Tips and Tricks to Apply Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper Like a Pro

Tips and Tricks to Apply Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper Like a Pro

In the ever-evolving world of interior design, wall decor has undergone significant transformations over generations. But from the ancient frescoes of Roman villas to the intricate tapestries of the Renaissance, one thing has remained constant: we’ve always used walls as a canvas for personal expression. It only makes sense that in our modern age of “I want it now!”, wallpapers became the popular choice of infusing personality to our walls.

But the real game-changer came in the form of peel-and-stick wallpaper. No more messy glue, no more "Oops, that's crooked." Just peel, stick, and voilà! Instant room transformation. Perfect for DIY enthusiasts, they’re not only hassle-free and come bearing stunning results, they're also budget-friendly and come in more designs than you can fathom.

Now, while it does sound convenient, slapping on some peel-and-stick wallpaper isn't just a "peel, stick, and hope for the best" situation. Whether you've been DIY-ing since before it was cool or you're just trying to cover up that doodle your niece drew on the wall, our expert tips are here to make sure your space looks less "I tried" and more "Nailed it!"

1. Prepare your walls – the foundation for a flawless application

Before moving to that fancy wallpaper, it’s a good idea to focus on what’s going to be underneath it and give your walls some much-needed TLC. Here's the drill:

  • The first thing you need is a clean slate for your wallpaper, so start off by giving your walls a gentle wipe-down with a damp cloth to banish the dust bunnies, dirt and grime. Allow them to dry thoroughly overnight. 
    • Imperfections can hinder the adhesive quality of the wallpaper. Fill 'em up! Patch and smooth out any divots, dents, or drama from past DIY projects gone wrong. Then, sand the area down for a uniformly smooth finish.
    Guy sanding and applying primer to wall

    • Apply primer on the wall for better adhesion, especially if your walls are porous and imperfect. Think of a primer as the bridge between your wall and the wallpaper. It preps and primes your wall, ensuring your wallpaper sticks around for the long haul.
  • Our temporary FRP modular walls are designed with a super smooth finish as they’re meant to be used as is – they’re so smooth that they need no surface treatment. But that same smoothness also means that wallpapers might slide off them over time. However, we can’t blame you if you're feeling extra or have fallen in love with our peel-and-stick wallpaper collection! If that’s the case, sand the surface of the temporary walls thoroughly for that extra grip.
  • 2. Equip yourself with the right tools

    Guy Measuring wall

    A craftsman is only as good as his tools, and the same holds true for wallpaper application. Here's your essential toolkit:

    • Squeegee/smoothing tool: This will be your best friend in ensuring a bubble-free application. It helps in pressing the wallpaper onto the wall and smoothing out any air pockets.
    • Utility knife: A sharp utility knife ensures clean cuts, especially when trimming excess edges or navigating around fixtures. It’s crucial for those moments when precision is key. And trust us, there will be many.
    • Ruler and level: Nobody likes wonky wallpaper, so save the eyeballing for cooking, and use these for perfectly aligned wallpaper.
    • Pencil: Handy for marking any measurements or reference points on the wall.

    3. Start at the top

    Every great story starts at the beginning, and for wallpapers, that's the top. By aligning your wallpaper with the ceiling or molding, you ensure a straight and seamless application. This becomes especially crucial if your wallpaper has a pattern that needs to align perfectly across the wall.

    Guy applying wallpaper starting at the top of the wall

    If your chosen wallpaper boasts a design or pattern, starting at the top also ensures that the most visible parts of the design are perfectly positioned. Plus, it helps plan how the pattern will flow and where it might need adjustments or alignments further down the wall.

    4. Peel back gradually: patience is key

    Sure, peel-and-stick sounds like a breeze. But, a common pitfall many fall into is rushing the process. It might be tempting to rip off the entire backing like a band-aid, but hold your horses! A little at a time gives you better control over the wallpaper, ensuring smoother application and reducing the risk of air bubbles.

    One of the most forgiving features of peel-and-stick wallpapers is that you have the ability to reposition them. By peeling back gradually, you don’t lose much of the adhesive quality and you can adjust as you go, ensuring the wallpaper sits just right. Remember, the beauty of DIY is in the journey as much as the outcome.

    5. Smooth out the air bubbles for a flawless finish

    Removing bubbles from the newly applied wallpaper

    Air bubbles are the nemesis of wallpaper enthusiasts. But with the right techniques, you can ensure a bubble-free application. As you apply the wallpaper, use a smoothing tool to push out any air bubbles. The trick is to work from the center of the wallpaper outwards to gently persuade those air bubbles to make an exit towards the edges.

