Lucy Lemonade

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Welcome to Lucy Lemonade: A lifestyle blog—mostly about home DIY & decorating.

How to Wallpaper a Feature Wall (i.e. How to Put Up Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper)

How to Wallpaper a Feature Wall (i.e. How to Put Up Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper)

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: FRUSTRATING...BUT TOTALLY WORTH IT 

Hey Modern Farmhouse Girl!

I started contemplating a wallpaper feature wall on Day One of moving into my condo. Which wall would I paper? What type of paper would I choose? And how soon could I make it happen?!

My amazing cousin Emily (who writes one of my favorite blogs: Mothering Daisy) and her awesome husband Nick had the best textured wallpaper feature wall in their former home in Philly. A total inspiration! Also my Auntie Pam, an interior designer, painter and blogger at Posh Palettes ALSO has amazing wallpaper in her home and has installed some incredible papers in client projects! And I can't forget my mom, who was on hand to direct me during my wallpaper install. She currently has this adorable pear wallpaper in her kitchen! 

What made it so hard for me to get moving on this project was step one: picking a paper. I just couldn't decide! Because there are literally ENDLESS options. Just Google "peel-and-stick wallpaper." And scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram brings up even more ideas. (I especially loved these Instagram ideas from my friend Heather C.M. who pointed me to The Jungalow (scroll through her feed for tons of amazing wallpaper inspo) and Ellie Cashman's floral prints—LOVE!!!)

I also had trouble deciding on which wall to choose. Would I do the wall behind my bed in my bedroom? The wall behind the TV in my living room? The wall behind the mirror and sink in my downstairs bathroom? (The list of possibilities goes on.)

By the first weekend in May, I'd finally made a decision: I would wallpaper the back of my kitchen pantry (a wall that faces out onto my dining room) and I would go with a modern farmhouse style print: gray buffalo check. And peel-and-stick. Definitely peel-and-stick (in case I decided once it was up that I didn't like it, or in case if I sell the condo someday the future owners don't like it!). 

My inspiration paper was this Joanna Gaines Grays and White Magnolia Home Watercolor Check Removable Wallpaper, sold at the Home Depot. I didn't love the watercolor effect, so in the end the paper I went with was this Devine Color Buffalo Plaid Peel & Stick Wallpaper Mirage & Lightning in gray and off-white. (And nearly an identical price point.)

I did STRONGLY consider this Fixer Upper inspired Devine Color Textured Shiplap Peel & Stick Wallpaper in Ultra White (maybe for my bedroom down the road?!) Also, now that I'm back on the Target website, check out THIS Canary Floral paper! (Maybe for my bathroom at some point?)

Anyway...once you choose your wall and your wallpaper (fingers crossed it takes you less than the 9 months it took me to decide on mine!) here's what you'll need:

  • Your peel-and-stick wallpaper of choice (Note: before you've ordered it, you've of course already measured the height and width of your walls and ordered the correct amount of paper!)
  • A step-ladder 
  • A squeegee (I picked one up from Home Depot in the cleaning aisle)
  • A sharp blade (I had on hand this Window Film Edger from a previous project, which worked just fine and is sold at Home Depot) 
  • I would also recommend watching this handy Devine how-to video — the model makes the process look a lot faster and easier than it is (it's really just super annoying to line up the strips, your shoulders will start to ache and you will need to use the squeegee A LOT to get out all the air bubbles that form). They also show the model pre-cutting the panels. I didn't do that, I just stuck mine to the wall and trimmed excess after.

Here are my process shots (I feel like minimal explanation is needed since it's pretty straightforward but leave a comment if you have any specific questions!):

My peel-and-stick wallpaper of choice, ready to go!

My peel-and-stick wallpaper of choice, ready to go!

Multi-purpose tools mentioned above—sharp blade plus squeegee

Multi-purpose tools mentioned above—sharp blade plus squeegee

The Wall. Note: I took off outlet covers before starting to paper. You just use your edger to cut holes for them after the paper is up.

The Wall. Note: I took off outlet covers before starting to paper. You just use your edger to cut holes for them after the paper is up.

Strip one, up! (Note the step ladder.) And as you can see there is some overhang on the left side and on the bottom. You just trim that away with your sharp blade.

Strip one, up! (Note the step ladder.) And as you can see there is some overhang on the left side and on the bottom. You just trim that away with your sharp blade.

Strip Two! (Up probably 30 minutes later...or more. So many air bubbles pop up, it takes a long time to get them all out with your squeegee!)

Strip Two! (Up probably 30 minutes later...or more. So many air bubbles pop up, it takes a long time to get them all out with your squeegee!)

Last one! *Sigh of relief.*

Last one! *Sigh of relief.*

Peel-and-stick wallpaper is as straightforward to apply (just peel...and stick!) as it is annoying to work with. Here are my three top tips if you try this at home: 1. Move SLOWLY. Peel back your paper one foot at a time. 2. Be PATIENT. Use your squeegee to press out any air bubbles. And then use it again. And again. You’ll get them all! 3. Get a BUDDY. Make sure you have someone else on hand to hold tools for you while you’re papering and to tell you if you’re hanging your strips of paper straight.
Woo hoo! Edging is all trimmed, the furniture is back, the picture re-hung and the outlet covers are back on.

Woo hoo! Edging is all trimmed, the furniture is back, the picture re-hung and the outlet covers are back on.

Now you just need to get the perfect angle for your Instagram post. Cheers!

Now you just need to get the perfect angle for your Instagram post. Cheers!

xx Lucy

June 24 update:  I had one strip of paper leftover from the Feature Wall and I just put it to good use! Of course, I could have used it in one million ways, but I decided to give my entryway hall closet a fresh coat of white paint, add some coat racks and use that last strip for a fun surprise inside it. I think it turned out great!

June 24 update: I had one strip of paper leftover from the Feature Wall and I just put it to good use! Of course, I could have used it in one million ways, but I decided to give my entryway hall closet a fresh coat of white paint, add some coat racks and use that last strip for a fun surprise inside it. I think it turned out great!

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