How To Put Up Peel And Stick Wallpaper

June 19, 2021

Disclosure
Hello Friends!

I hope you're enjoying a lovely start to your weekend.

I just came back from the beach and am ready to share all the details from my peel and stick wallpaper pantry makeover.

I have to say, this DIY was so much easier than I anticipated and the results were far better than I expected.

It's a process and a product, I highly recommend. 

Peel and stick wallpaper is a great alternative to paint. There's almost no prep and it's super easy to hang. And it's cheap. Win-win.

So if you remember, I started here:

Disorganized Pantry

My pantry was a worn and tattered mess in desperate need of an update.

The walls were faded and chipped and while I could've painted them again, I was looking for something a bit more dramatic.

I considered traditional wallpaper, and even though the products are a lot easier to work with today, I've been down that road before and wasn't up for a job that big and that involved.

Enter peel and stick wallpaper.

I'd heard about it before, but I'd also heard that it wasn't easy to put up.

Or take down.

However. This pantry closet has looked the same for the past 20 years. There was no way any paper would be coming down in the near future.

So that was one hesitation out of the way.

As for putting it up, I'm an expert contact paper installer and I figured it couldn't be much different.

So I hit click and ordered two rolls in a rustic stacked stone pattern <---This is the one I used.

And got to work.

{Peek at the completed and organized pantry!!}

How To Hang Peel And Stick Wallpaper


Ok, so before we get to the actual hanging, you have to order your paper...and to do that, you need to measure.

1. Measure Carefully

The manufacturer of the specific brand you choose will list the coverage on the package.

Simply measure your area, calculate your square footage and order enough rolls to cover.

Keep in mind you might need extra to line up patterns or make your way around cuts, so alway, always overestimate and order more.

2. Wipe Down The Walls

Ripping Out Old Pantry

The walls need to be clean and dry before you can begin, so we didn't wash ours down. 

We just removed all the shelves and painted the ceiling and shelf supports.

Once they dried, we vacuumed the walls with a brush tool and then we wiped them down with a rag. 

Our goal was to remove any dusty, crumbly debris that would get caught in the adhesive and create a bump or prevent the adhesive from gripping well.

However, if you have a greasy spot that would prevent the wallpaper from sticking, you need to wash the walls using warm water only.

Of course, then you would need to wait until they were fully dry before applying the peel and stick wallpaper. 

3. Draw Guide Lines

Draw Guide Lines On The Wall

With fresh paint and clean walls, it was time to map out our project.  We started by measuring the width of the paper.

Then, using a measuring tape and a very long level, we drew vertical guide lines on the pantry walls that corresponded with the paper measurements.

This ensured that our pattern would be straight and square when we hung it up. 

4. Peel and Stick

Guide Lines For Wallpaper

With a grid on the wall, it was magic time. 

We peeled the top part of the paper backing away about 12 inches, placed the paper next to the lines and stuck it to the wall. 

We made sure to leave a bit of overhang at the top, that we would trim away later, since our ceilings are old and not square.

Then we carefully pulled the rest of the backing paper away as we applied the paper to the rest of the wall, using our hands to smooth it down as we went.

5. Smooth It Out

Using a scraper to smooth wallpaper

While the wallpaper was mostly smooth at this point, we did use a plastic putty spatula to make sure there weren't any air bubbles lurking. 

The flat pressure also helped to really stick the paper to the wall. One tip, our walls aren't perfect, like I said this house is old.

Stacked Stone Peel and Stick Wallpaper

There are bumps, so we were careful to move gingerly around them, because if we scraped over them, the paper could rip. 

6. Matching Patterns and Seams

Matching Seams On Wallpaper with rock patterned paper

Of course, our pantry needed more than one sheet. We had to repeat this process several times. However, once the first one was up the others were easy.

The toughest part was matching the patterns and creating seams. The instructions recommend a very slight (1/32in) overlap. 

Our pattern was extremely forgiving and we had the shelf supports separating sheets. That eliminated the need for an exact match. 

7. Trim

Cutting Wallpaper with knife

The last part of the wallpaper application was a tedious one. We had to trim the tops and bottoms of each sheet and cut in around each of those shelf supports. 

To do this, placed the plastic spatula along the edges, as it provided a sturdy straight edge and an exacto knife to cut.

We made sure we had a lot of replacement blades on hand, since a sharp tool is what ensures a perfect cut.

When the walls were done, we tackled the shelves adding the sweet, cottage style contact paper patterns

Shelves With Rolls Of Contact Paper

The trimming here was a little more involved.

