Learn the tricks to applying self-adhesive wallpaper. From purchasing to applying this article has you covered answering all your burning questions.
For years using wallpaper to decorate a room was very intimidating to me. The thought of putting up wet, sticky, gigantic sheets of paper scared me enough to avoid it like the plague. Not only did it look difficult to apply but the thought of removing it later was equally as daunting.
But… then I started seeing beautiful rooms on Pinterest with gorgeous wallpaper and it made me want to give it a try.
Researching various methods of installation, lead me to the perfect solution… self-adhesive wallpaper!
No need to deal with wet, slimy paper. Remove the paper backing and slap it on the wall. Sounds easy right?
Here are the steps you can use to install peel n’ stick wallpaper:
Step 1: Measure & Purchase
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Use a tape measure and write down the dimensions of your walls. Most rolls of wallpaper are 3 ft 5 in x 8 ft. Buy extra If you select wallpaper with a pattern to allow for pattern match up.
Here’s the wallpaper I used for this project:
Step 2: Prep and Clean
Remove any objects on the wall including plug-in covers.
Use warm water to clean your walls. If using chemicals or soap, make sure all residue is removed to assure wallpaper will adhere to the surface. Walls need to be completely dry before installing wallpaper.
CAUTION: Self-adhesive wallpaper isn’t made for highly textured walls, brick, unpainted Sheetrock, or outdoor surfaces. Allow four weeks for newly painted surfaces to fully cure.
Step 3: Gather Supplies
You will need the following supplies for this project:
- Step ladder
- Roller and/or Plastic Scraper
- Sharp utility knife
- Scissors (if you have objects on the wall to cut around)
Step 4: Find your starting point
Draw a straight vertical line using your level, 20 inches from the left side of your wall (verify the width of your wallpaper for exact inches). If hanging a feature wall, start in the middle to assure symmetry of design.
Step 5: Peel n’ Stick
Peel back 12 inches of backing. Adhere self-adhesive wallpaper starting from the top of the wall allowing a bit of excess to overlap the ceiling. Align the right side of the strip of wallpaper to your pencil mark and press.
Use your plastic scraper or roller to remove air pockets and define crease between wall and ceiling.
Working from top to bottom, pull the backing away as you evenly press the paper to the wall. Stop every 12 inches and use a plastic smoother to push out any air bubbles from the center outwards.
Apply the next strip the same way. Slightly overlap (1/32 in) and match the pattern to the first strip of self-adhesive wallpaper.
Corners can be a bit tricky when you’re dealing with a long sheet of wallpaper. Try cutting into the corner rather than wrapping from one wall to the next. You can see how I did this below.
Step 6: Trim Excess
Using a ruler and sharp utility knife remove excess wallpaper from the ceiling and adjoining walls. Remove any excess wallpaper covering up plug-ins.
If needed, cut paper to allow it to go around fixtures in the wall. For instance, in my bathroom, I first removed the excess wallpaper from the bottom, to make it easier to work with. Next, I cut a vertical strip so I could cut around the water valve for the toilet. Finally, I smoothed the self-adhesive wallpaper around the fixture.
What once was a plain, boring wall now is a design feature in my bathroom. I love how the wallpaper turned out. Now I need to convince my husband to build shelves for the wall!
Wallpaper will no longer scare me away. With self-adhesive wallpaper, you’re not dealing with a water/glue mixture, it’s repositionable and easy to remove. And it’s not only for walls!
For starters I can see using this on the backs of bookcases, lining drawers, or using on the fronts of dresser drawers. Have I got your creative juices flowing yet? Are you ready to try self-adhesive wallpaper? If yes, what’s your first project going to be?