How to Hang Peel and Stick Wallpaper the Easy Way
Intimidated by the thought of wallpapering a space in your home? Me too, until... enter peel and stick wallpaper! At this point in time, I have never wallpapered anything in my life using the water/paste method. It totally freaks me out. I'm sure I'll get brave one day, but the seemingly permanent nature of wallpaper and the horror stories you here about people taking it down have me all verklempt (Friends, anyone? lol).
However, when peel and stick wallpaper came on the scene, I was very intrigued. No longer did I need to worry about the permanent nature of the beast. An inordinate amount of time passed before I finally decided my daughter's nursery closet needed an overhaul. When I came across the Target clearance section and found this beautifully subtle faux brick peel and stick, I knew I had to give it a go. Here are the steps I took to hang my peel and stick wallpaper with ease.
You will learn how to easily hang your peel and stick wallpaper to make installation seamless.
Read Time: 9 minutes
Project Time: 2.5 Hrs
Easy Peel and Stick Wallpaper Hanging Step-by-Step
Table of Contents
Step 1: Buy your peel and stick wallpaper in one order.
Did you know peel and stick wallpaper comes in batches? They actually have batch numbers on them that allow the lines to match up. I did not know this! Apparently, different batches can have slight variances in color among other subtlties.
Therefore, when you go to buy your chosen peel and stick wallpaper, be sure to get enough plus a bit extra just in case you make an error (*ahem* runaway x-acto knife). If you are buying directly at the store, search for the batch numbers and try to get them to be the same. You can get my links to my favorite places to shop for peel and stick wallpaper in the Frequently Asked Questions section towards the end of the post.
Step 2: Gather your Materials
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The greatest part about hanging peel and stick wallpaper is that it doesn't require a lot of tools or prior skills. Most of the items listed below are probably in your house as we speak, amiright? Holla! But, go'on and gather your materials using the checklist below.
Step 3 (Optional): Lightly sand the wall to make it smooth.
This may or may not be a step you need to follow. I did this because I had a ton of holes in this wall from removing the wire shelving. The really awesome part though is that I did not fill even one of these holes and there were a ton as you can see from the before photo below... cha-ching! Nothing better than saving time on tedious tasks.
Step 4: Choose a starting point.
As I was doing my research, I read some tips about starting on the left and moving left to right if you're right-handed or vice versa if you're left-handed.
Even though I'm right-handed, I started on the right, but that's only because the closet wall is more complicated on the left. I say make a judgemental call based on your space.
Step 5: Loosely hang the wallpaper with painter's tape.
Tape the peel and stick wallpaper with the backing still attached with painter's tape where you want to hang it. I have also read that it is a good idea to use your level to mark where you want to line up the patterns.
Step 6: Adjust your peel and stick wallpaper using a level.
I used a standard level because it was tough for me to get the laser level in such a small space without me blocking it, but I do think a laser level is the way to go if you can make it work.
Step 7: Double check that it matches up all the way down.
Just to be sure, I pressed my hand all the way down to make sure the bricks matched up the whole way down. It's also a good idea to leave a little overflow at the top and bottom to line it up perfectly. That way you won't have to worry about the top of the sheet being different for each strip.
Step 8: Take the backing off of the wallpaper at the top to stick it to the wall.
Step 9: Slowly remove the backing as you squeegee from center out.
Now it's time to stick it on down the wall. Slowly pull the backing down as you squeegee from the center out. Make sure the sticky part adheres enough to stay attached at the top as you continue to remove the backing. Definitely, squeegee from the center out to smooth the peel and stick wallpaper and ensure there are no bubbles or lines.
Step 10: Continue down the wall. Remove any excess backing as you peel.
Continue this same process of removing the backing and smoothing from the center out until you reach the bottom of the wall with your peel and stick wallpaper. As you go, you might find that the backing paper becomes cumbersome. When it became too much, I just cut the excess off. Easy peazy.
Step 11: Use your X-acto knife to make a perfect cut following the baseboard.
Once you get to the bottom, use your X-acto knife to make a perfect cut following the baseboard. Make sure you squeegeed all the way to the baseboard so you can make sure you aren't leaving space in between the baseboard and the paper.
Step 12: When you get to a corner, measure and cut the peel and stick wallpaper to size.
When it is not a perfect fit, you may have to cut a piece to size or wrap it around the wall. Measure the length you need and mark it on the paper to make your cuts. It may be a good idea to do this on the back so you don't mark up your design. Also consider how the pattern will need to line up, so you know which side of the paper to cut.
Step 13: Repeat the process until you are done!
Be sure to line up each new piece the same way you lined up the first. You can see in the after photo below, I did make one error in lining them up because I didn't use my level. So definitely use a level! Even if you mess up, it's removeable wallpaper! You could definitely go back and fix it if you catch it early. This was a closet, so for me a little imperfection wasn't going to worry me.
Annnndddd.... Did you know that Indian art creates imperfections purposely? I've read that they do this to remind themselves that humans are by nature not perfect, so attempting to achieve perfection goes against who we are. I'm embracing it! You should too!
Before & After
Alright, what'dya think? Soooo much better, right?! This closet actually started off with sliding doors, but they were so bulky and annoying, I had to take them down. You can check out the full nursery reveal to see how the rest of the room came out. It's one of my favorite rooms of our house hands down!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the best places to buy peel and stick wallpaper?
Does peel and stick wallpaper look cheap?
Depending on your pattern or how big of an area you are choosing, it's possible. However, I absolutely love this as an option for closets because it's a small area and the peel and stick wallpaper allows you to play with fun patterns on a smaller scale. Be picky about your pattern and you should come out on top!
Is peel and stick wallpaper more expensive than regular wallpaper?
It can be. The cost of peel and stick wallpaper can add up if you are doing a large area, but don't sleep on the clearance section of Target, Walmart, and other retailers that you can follow on Instagram to keep an eye out for their holiday deals (see my list above).
Can you put peel and stick wallpaper on textured walls?
Heck yes! I didn't even fill the holes that were behind my peel and stick wallpaper because of how thick and smooth the paper went on. If you have way more texture all over, I would suggest picking a pattern that is a little more busy. Although, there is also a way to use 1/4" melamine panels, which are not very expensive, to put over your textured walls before applying to get that smooth finish that adheres well. The thicker the paper, the better for textured walls.
Should you start hanging peel and stick wallpaper from a corner?
In short yes, but be sure to follow what your level says rather than the corner you are using. There's a chance that corner may not be perfectly level. If you are doing a whole room or multiple walls, choose the wall with the least amount of obstacles first to get the hang of things and then move on to the cuts around doors and windows, if needed.
What's the best way to hide imperfections if you make a mistake hanging peel and stick wallpaper?
First of all, if you just started to hang it and you notice a little ways down, I would suggest removing it and starting over again. If you find that you can't quite get it perfect, patterns are usually pretty forgiving. It may be helpful to draw some vertical guidelines using a large standard level on the wall to help line everything up appropriately before you begin to avoid making any hanging mistakes.
Do you need to overlap peel and stick wallpaper?
It does help to overlap ever so slightly to give it that seamless look, but don't go overboard. Depending on your pattern, you won't need to overlap very much. Try to match up the patterns to create a seamless look.
Got more questions? Ask them in the comment section at the end of this post!
Take Action! Your Next Steps...
“While others were dreaming about it - I was getting it done.”
― Nathan W. Morris
You got this! No more dreaming, take action so you can begin revelling in your accomplishments! And as you know, the teacher in me can't let you leave without giving you a bit of homework, right? Here's what to do next...
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