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To DIY or Not | Wallpaper

Is wallpapering a task you can actual do yourself? Short answer: IT DEPENDS.

Here’s a quick “Should You Wallpaper that Wall Already” Quiz:

1. Can you use a roller brush? 

2. Are you wallpapering one wall with no windows or obstacles to cut around?

3. Have you ever hung wallpaper before?

wallpaper diy

If you answered yes to all 3 than congratulations, you’re easily and officially in the DIY wallpaper club. If not, than you may want to consider asking for an additional experienced hand or hire a professional. I could only answer yes to one of these questions (#1) when I hung wallpaper for the first time, yet we proudly finished the job. We rode the struggle bus for a good 6 hours though. Check out the full reveal HERE.

DIY wallpaper

Choosing Your Wall

This is the most crucial factor in deciding to hang wallpaper yourself. I wish someone would have grabbed me by the shoulders and said, “THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE ABOUT TO DO!”

For the first time ever wallpapering, I chose a wall with three windows, trim, and two bends. Cutting around the windows and getting the pattern to match from the top to bottom around the windows made this one of the hardest projects I’ve ever done. After spending three hours on two sheets, my husband and I just had to walk away for a while.

 

By the end of the day, we both agreed that if we chose a blank accent wall, it would be an easy DIY that even one person could do by themselves in a day. If this is your first time wallpapering, I highly suggest finding a single solid wall with no windows, objects, or ornate trim. 

Breaking Down the Process

If the thought of the actual process of hanging the paper is what’s keeping you from doing it, don’t let it! It’s actually quite simple.

Simply enough, all you have to do is: (1) create a plum line to ensure your first sheet is level, (2) measure the height of your wall, (3) leave 3-4 inches on both ends, (4) roll wallpaper adhesive on the wall, and (5) start hanging your paper from top to bottom while pressing out any bubbles using a smoothing tool. Once it’s hung, (6) cut off the excess using a new, sharp razor blade.(Disclaimer: this product was gifted to me by Milton & King, but all reviews and opinions are my own.)

Companies make wallpaper for dummies these days (I’m raising my hand REAL high here). The durability and pattern matching from sheet to sheet is what makes this project a novice DIYer’s dream!

Wallpaper is much different than the thin sheets that your grandparents soaked in a water glue solution only to leave creases or tears when hanging. I personally used Milton & King’s paper in Olive Dapple to wallpaper our breakfast nook. I was super rough with their paper, and was so thankful for the durability several times throughout the process. It withstood me gluing it on the wall only to take it off twice due to my lack of trim cutting and pattern aligning skills.

When to Leave it to the Pros
  • If you want to wallpaper a powder room while cutting around lighting, sinks, towel hooks, and toilets, hire a professional.
  • If you’re wallpapering a wall or an entire room with multiple windows or objects to cut around, hire a professional.
  • If your dream wallpaper has an intricate pattern, more expensive than most, or is vintage, hire a professional.

For example, this beauitiful nursery by Monika Hibbs is covered in a stunning feminine, floral wallpaper, but I would not tackle this large of a room with the windows, trim, and vault by myself. Instead, you could consider using a similar paper on one focal wall for a nearly identical vibe that you could do yourself for a fraction of the cost.

The Glitter Guide | Monika Hibbs

Project Nursery

Final Thoughts

Wallpapering is a DIYer’s dream…90% of the time. For a couple hundred dollars and an afternoon, wallpaper can completely transform a space in a way that a can of paint just can’t. It has made my breakfast nook truly unique and a focal point for the rest of our house. This is true for so many wallpapered spaces I’ve seen. Though it’s a task, it is so worth the effort.

Holly, at White’s Room and Board, does an amazing job incorporating beautiful paper in her homes and was a huge inspiration to me when deciding to use wallpaper in my home (plus, it helps that she’s a TN girl like me).

White’s Room and Board

With all that said, if I had to do it over again, I would hire someone to wallpaper our nook. We left SO MANY imperfections. (Don’t look too close!) Confession: we scrapped four full sheets, which is $$$. Cutting around the trim, aligning the pattern around the windows, and smoothing the paper in the two bends made for a stressful day that would have really tested our marriage in the early days.

Luckily, the stress of that nook papering day is slowly fading. Give me an blank accent wall and a beautiful paper, and I would gladly get my glue out again. Just don’t make me trim around a window!

Be encouraged about the fact that you are absolutely capable of hanging wallpaper yourself, but also know that there are professionals who do this everyday. Either way, wallpaper is not going out of style anytime soon, so I encourage you to find a way to incorporate it in your home.

 

wallpaper diy

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