Paperhanger  What They Do

Just the Facts


Covers interior walls or ceilings of rooms with decorative wallpaper or fabric, or attach advertising posters on surfaces such as walls and billboards. May remove old materials or prepare surfaces to be papered.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Construction pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Smooths strips or sections of paper with brushes or rollers to remove wrinkles and bubbles and to smooth joints.
  • Trims rough edges from strips, using straightedges and trimming knives.
  • Trims excess material at ceilings or baseboards, using knives.
  • Checks finished wallcoverings for proper alignment, pattern matching, and neatness of seams.
  • Marks vertical guidelines on walls to align strips, using plumb bobs and chalk lines.
  • Covers interior walls and ceilings of rooms with decorative wallpaper or fabric, using hand tools.
  • Applies adhesives to the backs of paper strips, using brushes, or dunk strips of prepasted wallcovering in water, wiping off any excess adhesive.
  • Measures and cuts strips from rolls of wallpaper or fabric, using shears or razors.
  • Places strips or sections of paper on surfaces, aligning section edges and patterns.
  • Fills holes, cracks, and other surface imperfections preparatory to covering surfaces.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupations requires climbing things such as ladders, scaffold, and poles more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Maintaining a body position that prevents falling when in an unstable position
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Billposter -- Attaches advertising posters on surfaces, such as walls and billboards, using handtools.
  • Wallpaper Installer --