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How to Install Peel & Stick Wallpaper

Ready to give your child's room a whole new look? Try peel-and-stick wallpaper. Installing self-adhesive wallpaper is a simple job that anyone can complete in an afternoon with just a few simple tools. To get you hanging wallpaper like a pro, we at Pottery Barn Kids have created this step-by-step guide to installing peel-and-stick wallpaper. Keep reading to learn how to install this easy-to-use wall covering.

What You'll Need

Before you begin wallpapering, you'll need to gather a few simple tools. These tools and materials can be purchased at any hardware store and will ensure a professional-looking wallpapering job.

  • Pencil
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler or straightedge
  • Level
  • Smoothing tool
  • Sponge
  • Mild detergent or soap
  • Hot water

Steps for Hanging

Once you've gathered the supplies listed above, it's time to get to work. Follow the simple steps below to install your peel-and-stick wallpaper.

1. Prepare the wall.Wallpaper doesn't cling well to greasy or dirty surfaces, so your first step is to clean your wall. You don't need any special cleaning solutions; simply use some hot water, a mild cleaning solution and a sponge to scrub away dirt and dust.

2. Cut strips of wallpaper.Measure the height of the wall. Then, use a utility knife to cut strips of wallpaper to fit the wall's height, leaving an extra half inch or so of wallpaper at each end.

3. Mark the width of the strips on the wall.Using your pencil and tape measure, mark points along the wall to indicate the width or the strips. Place your level against the wall at each point and draw straight, vertical lines to create guides for your wallpaper strips.

4. Peel away 12 inches of wallpaper backing.Peel the backing away from the first foot or so of a wallpaper strip, exposing the adhesive.

5. Work from top to bottom.Press the sticky side of the wallpaper strip to the wall, lining the top edge of the strip up to the point where the wall meets the ceiling. Then, slowly press the strip downward, peeling away the backing as you go.

6. Trim away excess wallpaper.Use your utility knife to trim away the excess wallpaper at the top and bottom of the wallpaper strips. A ruler or straightedge can be used as a guide to ensure straight cuts.

7. Repeat with the next strip.Repeat steps 4 to 6 with the remaining strips of wallpaper, lining up the edge of each strip to the edge of the previous one until the entire area is covered.

8. Remove air bubbles.Use the smoothing tool to remove any air bubbles and give your wallpapering job a uniform appearance.

Installation Tips

  • If you're wallpapering an entire wall, as opposed to just a section of a wall, begin wallpapering in the middle of the wall. This will provide you with a guideline for hanging the rest of the pieces so you can create a seamless pattern.
  • If you're wallpapering more than one wall, overlap the corner strips by a half inch and trim away the excess later. Remember, it's better to have too much wallpaper than too little.
  • Before you begin wallpapering, lay your pre-cut strips on the floor to ensure the pattern lines up properly. This can be particularly helpful if you're only wallpapering a section of a wall.

Wallpaper Care

Although wallpaper is generally low-maintenance, there are still a few steps you can take to keep your wall coverings looking as good as new. Here are a few simple tips for caring for your wallpaper.

  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners. Harsh cleaners can damage the finish of your wallpaper. Instead, use a sponge and warm, soapy water to occasionally wipe down your walls.
  • Use an up-and-down motion to clean seam areas. Avoid scrubbing in a horizontal direction over the wallpaper seams, as the seams could catch on your sponge and tear.
  • If your wallpaper is not washable, you can remove marks and scuffs with a dry sponge or a cleaning "eraser."
  • Between washings, use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove dust and cobwebs.

Installing peel-and-stick wallpaper is an easy way to change the entire look of your child's bedroom. Follow the steps above to speed up the project and ensure a crease-free, professional looking wallpapering job.

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