I’m a HUGE fan of wallpaper. Its currently in 4 rooms of my home. I know that installing it on your own may seem overwhelming, but I’m promising you, its doable! Want to hear my best tips?! Let’s get started!
how to install removable wallpaper
For this project, I’m finally starting on the playroom! The back wall will have wallpaper that will be SUCH a statement!!! I selected this tiger wallpaper from Anewall. I love the mint background and the whimsy of the tigers! We have a bunch of cute art and accessories from when Don’s nursery was jungle themed, so I wanted to reuse those while bringing in the new mural.
One of the HUGE benefits of removable wallpaper is that it is renter friendly (I used it when renting here). The removable process is simple and doesn’t damage walls. So if you have boring walls and you rent or own, peel and stick wallpaper is a GREAT choice!
p.s. if you’re looking for affordable wallpaper, I share my secret sources here!
- Removable wallpaper
- Step Stool
Begin your wallpapering project by gathering your supplies and then cleaning the wall. You want to get the dirt up so that the wallpaper sticks as well as possible. For us, the playroom wall was newly drywalled so I painted one coat of paint. Wallpaper needs paint or primer to adhere to, so I painted instead of cleaning. Make sure to also remove outlet and light switch covers.
start on the left side of the wall
For most wallpapers, you start on the left side of the wall and work right. The instructions on your wallpaper will verify that. I started on the left corner. Just know, getting the first strip in correctly takes awhile. Just lining it up straight can be a little tricky. But since the rest of your wallpaper lines up with it, its important! I like to draw a level line on the wall so that even if the corner isn’t straight, your wallpaper is.
leave extra wallpaper at the top
Where your wall meets the ceiling, you’re going to want to leave 2 inches of paper at the top. If your ceilings are not straight (say they go up to the right), that means that you’ll have extra wallpaper so you don’t have a big gap at the top of the wall. I didn’t always do this, but it definitely gives me peace of mind and creates a seamless look.
tips for matching the pattern
For a big pattern like this, matching the pattern is super important! Here’s what I do- I stand on the step stool and at eye level, I match 12″ of the pattern perfectly. Above where I matched and below won’t be touching the wall yet. Once I have the 12″ matched, I’ll use the squeegee and work my way horizontally. Then I’ll work my way up and trim the ceiling piece. Lastly, I’ll work my way down.
If you don’t match the pattern perfectly the first time (which is normal!), just pull the wallpaper off the wall and re-stick it! Keep repeating until you get it right. Peel and stick wallpaper is usually nice and sticky so use that to your advantage to get it right.
DON’t Take all of the backing off at once
Whatever you do, DO NOT take all of the backing off the removeable wallpaper at once! You’ll get a big bubbly mess. Instead, pull the backing off at the top just to the bottom of where you’re matching in the step above. Once the top of the wallpaper is adhered to the wall until you reach the backing, pull the backing down 1-2 inches at a time and use the squeegee to smooth it down. I PROMISE that you’ll get a gorgeously smooth wallpaper application!
trim at the baseboards
Usually, you’re going to trim the excess wallpaper when you reach the baseboards. Since mine aren’t installed yet, I just made sure to continue the wallpaper lower than the baseboards will hit. It looks crazy now, but once those are in, it’ll look beautiful! I LOVE wallpapering before trim is in because it gives the most pristine finish.
wallpapering around outlets/door openings
When I got to the only outlet on the wall, I just went over the outlet with the wallpaper. I did the same process when going around the door. Than I used my pencil to trace the edge of the drywall. I used my scissors to cut out that rectangle that I drew. Easy peasy!
how to trim the wallpaper
At the top and bottom of the wall, the wallpaper will need to be trimmed. I’ve used a razor blade to do that, but the edges always ended up jagged for me. So now, I use a pencil and make a line where I want the wallpaper to end. Then I pull the wallpaper back off the wall and cut it with scissors. That’s given me a nice straight edge (even on my tricky angled walls).
have a garbage bag ready
The only down side to removable wallpaper is that the backing makes for a LOT of garbage! I like to have a garbage can or bag ready so I can immediately throw it away and keep my work area clean. Side note, rolling up the backing will be get it as small as possible.
Alright! I think those are all of my best tips! Here’s a few after photos (thought they’re really progress pictures since painting still needs to be done).
I am so, so happy with how the wallpaper turned out! I think that the tigers are really fun! And Don loves them too, so win win!
I shared these tips on my Instagram Stories. I wanted to put them on here because I think they are also helpful.
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Valerie Hill says
That tiger print is really engaging and active! So fun for a playroom!!