Recycle old newspapers by turning them into decorative wallpaper.

How to Hang Newspaper on Walls

by Carlye Jones

Old newspapers are good for more than just starting fires or lining birdcages. They're also a source of inexpensive decorating material that can be used to cover old dressers, blank painting canvas, cabinets and even plain walls. Hanging newspaper on the wall lets you create a unique, modern look while keeping unwanted papers out of the landfill.

1. Decoupage

Decoupage is usually associated with small objects such as picture frames, vases and jewelry boxes, but it is a technique that can be used on nearly any surface, including walls. It involves gluing cut or torn pieces of paper onto a solid surface to create a unique design. The decoupage process for hanging newspaper on walls is the same as for other objects, except that it is necessary to work in small sections, coating one part of the wall at a time.

2. Style and Texture

Newspaper can be hung on the wall in entire sheets, like wallpaper, torn into strips that can be layered to create depth, or cut into shapes. It can also be crumpled before applying to the wall to create texture similar to plaster. Smooth out the paper before decoupaging it to the wall for light texture, or leave it crumpled for deep texture. Solid sheets can also serve as a background for cut-out shapes, letters or patterns.

3. Glue

Decoupage medium is water-soluble, which means that it can be removed with water. This makes it ideal for using to hang newspaper on the wall as it can be sprayed with water and scraped away later, if desired. It's also easy to fix mistakes or uneven finishes by removing and replacing the paper. Homemade decoupage medium, consisting of one-part white glue and one-part water, can also be used to apply the newspaper, but it does not contain any sort of sealant and may yellow over time. Polymer medium can be used in place of decoupage medium. It offers more protection and durability, but is also more difficult to remove.

4. Finish

Decoupage medium provides only minimal protection against moisture and dirt. In areas where there is a lot of moisture or the newspaper will need to be cleaned, it can be coated with a clear coat of water-based polyurethane. However, if the polyurethane soaks through to the wall, it may be difficult to remove the paper later. The paper can also be painted with water-based paint or covered with a sheer layer of tissue paper to create a muted effect.

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