DIY: Applying Peel + Stick Wallpaper
Before launching my wallpaper line, I wanted to test out both the standard and peel + stick styles to get a solid feel for both of the products. For the standard style, I hired someone locally to apply the wallpaper to the wall for me, but, for the peel + stick, I took the DIY approach so that I could learn and share all the things for anyone wanting to go that route.
I want to preface this by emphasizing that I had zero peel + stick experience prior to this so I would not use this as your only resource for "how to apply peel + stick wallpaper." I am just sharing what I did and how this went for me!
WHAT YOU NEED
In addition to your wallpaper, make sure you have measuring tape, a smoothing tool, and a good exacto knife. A lot of people also recommend using a level, but as someone who is neither a perfectionist nor good at math, I didn't see that being a part of my journey. You might need a screwdriver or a drill to take out any unwanted fixtures (lighting, lightswitch plates, mirrors, towel racks, etc). Oh and you'll probably want a ladder too if you don't already have one.
I chose the Hepburn print in green to install in a guest bathroom (note: I wouldn't recommend installing peel + stick in a frequently used bathroom as the steam could potentially affect the adhesive). In my opinion, figuring how much wallpaper to order can be tricky and I actually found this to be one of the hardest parts. What was nice about having a contractor come and install the standard version is that they first came over, measured, and told me how much I needed. For the DIYers though, I found this guide to be a helpful tool for measuring the height and width to determine the square footage. For this bathroom, I ordered 4 5.5 yd rolls to work with and that ended up being the perfect amount. When in doubt, ALWAYS over order so there are no minor variations in color from having to order more.
To start, I measured the length of the wall and cut 4 strips of wallpaper from my rolls to the appropriate height, adding a few inches just in case. The tops of each roll will all line up correctly, so it's really easy to line up these strips of wallpaper so that the pattern matches up.
Before installing, make sure all towel racks, mirrors, light plates, etc. are off the wall and out of the way!
To install the first piece, I stood on a ladder and lined the top part in line with where the top of the wall meet the ceiling. You want to apply from the ceiling down. Once it was lined up, I slowly peeled about 4-5 inches of the adhesive paper off, and pressed the paper onto the wall. After making sure everything was straight and even, I then took the smoothing tool and ran it gently over the paper to smooth it down. I continued to repeat this process all the way down to the bottom of the wall. At the bottom of the wall, I took the exacto knife to cut off the excess. Then I started all over again with the next strip beside it! Once I hung the four strips initially cut, I started holding up the remaining strips to the wall, finding where the patterned matched, and then cutting the tops off where it lined up using my exacto knife. I spent somewhere between 6-7 hours installing this myself I think.
It sounds really easy when I summarize it like this, so let me backtrack and say that I messed up several times on the way down and it was totally fine.
1. If your paper creases/folds too much or isn't lined up right after you have stuck it, you can lift the paper back off the wall, re-stick it, and re-smooth it. I did this several times without damaging the walls or the wallpaper.
2. I accidentally caused the wallpaper to stick to itself on multiple occasions (be careful with how much adhesive paper you remove at a time for this reason). It seems like you won't be able to unstick the paper when this happens, but just pull at it until it separates (you'll have to pull harder than you think you need to for this).
3. I tried wallpapering around my light fixture and completely messed up. There was a random square that was not covered with wallpaper next to the fixture. To mitigate this, I took leftover wallpaper and patched it on top. You can't tell at all from far away, so, if you make a similar error, you can patch leftover wallpaper on top and smooth it on.
The trickiest parts:
1. The toilet: I had a really difficult time applying the wallpaper behind the toilet because it's a tight space that made it nearly impossible to pull the adhesive paper off. My paper completely stuck to itself trying to do this, and while I eventually got it unstuck, I would be 100x more cautious attempting again. I would do more research for tricks before doing this.
2. The light fixture (see mistake #3): I would take this off if you can if it's going to be in your way!
MY THOUGHTS ON PEEL + STICK
I love the results and would 100% do this again! I would recommend to anyone who isn't an obsessive perfectionist and is willing to potentially roll with a few creases and having a few places where the wallpaper lining up wasn't perfect. If you are a perfectionist or simply don't have time to install peel + stick yourself, standard wallpaper is also an option!
I think the best usage of peel+stick would be in a bedroom, hallway, accent wall, or any space that doesn't have a lot of obstacles (ex: a toilet) that make installing more challenging.
These are questions I received from an instagram poll that I wanted to share in case anyone else needed similar info:
1. Is the peel + stick removable?
Yes! The peel + stick was designed to be removed with minimal damage to the wall, but there may be some minor peeling upon removal.
2. What tips do you have for measuring your space?
I've never been good with math so I honestly had a hard time with this one! When I hired a contractor to install the standard wallpaper, they came over and measured for me before the installation. For the peel+stick, I measured the width and height of the space to determined square footage. I then determined how many yards I would need to cover the space. It's always better to over order when it doubt!
3. What roll size options will there be?
The rolls will be offered as 1.4 yd rolls, 2.7 yd rolls, 3.3 yd rolls, 5.5 yd rolls, and 10.9 yd rolls.
4. Are all the wallpapers peel + stick?
Yes! Each wallpaper will be offered as both a standard wallpaper AND as a peel+stick, so you can choose what works best for you.
5. Can it be applied to textured walls?
I believe experts advise against this! However, I think that probably depends on how textured the wall is. I would order a sample to test on the wall and see if you like how it looks and decide if it lays flat enough against the wall to install.
6. When does it launch?
My wallpaper line will officially be available June 1st!