not that great to wallpaper. This, more than any other reason, is why many archways are actually painted rather than being wallpapered.

Wallpapering an archway, while more difficult than wallpapering a regular wall, shouldn't be considered impossible. All you need to do is follow these simple instructions in order to get the job done correctly, and with a minimum of fuss. Just be sure that you complete the work on one side of the wall before you begin to work on the other.

  1. Hang wallpaper above archway. Above the archway hang your wall paper as you normally would on any other wall. Smooth the wallpaper as flat as possible against the wall, and trim the wallpaper against the ceiling to ensure that it is straight.
  2. Trim wallpaper. Trim the excess wallpaper away from the arch. Be careful as you do this to leave about one inch of overhang on the wallpaper and that you follow the curve of the arch as accurately as possible. While it doesn't have to be a perfect curve, there should still be a noticeable curve to the cut in the wallpaper.
  3. Make some notches. Following the curve in the arch way make periodic notches or cuts in the wallpaper. These notches or cuts should be every two to four inches, and should be as close to the wall as possible without actually damaging the wall. Please note that the tighter of an arch that you have, then the more slits or notches you will have to cut into the wallpaper.
  4. Seal notches. Press the notches against the archway to form a seal between the wallpaper and the wall. Simply think of this as wallpapering on a smaller scale. If necessary, apply a damp (not wet) sponge to the back of the notched wallpaper to moisten it for a better adherence to the wall.
  5. Repeat. If you will be wallpapering the other side of the archway as well, then repeat steps one through four now.
  6. Measure arch. Use a ruler or measuring tape to measure along the inside edge of the archway, to determine how thick the arch is. Double check your measurements in at least four spots to ensure that you have an accurate measurement, and that there is no variation in distances.
  7. Cut and hang two long strips. Using your measurements as a guide, cut two long strips of paper. These strips need to be 1/4 inch thinner than the thickness of the arch, and together should be as long as the arch itself. Starting in the middle of the arch, hang the paper as you would normally.
  8. Cleanup as normal. Congratulations, you have now finished wallpapering an archway. All that you need to do now is cleanup your mess as you normally would. Remember to go back over the freshly hung wallpaper with a wallpaper roller to ensure that there are no air bubbles. Be sure that you also clean off any excess paste with a damp (not wet) sponge.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is two minus 1?

2017-01-26 07:56:21

D Harrison

The problem I have is that after a few years the raw edges separate from a he arch. How if I paint a he walls do I mak these edges look neat and tidy

2017-01-25 20:20:16


Hi! How about if I have to hung fabric wallpaper? That is really not nice if I let the fabric on the other fabric on the arch's corner. Any good advice? Thanks!

2016-10-26 08:30:00

D G Harrison

I have decorated the arch ok but the raw edges Get lifted as people rub past. Can you suggest a way to make them sealed better? a decorator I have spoken to said he can do it using string " but how"

2014-06-26 21:14:51

Amy Bradford

Is it unprofessional to paint the archway between the two papered sides? Won't the mismatched pattern if papered be a distraction?