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Tips & Hacks

How to Apply Peel and Stick Wallpaper

by Samantha Potter|Aug 19, 2021

Welcome to the most challenging DIY project I’ve ever done in my life to date. One you look at and assume, “oh hey, this will be easy peasy. I mean, I was the sticker boss as a kid. How hard could it be in comparison?”

I can assure you, peel and stick wallpaper is NOT easy. It requires patience, a high level of detail and care, and practice. You’re probably looking at me like hello lady, if I’m going to do peel and stick wallpaper, I’m committing. What in the world do you think I’m practicing on?!

Peel and Stick Wallpaper Tips

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Okay, I’m going to just dive into my tips for doing peel and stick wallpaper.

First tip: Maybe I don’t mean practice perse. I mean start small. Don’t go for an 8ft tall bathroom as I did. Perhaps you have some board and batten that comes halfway up the wall and you want to do peel and stick wallpaper on the top half – GREAT idea. Perhaps you have a cute little laundry room where you want to do an accent wall – another great idea. A designer friend told me the bathroom is the hardest room to wallpaper. Don’t set yourself up for failure – don’t start in a bathroom.

Second tip: don’t pick an intricate pattern as I did. Pick something more forgiving that doesn’t necessarily need to line up absolutely perfectly. Save yourself that headache.

The third tip: have several hours/days to commit to this project and set yourself up for the expectation this will take a while.

Mainly, learn from my plethora of mistakes.

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What you need to apply peel and stick wallpaper:

  • peel and stick wallpaper – some of my favorite patterns are below
  • a level
  • a tape measure
  • a pencil
  • a wallpaper scraper
  • an Exacto knife
  • scissors
  • gigantic paper clips
  • a bottle of wine (JK.. or am I?!)
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How to apply peel and stick wallpaper:

  • The concept of this is a super simple peel and stick the wallpaper, you think a toddler could do it. No, the reason it’s so finicky is that it’s massively sticky and the second you pull it up, it stretches and then when you go to scrape it down, it bubbles. So try try try your best to get it right on your first stick.
  • Measure the width of your peel and stick wallpaper. Using a pencil and your level, draw a straight line that is the same width as your wallpaper down the wall. You can go tight to the corner or allow for a little bit of overlap on the corner, the choice is yours. I went tight to the corner the second time around and found it to be MUCH easier than having a little extra overhang.
  • Roll up your wallpaper and secure it using a large paper clip on either side – this makes it easier to maneuver around without bending the peel and stick wallpaper. I leave approx. 2-3 ft free. Once you’re lined up with the ceiling, in place, you can remove the paper clips if you want (TBH, mine would fall off).
  • Peel the back down leaving 1.5-2 ft of sticky available to you. DO NOT let the sticky part touch the sticky part – you do that and your wallpaper is toast. Align your wallpaper with the top of the wall and the line you drew. Honestly, I used the line as a guide making sure I was going straight but didn’t align the paper directly onto it – if that makes sense.
  • As you stick your wallpaper, use your scraper and stick the wallpaper to the wall/flatten it out. At the ends, I move the scraper from the middle towards the outside (max. 5 inches in from the outside). Once this is secure, I take the scraper and start in the middle and scrape downwards another 5 inches. I move to either side scraping down again.
  • Peel more of the sticky off of the back, and repeat the process. When you find that the paper is getting bulky, I suggest taking your scissors and cutting the peeled-off portion of the peel and stick paper.
  • When you’re ready to trim the peel and stick wallpaper at the bottom or sides, take your scraper and hold it where you want to trim. Grab a sharp Exacto knife and trim away using the scraper as a guide.
  • Repeat these steps until your room is complete!

What do you think?! Will you try some peel and stick wallpaper?!

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This article was written by Samantha from Signed Samantha.

Meet The Author

Samantha is a working mama who has always been looking to find that work/life balance.

On her website, you’ll find a daily dose of inspiration, coupled with a ton of sarcasm and a few laughs. Signed Samantha is a millennial mom who encompasses all things food, cocktails, entertaining, home decor, easy D.I.Ys, toddler activities, and everything in between.

Check out her Blog, Instagram & Pinterest!

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