Peel and Stick Wallpaper was one project I have done that had a huge impact on our home! I'm going to do a quick run down of how I did this. If I had written this post I did the first wall, I would have said "This is super easy!" In fact, I did say that in a post on social media. However, that was after I had only done this one wall. On this one wall, it onhad exactly one single light switch (that we don't know what it works), one outlet, and one three-outlet lightswitch. What I'm trying to say is that I didn't have a lot to work around. The hardest part was right to the left of our front door simply because I had run out of paper about four inches too soon (keep reading).
Explore your options...
Peel and stick wallpaper comes in so many designs and options. I was on a mission to get this done and had originally intended on looking for one that looked like exposed brick. I was thinking of making it look similar to what we applied in our former guest room. We applied brick panels from The Home Depot followed by a German Schmear technique.
But, the more I thought about it, the more I kept realizing there would be issues that we'd need to resolve. This was more than I wanted to tackle. For instance, our front door trim butts all the way up against this wall with no space, whatsover, in between. The brick paneling would stick out from the wall which would mean having to deal with removing that trim. Did I mention we'd also have to remove the baseboard? To top it off, we'd have to add trim at the ceiling to cover the gap like I did in the guest room. I just wanted something that could easily cover up our chevron wall with a clean feel. So, in comes the peel and stick wallpaper. Do you remember what the chevron wall looked like?
Do your research...
For this, let's just say "Do as I say and not as I did." DO YOUR RESEARCH. Ask around, read the reviews, check Pinterest and search for feedback on different brands. I was heading to Lowe's to look into their designs by The Scott Brothers (Jonathen and Drew) and had to make a stop at Target first. My little voice told me to take a little jaunt down the isle with their own peel and stick wallpapers. I just to see what they had and check the pricing. For $34/roll, I found this shiplap version
I decided I was going to give it a go knowing that Lowe's did not have something similar in stock and it was $44/roll for their options. You know what they say... "You get what you pay for." For sure, I cannot say this is the case since I have never used any other brand besides this one. But, I'm willing to take a gamble that this could possibly have been true. My version is very thin.
Let me repeat. MY VERSION IS VERY THIN... and you can also see through it!
You see, I thought I was just going to take it home and start covering up the chevron and BOOM I'd have instant shiplap. I was so very wrong...
What you need to know...
- First of all, if you purchase this peel and stick wallpaper, it says right on the tubes that you should purchase the same LOT number. There could be variations in coloring and, according to the reviews I read later, the distance between the horizontal lines.I got absolutely lucky with my entry wall because I needed three rolls of the paper and Target had exactly three rolls left on their shelf. Oh, and yep, all three had the same lot number. It was going to be a match made my home heaven!
- Secondly, regardless of what type of peel and stick paper you purchase, read the reviews. To be quite honest, if I had read the reviews on this paper prior to purchasing, I would never have taken the plunge.
- If you order it online, there is no guarantee that you'll receive the same lot number. In fact, the odds are super high that you will not. So, when I decided I wanted to balance our main level spaces by doing the same treatment to our one dining wall, I was not nearly as lucky as I was the first time around. I started calling every Target within 45 minutes of our house to try to find five more rolls that all had the same lot number. One of those stores had five rolls in stock but only four of them had the same lot number. I headed there the next day to pick them up after they held them for me. Then, I tracked down one more roll with that lot number at the last Target I called which happens to be right down the street from a doctor's appointment I have to go to this week. They graciously agreed to hold that roll for me until then.
This may seem obvious by now, but you really have to want to do this if you decide to go with the Target brand I used!
- Like I said earlier, this paper is super thin. I had about a foot unrolled and sticky back exposed when I could immediately see an issue. You'd be able to see the old chevron right through the peel and stick wallpaper because it was so thin. That meant I needed a plan B which was to prime and paint the wall first. In fact, reading the directions will tell you that the paper adheres best to smooth walls painted with satin or semi-gloss paint.
- Lastly, if you apply an entire strip and then have to take it back off to re-apply, CALL LOUDLY FOR HELP AND SEND ALL CHILDREN OUT OF THE ROOM AS SWEAR WORDS WILL FLY.
This does require patience!
As I mentioned above, if I had stopped after this first wall, I would absolutely say that this project was easy. Other than the fact that I had to prime and paint the wall which added more time, it pretty much was. Oh, and it wasn't just one coat of primer. I hand painted primer over the darker zig zags first and then rolled on two more coats before those persistant stripes disappeared. But I then painted one coat of semi-gloss white over the wall to be sure the peel and stick wallpaper would have a good grip.
