How to Install Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

How to Install Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper - roomfortuesday.comDo you guys remember this nursery I designed for my friend last summer? Well, we installed peel-and-stick wallpaper and the questions came flooding in! After I announced I’d be installing the same product (in a different print) in my mini powder room makeover, I figured a tutorial was in order. Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy installing wallpaper of all different types (the pasted kind, as well as adhesive backed papers). I’m here to tell you, it really isn’t as difficult as it seems- especially the peel-and-stick variety. Click through for a quick and simple tutorial if you’re planning your own DIY project!

*This post is NOT sponsored, but I do want to note- the wallpaper for my powder room was gifted to me from Chasing Paper. Big thank you to them for the support! I’m a fan of their products and have used them often. 

How to Install Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper - roomfortuesday.comSUPPLIES + TOOLS

You really don’t need much for this project. It’s very basic and beginner in terms of DIY tutorials. I will say- this project works best on SMOOTH walls. It doesn’t really adhere well or look great on textural walls.

Step 1 // Clean the wall. Begin by wiping your walls with a mild cleaner. Basically, you want them to be free of dust and grease before wallpapering. If you want to prime them for the smoothest result, that’s also an option- just be sure to do it a week or so in advance.

How to Install Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper - roomfortuesday.comStep 2 // Level up. Before installing your first panel, set up your laser level. This helps to ensure the panels are being hung accurately and will help them align.

How to Install Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper - roomfortuesday.comStep 3 // Peel the backing. Next, gently peel the backing from the paper, starting in the top corner. To begin, I’ll peel 4″ down from the top in a straight line, exposing the adhesive at the top of the panel.

How to Install Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper - roomfortuesday.comStep 4 // Tag the top. Now that your adhesive backing is exposed, line it up and tag the top. Tagging the top just means to press it down so you can work hands-free.

How to Install Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper - roomfortuesday.comStep 5 // Smooth it out. Next, working in a linear motion with your squeegee, smooth the paper out from top to bottom, pull the backing off as you work your way toward the floor. That’s really it! It’s very easy once you get in the rhythm. The most difficult part is taking your time to align the panels so the seams match. Repeat the process, then trim the excess with your xacto knife.

I finished about half of the powder room yesterday before I had to hop back on my computer, so I’m not going to give away how the powder room is shaping up quite yet. I’ll save it for the reveal! However, I will share a couple beautiful images of the nursery I wallpapered last summer using the same process…

How to Install Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper - roomfortuesday.comWe used the Botany wallpaper from Chasing paper, and it looks so sweet in baby girl’s room! What a lucky little lady to have a stunning mid century nursery and wonderful parents.

How to Install Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper - roomfortuesday.comIf you have any wallpaper installation questions, I’m happy to help in the comment section below! I hope you’re all having a good week. Things have been super busy over here, but it has been a fun few days work-wise.

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  1. We started installing a shiplap patterned peel and stick, but we can not get the pattern to match up! Have you ever had this problem? We can’t figure what we possibly did wrong!

    1. That happened to me once when installing the nursery wallpaper I linked in the post… I really tugged and pulled HARD on a panel and accidentally stretched it. With peel-and-stick, it’s important not too pull or tug to make it align because the material is definitely prone to stretching.

  2. As usual, you make everything look so easy, and the pattern is lovely! My big question is for those of us who are laser level-less. Could I just mark a vertical and horizontal guideline? My process would obviously be more tedious, but…it could work, right? Another question I have is about textured walls. If I have the standard orange peel yuck, what is the best option? A light sanding? (Messy!) Skimcoat? (So much work!) Add that liner paper that I have seen? (Does it even work?) Maybe regular pasted wallpaper is more forgiving of a little texture? Sarah, can you tell I’m conflicted about wallpaper?! I might need some hand-holding.🤣🤷‍♀️

    1. Thanks Peggi! Yes- if you don’t have a laser level on hand, you could definitely mark it with a pencil for your guideline. It’s the exact same thing :) As for the textured walls, I’d recommend skim coating over sanding. It’s much easier! Our walls have a tiny bit of texture because of paint build-up. Before we purchased the home, the previous owners had the entire house sprayed in gray paint. There are plenty of imperfections I notice from the spray gun (drips, texture, etc). The good news about a little texture? A wallpaper with an organic or busy pattern definitely helps to mask it. I’d say that peel-and-stick is actually more forgiving in hiding texture than traditional wallpaper- it’s thicker. Hope this helped and happy Wednesday!! xo

  3. I love the idea of doing some wallpaper somewhere in my home, and I’ve been thinking lately about wallpapering the toilet stall in our master bath. You’ve given me so many ideas in the last few months, and I’m trying to fish through them as I go! My kids thoroughly damaged the builder grade drawer boxes in our master bath vanity a few days ago, so I’m in the process of having new boxes built and selecting new door/drawer fronts…looks like my master bath refresh is now happening in the next few months! I’m excited! I can’t wait to see this room finished, because it’s shaping up to be so beautiful. Thanks for sharing the wallpaper tutorial! It looks simple enough; now to hunt for wallpaper! Is the peel and stick easy to remove? Would you be willing to do a blog post about the different types of wallpaper there are, the pros and cons of using each type, and maybe a roundup of tour favorites of each type?? Have a happy Wednesday Sarah!

    1. I love that idea, Lauren! Enjoy your bathroom refresh- it sounds like it’s going to be amazing :) The peel and stick is pretty easy to remove! Great idea for the blog post- I’ll add that to the list. Have a great day! xo

  4. My big question is: does it come off? Easily? I have toyed with the idea of doing peel and stick wallpaper, but we have been so scarred by wallpaper removal that my husband has categorically forbidden it!

    1. It does come off pretty easily without damaging (so crazy, I know). My friend Crystal, actually MOVED her peel-and-stick wallpaper and reused it in another room. So nuts! Just to be safe though- and please your husband… I’d maybe test it first. xo

  5. OH man I need a chasing paper discount code haha. Also, for the life of me I cannot figure out the measurements of my kids’ room because we live in a cape cod with tapered ceilings so it isn’t a box shape at all!

  6. my question is about how to go around outlets and pipes?!?!

    1. You’ll just want to measure and mark those areas on the paper, then using your xacto- cut a little X shape. You should be able to poke the plumbing through or squeegee around the outlets. Once the paper is down, you can go back in and precisely cut around the shape of the fixture or outlet :)

  7. Angela Johnson says:

    What are my options if there is already wallpaper on the walls? Do I have to remove it? Or is it safe to apply new wallpaper over the old?
    Love your blog and your projects!

    1. Unfortunately, you have to remove it Angela. Peel-and-stick would probably adhere, but I’m not sure about the longevity or if it would damage the existing paper when it came time to remove it. Thank you! xo

  8. Hi Sarah.
    What a coincidence that you should post a how-to for peel and stick wallpaper. I happen to have several rolls mocking me from the corner because I’ve been too nervous to attempt it for our powder room but is on my ever-growing To-DO list. Kismet? I would like to believe YES! I will be attempting this in the next few days! Thank you for your wonderful blog!

    1. Yesss!! You can do it, Sandra :) Let me know how it goes or if you have questions. xo

  9. Alicia Solberg says:

    What would your suggestion be adding peel & stick wallpaper to a wall that butts up against a logs in a log home??
    Like scalloped edge…. :)

    1. I would say cut around it with an x-acto knife, so it looks like it fits… or use a piece of trim to stop the wallpaper. Maybe the wallpaper could live inside panel moulding of some sort? Hope this is helpful, Alicia!