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How to Apply Peel and Stick Wallpaper

how to apply peel and stick removable wallpaper tips and tricks
Wallpaper can look amazing, but it can also be a lot of work. Nobody wants to spend hours of their day preparing walls, then applying wallpaper in a fit of exhaustion. Thankfully, the world of wallpaper has gotten a little easier, and peel and stick wallpaper exists. If you weren’t aware, peel and stick wallpaper is super easy to work with - that’s why we’re going to go through how you can use it today. Next time you need to wallpaper a room or feel the urge to spice things up a little - peel and stick wallpaper is there! Let’s take a look at this miracle stuff.

Peel and Stick vs Regular Wallpaper - the Difference

As we just mentioned, peel and stick wallpaper is applied to the wall via the self adhesive on the back of the wallpaper. Traditional, or regular wallpaper, however, requires some kind of glue paste to glue it to the wall. The texture is also different - peel and stick is a more fabric like texture, since the product is actually fabric. Traditional wallpaper can have different finishing textures, but it’s generally textureless and smooth. However, both products tend to have a matte finish, though you can get glossy finishes in traditional wallpapering.
Coloring is also a little different, as most peel and stick wallpaper uses a crisp white background. Traditional wallpaper, however, has an off-white color. You could say that the peel and stick wallpaper is a little more vivid, while traditional is muted. If you want to see a more in-depth article on the differences between peel and stick wallpaper and traditional, check out our article focusing on it.

How to Apply Peel and Stick Wallpaper

While applying peel and stick wallpaper is a lot easier than traditional, there are still a couple of important steps you need to follow. Not only that, but there are some specific tools that you will need in order to get the job done. You will also need to ensure that the wall you are going to stick the wallpaper to can hold the new paper. Typically, this type of wallpaper sticks best to walls that have a semi-gloss, satin, or eggshell finish. However, you may want to check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if your specific wallpaper will adhere to the walls you have.
how to apply peel and stick removable wallpaper essential tools
In order to not waste money, you will need to check how much wallpaper you are going to need to finish an area. To do this, you will need to carefully measure the area, then buy a little extra wallpaper on top. This is just in case a mistake happens or some wallpaper tears. Better to be safe than sorry! Not to mention, you will need more wallpaper if you need to accommodate things like doors and windows.
What you will need:
  • Utility knife
  • Mild cleaner
  • Cloth or sponge
  • Straightedge
  • Measuring tape
  • Plastic smoothing tool
  • Peel and stick wallpaper

The Method

The first step is all about prepping the walls for your peel and stick wallpaper to be applied to. To do this, you will need to turn the power off so that you can remove the outlet covers and plates of light switches safely. Once you’ve removed these things, the wall will need to be cleaned. You can do this by simply wiping it down with a slightly damp cloth or sponge and mild cleaner. You will need to wait at least 24 hours before applying your wallpaper after doing this to ensure it’s fully dry. Check the manufacturer’s instructions printed out on your wallpaper. Some wallpaper needs to acclimate to the temperature of the surroundings in order to stick properly. Always double check this before you proceed.

For step two, you will need to measure how wide your peel and stick wallpaper is, then transfer that to the wall using a pencil. Doing this will show you how much wallpaper you are going to need. To get straight lines up and down the wall, use a straightedge and draw the line. The line should be all the way from the baseboard to the ceiling, unless you have a different plan in mind for your decorating. Doing this will simply make application a lot easier, and you will be able to keep the wallpaper straight as you work.

Next up, you will actually apply the wallpaper. You will likely peel off around 12 inches of the wallpaper’s adhesive backing and line it up. Ensure that the wallpaper’s edges line up with the lines you drew on with a pencil. Start at the top of the wall, and start adhering the wallpaper. You will need to press the wallpaper to the wall while also continuously smoothing it out. Use the plastic smoothing tool and use downward strokes to keep the wallpaper smooth. Doing this will remove any air bubbles you see. When the whole piece has been applied, use the utility knife to cut away the excess at the baseboards.
peel and stick removable wallpaper
As you work, make sure each panel of wallpaper matches with the patterns beside it. You may want to overlap the pieces slightly, then smooth them out to do this effectively.

If you’re working around outlets, windows, or other features, work carefully. Use a straightedge and the utility knife to keep corners crisp and remove any excess wallpaper.

If you see any air bubbles when you’re done, simply create a tiny hole in the paper with your utility knife and let the air out. Make sure to make it as unnoticeable as possible!
peel and stick wallpaper girls room interior


Peel and stick wallpaper is incredibly easy to use, and anyone can do it! If you find yourself needing to redecorate, you should check this out as an option. It’s great for renters or anyone who doesn’t want a decorating solution that is too permanent. Good luck wallpapering!

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