In places where we needed to cut against the new wallpaper, we used two scrapers.

Cutting In Contact Paper

One was placed between the wall and the contact paper, so the knife wouldn't cut into it the new wallpaper, and the other served as the straight edge.

It honestly only took us about an hour to put up the wallpaper. The shelves took another few days, since I had to order more contact.

I also had to order some new baskets and supplies to organize the space

But it was totally worth the wait, because when I was done, I had the most gorgeous cottage style, stacked stone, flower clad pantry.

Cottagecore Pantry with stacked stone walls and flowered shelves

And all I had to do, was peel and stick.

How fabulous.

How To Hang Peel and Stick Wallpaper

Have you tried peel and stick wallpaper?
  1. You’ve inspired me. I’m running out to find some of that rock wall paper. Thanks!

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    1. I'm so glad! I included a link above for the exact paper on Amazon, but I believe they have it on the shelf at Home Depot, as well.

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  2. I have never used peel and stick wallpaper but it is a genius idea. I've put up wallpaper in the past but I like this new idea for wallpaper. You and your husband did a great job with the pantry! I hope you enjoy it for many years.

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    1. Thanks Julie! It was so easy, I was shocked. I think it was the perfect solution for the pantry. Enjoy the weekend and I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day Sunday with your husband.

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  3. I love your site, you are so real and explain things perfectly..love your style also, you can do my house anytime!

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    1. Oh my goodness, you just made my day...thank you so much. That is the best compliment of all. ❤️

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  4. I love all the paper you chose for your pantry. Thanks for the tips! It must be a joy to put away groceries now! :D

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    1. It really is Ricki. I actually look forward to putting things away now. We've only been shopping twice since everything's new, but I've been loving it.

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  5. The peel and stick is the best and I love all the patterns you could find. Your pantry is fabulous.

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    1. So many pretty patterns available Kris, and really easy to put up without any water or mess. And thank you, my friend...xxoo

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  6. I've never tired it, but I sure like how yours turned out! And I just love that stacked stone!

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    1. So simple to use, Mari! I highly recommend if you ever have a need. There are tons of patterns, but the stacked stone is definitely very fitting in my home.

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  7. I like that wallpaper and never knew they made peel and stick. I remember how messy the other kind was. No matter how careful I was, sometimes I would have water dripping down my arms trying to put it up. HA! HA!

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    1. Betty, I remember that too, and I just didn't have it in me to deal with that again. For this space, the peel and stick was perfect!!

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  8. This is very useful, Kim, thank you! I like to change the lining on my kitchen cupboards everyone once in a while and always use sticky-back wallpaper, so this will come in handy. I so like the look of your pantry! The wallpaper looks very professional and I love the mix-and-match look. Well done!
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thanks so much, Amalia! This was the perfect place to use the peel and stick and try it out. I have to say I was impressed. The mix and match is my favorite part, too...those flowers and checks just make me smile. xo

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  9. Thanks for the How To. I'm thinking of getting some inexpensive (cheap) bookshelves for my bedroom and I may try peel and stick wall paper on the backing. xo Laura

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    1. It was definitely the right decision for us, Laura. It's sturdier than contact paper and goes up easily. They have some many pretty patterns, even toile...and I would've gone that way if I could've found the right red toile, but all I saw was more of red brown. So stacked stone it was!! xo

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    1. Thank you, Tanza! I'm glad you found them useful.

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  11. I love it, Kim! It turned out so great! I love the cottage contact paper patterns too!

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    1. Thanks Deanna! I think they fit my little cottage well.

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  12. I like the patterns you used, it matches your style so well. Thank you for the great tutorial.
    Carla

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    1. Thanks Carla! I hope it comes in handy for someone looking to do the same! xo

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  13. Great job describing the process, Kim! Nice pics. And that tip about the two spatulas is so helpful. Looks so tidy! Happy Tuesday!

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    1. So glad you found something helpful here today, Kim!! If you ever decided to tackle a peel and stick project, I hope you'll let me know!

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  14. Great tutorial my friend and you know I' loving the pantry. Now to try and convince John. Not going to be easy but I'm going to try!

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    1. It was so easy, Cindy! I was shocked at how quickly it went up and how pretty and finished the wall looked when done. Even my doubting, let's just paint it, DIY guy was impressed. Good luck with John!!

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  15. Wonderful tutorial!! Now I have to find somewhere that I could use this because I love the look of it!! Thanks for sharing!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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    1. So easy to use, Debbie and so many fun patterns from tons of different companies. Definitely worth a try!! Happy Weekend!!

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