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The Ultimate Guide: Applying Peel and Stick Wallpaper Like a Pro

Peel and Stick Wallpaper Final

I think it is safe to say the mudroom is officially complete. Did you see the mudroom locker project I recently completed? Check it out HERE. We have loved the lockers! Would you believe me if I said my kids have actually been really good at keeping their locker clean and the doors closed? Definitely a winner of a project, for sure! But that is not what you are here for, you are here to learn a few quick peel and stick wallpaper tips and tricks. And while we are at it, you can check out the way my mudroom turned out! I love that you can completely transform a space with minimal effort. And wallpaper can truly change a space.

The first step was actually finishing things I did not get to when I did the lockers. Like fix the massive hole that I made, and replace a missing piece of baseboard, then give all the baseboards a fresh coat of paint. Once that was done, I had to do the demo/prep work. This wall use to be a chalk board wall, so I had to sand it down a bit to make sure it was smooth. Which leads me to the first tip.

Tip #1 to applying peel and stick wallpaper

Make sure the walls are smooth. Applying peel and stick wallpaper to textured walls is generally not recommended. You can occasionally see the texture through the wallpaper, or it just kinda sticks odd. In addition, it will not have complete adherence so it may not last as long or look very good.

Once the wall was smooth, I decided to prime the wall where the chalkboard paint was. Which is tip #2!

Tip #2

Be aware of the color of the wall and the color of the wallpaper you are applying. Is the wall dark and you are applying a light colored wallpaper? If so, you may need to prime the wall first, so that the color of the wall does not show through the wallpaper. Even a thick, high end wallpaper may show a dark color through. In my case, I wanted to prime it because only part of the wall was black, the rest was white, so I did not want there to be a visible difference. It was easier to just throw a coat of primer on and rest assured knowing the final product would look great!

Now that the walls were all clean, smooth and primed, I was ready to get started with hanging the wallpaper. The next tip is quite possibly the most important.

Tip #3

Make sure your first row is perfectly straight. That does not mean lined up evenly with the corner of the wall or the ceiling. Because did you know that most of the time your walls are not a perfectly straight/square. There is always some variation. So instead of lining the edge of the wallpaper up to the corner of the wall, use a laser level or a regular level and draw a line that is perfectly level. Then use that line to apply your first piece. Keep in mind, it is completely normal for the first piece to take you a while. It is important that you take your time on that piece so the rest line up correctly.

Tip #4

The next tip when installing wallpaper is to leave 2-3 inches at the top and bottom as overhang. Back to what we just talked about before about your walls probably not being completely straight. If the ceiling line is off and you want to have slack that you can use to accommodate for that. This will give your wallpaper the best chance of being beautifully seamless.

Peel and Stick Wallpaper Tip #5

When applying peel and stick wallpaper, start at the top and peel 12-18 inches of backing, leaving the rest on. Line it up, then press it onto the wall starting in the middle and moving towards the edges. This will allow you to press out any bubbles there may be to get a bubble/crease free finish. Continue peeling the backing as you move down the wall.

I absolutely love how this wallpaper turned out. I added a piece of artwork I made a while back, swapped out the rug and it was complete! What do you think? Would you try applying wallpaper?

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