Obviously I love to DIY. But I have to admit, I was totally scared stiff when it came to installing wallpaper for the first time. It’s so daunting! Ryan and I really wanted to use wallpaper in a couple of choice spots in the house. And while the idea of the finished product got me totally pumped, I was really wondering whether we’d be able to pull it off ourselves. We had found a couple of papers that we really loved from Murals Wallpaper (remember the flamingos in the nursery?!) and we got the itch to try tackling it ourselves so we just went for it. Luckily this particular wallpaper came with its own set of thorough instructions and didn’t seem nearly as scary as a lot of the stuff I was reading online. And when we saw the tropical leaves on this wallpaper print I couldn’t get them out of my head. It had to happen! So we dove in.
Murals Wallpaper actually prints your wallpaper to the right dimensions for your wall, so right off the bat you eliminate a whole bunch of guesswork or overbuying what you’ll need. That was a big head start. We mostly followed their instructions for the general installation, but we did learn a couple of tricks along the way that helped us expedite our process, so I thought I’d share! And just so you know — get a friend. This is definitely a two-person job!
Start by trimming the white edges at the printed trim lines. It helps if you have a nice wide open space, so clear out the floor or a large table in the room where you’ll be working. Then flip your first wallpaper panel over and dampen the back side with a wet sponge. You’ll want to hang it after about 10 minutes of being damp.
While the wallpaper is sitting and soaking the water, start applying your wallpaper adhesive to the walls. (Here’s where the process differs from lots of other wallpapers we researched — the adhesive goes right on the wall.) Roll or brush on a coat of adhesive in the area where your panel will go up. When the adhesive is on, apply your first panel to the wall. Be careful that you hang your first one (especially) straight — use a level or a plumb line to ensure that you’ve got it nice and even. Smooth the wallpaper on the adhesive. The Murals Wallpaper pieces come with some extra pattern printed on all sides for overlap, so once the first piece is hung use a razor blade to cut into the corners and cut away the excess. You can use a straight edge like a yardstick or a ruler to press the paper into a corner while you cut. Also cut away any paper that is covering light switches, etc.
Once the first panel is up and trimmed, use a squeegee or a similar flat-edged tool to smooth out any air bubbles. Smooth them toward the outside edges of the wallpaper. If any excess glue seeps out, wipe it away quickly with a damp cloth. Start the process again with your next panel. When you’re hanging your next panel on the wall, you’ll have to make sure that the patterns match up as you hang. There will be some overlap in the pattern; this is okay. Get this next panel hung and adhered. If you’re hanging around a window or a closet, it’s easiest to hang the full panel and then trim the general window area with scissors, being careful not to leave a couple of extra inches around the window frame to work with. Once the paper is adhered, use the same razor technique as you did in the corners to trim around the window.
Then you’ll need to go back and trim your overlapped spots. Use a straight edge and cut the two overlapped papers, being careful not to cut too far to one side or the other — you want to cut in the middle of where they’re overlapped. Remove the excess paper from both sides. Then use a seam rolling tool (we used a brayer) to roll over the seam and ensure that it’s nice and flat. Repeat the process with every new panel of paper until your wall is covered!
Weeeeeeee did it! I can’t believe we did it but we did it. And we’re still married. Ha! This wall is visible through the door from our painted brick fireplace, and they’re a perfect complement to each other.
And truly, it wasn’t that scary. Okay, the first panel was scary but once you develop a system and start working with the materials a little bit you definitely get the hang of it. Have you ever wallpapered? Would you ever wallpaper? Big thanks to Murals Wallpaper for helping us get over our DIY fears! xoxo
Product for this post graciously provided by Murals Wallpaper.