    Got a bubble pesky bubble that just isn’t budging? A tiny pinprick is all it takes. Think of it as popping the wall's pimples. Once pricked, smooth over the area to flatten it completely.

    6. Overlap and trim for those seamless transitions

    Properly trimmed wallpaper edges

    When two wallpaper panels meet, you don’t want a clumsy handshake. What you want is a seamless embrace. Overlap the panels just a smidge so that there’s a continuous flow, especially if your wallpaper has a pattern.

    Once you've applied the wallpaper, there might be excess material at the edges or baseboards. With a sharp utility knife in hand, trim the excess. Use a ruler as your guide to keep things sharp and chic.

    7. Navigating obstacles

    Every wall comes with its unique set of challenges, be it outlets, switches, or windows. When you reach an outlet or switch, apply the wallpaper as if it isn't there. Then, make a small X-cut over the obstacle and trim the excess, leaving a small margin to tuck behind the plate.

    When approaching a window or door frame, allow the wallpaper to overlap slightly. Then, using your utility knife, trim the excess for a neat finish. When you reach a corner, smooth the wallpaper into it so the bubbles are out. Then, begin the next wall by overlapping slightly for a seamless look.

    8. Understand quality: not all wallpapers are created equal

    Peel-and-stick wallpapers sound like a dream, but let's be real: not all of them are VIP material. Premium peel-and-stick wallpapers don't just look pretty; they're built to last. They resist tears, are a cinch to clean, and maintain their vibrancy over time. Plus, they come with superior adhesive that makes them stick around (quite literally) for longer. No risk of peeling and bubbling and the “now you see it, now you don’t” situation.

    Vibrant Wallpaper patterns

    Also bear in mind that a wallpaper's design can make or break a room's aesthetic. A high quality wallpaper is one that can breathe life into any space with fabulous and vibrant patterns, whether you’re a fan of the Mediterranean Tile patterns, Tropical Flowers wallpaper or a Southwest Geometric pattern wallpaper.  

    Geometric patterns

    9. Save the backing sheet for future flexibility

    One of the joys of peel-and-stick wallpaper is its reusability. If you're the type to change your mind (or decor) often, keep that original backing sheet close as your ticket to a Wallpaper Round 2. When it’s time for a switcheroo, start by peeling off the top of the wallpaper and align the edges of the shiny side of the backing to the back side of the wallpaper. Then, roll down from the wall, reverse rolling the wallpaper onto itself and the backing sheet. Roll your wallpaper and store it safely. This way, you preserve the adhesive and make sure the wallpaper remains in top condition for future reuse.

    Just a quick heads up here – not all peel-and-stick wallpapers are actually designed for a repeat performance, so make sure you check before investing in any. Since we’re all about flexible and adaptable DIY décor, we make sure all our peel-and-stick wallpapers are of top-tier quality with a strong adhesive, ready to stick by you through all your décor whims and fancies.

    10. Unleash your creativity beyond walls

    Wallpaper applied to other furnitures

    Just because they’re “wall-papers” doesn’t necessarily mean they’re just for walls! Got an old piece of furniture? Slap on some wallpaper to drawer fronts, table tops and table sides and watch them go from drab to fab. They’re a cost-effective and mess-free alternative to paint. From spicing up your bookshelves or craft one-of-a-kind art pieces, they open up a world of possibilities for any DIY project.

    Peel-and-Stick wallpapers used for temporary backdrops

    Hosting a party or staging your home for sale? Use peel-and-stick wallpaper to create temporary backdrops or decor pieces. And when the last guest leaves, remove them without any drama.

    From a simple stick to stunning walls

    Peel-and-Stick wallpaper used to create stunning walls

    Peel-and-stick wallpapers might seem like child's play, but as with any masterpiece, the devil's in the details. Sure, they're designed to be a breeze, but simply winging it won't cut it if you're aiming for that professional, magazine-worthy finish. From prepping your walls to ensuring a bubble-free finish, these expert tips and tricks ensure your wallpaper application is less about guesswork and more about precision. Remember, it's not just about sticking it on; it's about making it stick in style. 

    Ready to transform those walls from mere boundaries to conversation starters? Whether you're on a mission to revamp a room or just itching for a fun DIY Sunday, let our peel-and-stick wallpapers be your muse. Our wide range of wallpapers comes not just with top-notch stickiness that lasts from one DIY project to the next, but also a multitude of designs, which means there’s something for everyone! Go on, let your walls do the talking.