Here's my process (you can also watch a sound-free video of me doing this on the next wall here)...
- I peeled back about a foot of the backing to expose the stickiness. Starting at the left most side of the wall, I started to apply the paper by pressing it on at the top of the wall. Then, I used a measuring tape and level to make sure that first piece had lines that were officially straight, but also that looked straight on our older and uneven walls.
- Once that first section was started correctly, I gently pulled down the backing a little further and used my hands to smooth out about another 6-12 inches by working down and out. You want to push out any bubbles - you will see them! I prefered not to use a squeegee. Ripping the paper was something I thought might happen so I just worked with my hands to work the bubbles out.
- I cut off the backing when I got about half way down the wall just to have less weight hanging and less bulk with which to deal.
- Down the entire wall I worked, pulling the paper backing off as I went. When I got to the baseboard, I pressed the paper in to the crease with my fingers and used an Exact-o knife to gently make a cut all the way across. This allowed me to separate the rest of the roll and have a nice clean edge. I knew I had gotten the roll straight if all of the pieces ended up looking the same at the bottom. (I also had to trim the excess off of the tops.)
- When needed, I cut out around the outlets and switches.
- As I approached the door, I had about four inches leftover and only the remaining pieces from each roll. So, I got to cutting and pieced this entire section together as best I could. It took as long to do this little section as the entire rest of the wall!
On to the dining room wall...
I worked on the first four of the five rolls (I'm not patient enought to wait until I have all five rolls) and was able to get a couple of photos that makes it appear that this wall is done.
However, after doing this wall, I will no longer say I'm totally in love with this paper. Not because, once again, I had to prime and paint over the original stripes. I encountered an issue with this wall that did not occur nearly as badly with the entry wall. And that was that there are so many flaws in the wall that include the most teeny tiny little flecks of paint build-up which means EVERY SINGLE ONE of those is visible throught the paper.
In other words, every one of those little flecks or flaws caused the paper to raise up every so slightly around it making it look like a small bubble.
To help with this, I tried taking my knife and perferating the paper with just a small pin hole so that I could press that little bit of air out. (You can't see them during the daytime like you can at night.) Had I known how much these would stick out like a sore thumb, I'd have perhaps tried something. I would have taken a metal puddy knife and tried to go over the entire wall and knock all of those strange paint flecks off. Live and learn and then WARN THE OTHERS... HA! Here's the current state of this wall until I am able to pick up the other last roll!
My overall recommendation...
Oh gosh. What do I say here? I'm torn. Here's what I say. I recommend this paper only if you have patience, are not overly OCD, and want the look of shiplap without having to instal the real deal. I like the option of changing my mind. In case you haven't known me for a while, I'm good at that...changing my mind after a while. The peel and stick wallpaper shiplap gave us a crisp and clean look which was exactly what I was going for, especially after the old chevron wall which was so busy. Balancing the look by applying it to our dining room wall feels super fresh and bright.
On the flip side, if you need more than a couple of rolls, it becomes difficult to find the same lot number. You may find others that are thicker and have less prep work and less transparency. It may be worth the extra buckaroos if that is the case. For a smaller project or one that will not be visible from pretty much every angle of your main living space (like mine), I think this is great for the price.
Before I go..
I also tried out another pattern on my kitchen backsplash. For this, I tried this brick pattern,
also from Target. If you decide to do a backsplash, especially one that travels up a little slivvvvvvvver around and over your sink window, be prepared. There will be bending and twisting and maybe the occasional bang of the head under the cabinets (insert more possible curse words). Just being honest, folks. This project is not a bed of roses. Perhaps if your paper did not need to line up, it would be a bed of roses!
However, it did, again, make a big impact on our kitchen area. This pattern was $29/roll and I was able to do this entire backsplash with one roll. It took about five hours though. My husband and I are hesitant to invest in a real tile backsplash until we know whether our current countertops are staying for the long haul or not. Here's what we ended up with for this space.
I took this photo and only just now realized I never cut off the excess under the microwave.
Regardless, I'm happy with the overall change. Since painting the beams and front door and then adding these peel and stick wallpapers, I feel some character being added. The verdict is still out on how it will endure so we shall see! My next step is to install some chunky wooden shelves on either side of the piano and, down the road, the piano will get a coat of paint. I'll leave you wondering what color! Have you ever tried peel and stick wallpaper? How did it go for you? What brand did you use? Inquiring minds want to know!