Mastering Wallpaper Installation on Crooked Outside Corners

Mastering Wallpaper Installation on Crooked Outside Corners

Let’s tackle a common challenge in wallpaper installation: dealing with outside corners that aren't straight. Uneven or crooked outside corners can be a real headache, but with the right approach, you can easily achieve a professional finish. Here’s how to do it.

Understanding the Problem

When you’re wallpapering, an uneven corner can cause significant issues. A corner that goes in and out will disrupt the smooth application of the wallpaper, leading to unsightly buckles and wrinkles, and throwing the level of your wallpaper off on the next wall. This is a common issue in older homes or in areas where the wall construction wasn't precise.

Why Straight Corners Matter

A straight corner ensures that the wallpaper adheres smoothly without any creases. When a corner is crooked, forcing the wallpaper to fit can result in:

  • Buckles: These are raised areas where the wallpaper doesn’t adhere properly.
  • Wrinkles: Creases that form when the wallpaper is stretched unevenly.
  • Pattern Misalignment: The design on the wallpaper can appear skewed or mismatched.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before starting, make sure you have the following tools and materials:

  • Wallpaper
  • Wallpaper paste (and a stronger adhesive like vinyl-over-vinyl paste)
  • Laser level or regular level
  • Measuring tape
  • Straight edge
  • Utility knife
  • Smoothing tool

Preparing Your Wallpaper

  1. Cutting the Wallpaper: Cut your wallpaper piece slightly longer than needed. This extra length allows for adjustments and trimming.
  2. Booking the Wallpaper: Lay out the wallpaper and book it (fold it paste-to-paste) to ensure it is ready for application, if you've chosen pasted paper.

Measuring and Marking

  1. Identify the Problem Area: Examine the corner to see where it bulges out or dips in. This will help you understand where adjustments are needed.
  2. Using the Laser Level: Set up a laser level to project a straight vertical line along the corner. This line will guide your cuts and help you maintain a straight edge. If you don't have a laser level, you can download an app to your phone and mark the wall for level.
  3. Marking the Cut Line: Measure the distance from the edge of the wall to 3/16 inch past the corner. This measurement ensures the wallpaper overlaps slightly, covering any irregularities.

Cutting the Wallpaper

  1. Initial Cut: Make an initial cut based on your measurements. This cut should be straight and follow the laser line.
  2. Adjust for Irregularities: As you measure up the wall, note any changes in the corner’s contour. The distance between the wallpaper edge and the corner may vary, requiring slight adjustments to keep the overlap consistent.

Application Technique

  1. Aligning the Wallpaper: Start by aligning the wallpaper against the laser line. Ensure the wallpaper wraps around the corner smoothly without forcing it into any indentations.
  2. Applying the Paste: Use a stronger paste like vinyl-over-vinyl adhesive to ensure the wallpaper adheres firmly. Regular paste may not be sufficient for corners.  If you've chosen peel and stick wallpaper, you don't need paste, our adhesive is strong enough.
  3. Smoothing the Wallpaper: Gently smooth the wallpaper against the wall, starting from the center and moving outwards. This helps eliminate air bubbles and ensures a firm bond.

Securing the Wallpaper

  1. Cutting for Precision: Use a straight edge and utility knife to trim any excess wallpaper along the laser line. This creates a clean, straight edge.
  2. Creating an Overlap: The trimmed piece will serve as an underlap for the next strip of wallpaper. Ensure the patterns match and the seam is as invisible as possible.

Final Adjustments

  1. Ensuring Straightness: Check your work with the laser level. Make any necessary adjustments to keep the wallpaper straight and aligned.
  2. Dealing with Wrinkles: If wrinkles form, gently lift the wallpaper and smooth it out again. Avoid stretching the wallpaper, as this can cause further issues.

Tips for Success

  1. Use a Stronger Adhesive: For corners and edges, a stronger adhesive like vinyl-over-vinyl paste ensures a secure bond. This prevents the wallpaper from peeling over time.
  2. Communicate with Clients: If you’re working for a client, explain the process and the reasons for any adjustments. Transparency builds trust and ensures they understand the care you’re taking with their project.
  3. Practice Makes Perfect: If you’re new to wallpapering, practice on a small section or a spare piece of wall. This helps you get a feel for the material and the techniques involved.


Dealing with crooked outside corners can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can achieve a professional finish. By carefully measuring, cutting, and applying the wallpaper, you can ensure a smooth, wrinkle-free installation. Remember, the key is to take your time and adjust as needed to accommodate the wall’s irregularities.

Feeling confident to tackle wallpapering your crooked corners? You totally got this!

Check out our Sadie Witch Wallpaper Today!

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