How To Apply Sticky Wallpaper

How To Apply Sticky Wallpaper

How To Apply Sticky Wallpaper

Introduction to Sticky Wallpaper

Sticky wallpaper, also known as self-adhesive or peel and stick wallpaper, is growing in popularity due to its ease in application and ability to transform a space quickly. As its name implies, it is a type of wallpaper that requires no additional adhesives, paste or complex installation techniques.

What is Sticky Wallpaper?

Sticky wallpaper consists of a decorative front, usually made of vinyl, and a sticky adhesive back. The designs are endless, ranging from simple textures to bold patterns. Its versatility and suitability for various decorative styles make it a preferred choice for many homeowners and decorators.

Why Choose Sticky Wallpaper?

Aside from the variety of styles available, sticky wallpaper is loved for its ease of application. It doesn’t require a professional installer, making it a cost-effective choice for redesigning spaces. Moreover, it's an excellent option for rental properties, as it's easily removable and doesn’t damage the wall surface.

Durability and Maintenance

Sticky wallpaper is generally durable and can last many years with proper care. It's also easy to clean, another practical benefit of this type of wallpaper. Most types can be gently wiped clean with a damp cloth, making them ideal for high-traffic areas and rooms that are prone to getting dirty like the kitchen or bathroom.

Limitations of Sticky Wallpaper

Despite its benefits, it's important to note that sticky wallpaper isn’t suitable for all wall types. Textured or bumpy walls, or surfaces with non-stick paint may not allow the wallpaper to adhere properly. It’s always best to consult with an expert or conduct a patch test before full application.

Applying Sticky Wallpaper: A Basic Guide

Application of sticky wallpaper involves careful measuring, cutting, peeling, and sticking. While the process is relatively easy, it requires patience, especially when dealing with larger walls or intricate patterns. In the upcoming sections, we will walk you through the process.

Embrace the Versatility and Ease of Sticky Wallpaper

Sticky wallpaper presents an innovative and stylish way to makeover your interiors, offering a hassle-free application and an array of designs to choose from. Whether you’re revamping a small space or transforming an entire home, you will find sticky wallpaper a worthy addition to your design arsenal.

Understanding Different Types of Sticky Wallpaper

Sticky wallpapers, also known as self-adhesive wallpapers, offer a convenient and stylish way to change the appearance of your rooms without much effort. They come in a variety of types that cater to different preferences and application requirements.

Vinyl Sticky Wallpaper

One of the most common sticky wallpapers is Vinyl. These wallpapers are not only durable but also easy to clean, making them ideal for areas that are prone to moisture and dirt like kitchens and bathrooms. Vinyl is also available in a wide range of colors and patterns.

Non-Woven Sticky Wallpaper

Another popular type is the non-woven sticky wallpaper. Made from a blend of natural and synthetic fibers, these wallpapers are breathable, which prevents mold and mildew. They are easier to remove and do not tear easily, making them a practical choice for those who like to change their interior décor often.

Foamed Sticky Wallpaper

Foamed sticky wallpaper, on the other hand, gives an embossed look providing a texture to the walls. This makes them great for hiding minor wall imperfections. Also, they provide a little bit of sound and heat insulation.

Metallic Sticky Wallpaper

Metallic sticky wallpapers are a go-to for those looking for a luxurious and sophisticated feel. They reflect light and add a lustrous charm to any interior. However, care should be taken while applying since air bubbles and creases can easily be seen on these wallpapers.

Flock Sticky Wallpaper

Flock sticky wallpapers come with a velvety, raised pattern that adds an element of warmth and depth to a room. They exude opulence and are perfect for creating a vintage look.

Grasscloth Sticky Wallpaper

Grasscloth sticky wallpaper is made from natural, woven grasses. While they create a unique, textured look, their cleaning process is a bit meticulous, and they may not be ideal for rooms that experience high traffic and dirt.

Knowing What's Best for You

Choosing the right type of sticky wallpaper involves assessing your needs, your style, the room's function, and your budget. Sometimes, an individual’s taste may necessitate combining two or more types of sticky wallpapers.


Essential Tools and Materials for Wallpapering

Every successful wallpapering project depends on having the right tools and materials. Whether you are a professional wallpaper installer or a DIY enthusiast, equipping yourself with these essentials will ensure a smooth and efficient process.

Paste or Adhesive

Applying sticky wallpaper demands the right adhesive. Usually, the adhesive is water-based and easy to mix. It should be strong enough to keep the wallpaper firmly attached to the wall and last for many years. Different types of wallpaper require different adhesives, so check the wallpaper specifications.

Brushes and Rollers

You will need both a wide brush and a roller. A wide brush is essential for applying adhesive evenly on the wallpaper back, while a roller is necessary for smoothing out the wallpaper onto the wall, eliminating air bubbles and ensuring a tight fit.

Wallpaper Smoother or Seam Roller

Once the wallpaper is hung, you’ll need a tool to smooth out the paper and remove any bubbles. A wallpaper smoother can be made of plastic or felt and works well for this purpose. Alternatively, a seam roller can ensure the edges are firmly set in place.

Trimming Tools

Cutting tools, such as a sharp utility knife or wallpaper scissors, are necessary to cut the wallpaper to size, trim excess and make precise cuts around obstacles like outlets and switches. Make sure these tools are sharp to avoid tearing the wallpaper.

Level and Tape Measure

A level ensures the wallpaper is hung straight, while a tape measure is employed to measure the amount of wallpaper needed. Both these tools are vital for accurate and neat application.

Buckets, Sponges and Clean Cloths

Cleaning tools are also essential. A bucket for mixing the adhesive, a sponge for easing out wrinkles and removing excess paste, and clean cloths for tidying up are all indispensable for a neat job.


Unless you're exclusively wallpapering low areas, a sturdy stepladder is necessary. This allows access to upper areas of the wall and ensures the wallpaper is fitted perfectly from top to bottom.

Prep Materials

Finally, don't forget your wall prep materials. A quality primer or sealer prepares the wall surface for the adhesive, ensuring it sticks properly and lasts longer. Also, a perforation tool might be necessary if you need to remove old wallpaper before commencing with the new paper.

Remember, while wallpapering isn’t the easiest home improvement project, with the right tools and materials at your disposal, you’ll be well prepared for the task at hand.

Preparing Your Walls for Sticky Wallpaper

Ensuring your walls are prepared properly is key to achieving a professional wallpaper job. Without adequate preparation, your wallpaper may not adhere correctly, resulting in peeling, bubbling, or uneven surfaces. Given that, here are some steps to consider.

Clean the Walls

The first step in preparing your walls for wallpaper application is ensuring they are clean and free from grease, grime, and dust. You can use a mild detergent diluted with warm water and a soft cloth to wipe down your walls. Once the walls are clean, make sure to rinse them with fresh, clean water and allow them to dry completely.

Repair any Surface Damage

Sticky wallpaper will not properly adhere to a wall that is uneven or shows signs of damage. So ensure to fill in any holes or cracks in your walls with a filler or drywall compound and sand the surface to an even finish once the filler has dried. Any existing rough spots or textures should also be sanded smooth to ensure the wallpaper applies evenly to the wall.

Primer Application

Primers are crucial because they create a smooth, sealed surface for the wallpaper to adhere to, preventing the wallpaper from soaking up too much adhesive and drying out. Make sure to apply a good quality wall covering primer with a roller or brush and let it dry completely.

Strategies for Difficult Areas

Keep in mind that certain areas, like corners or edges, might require extra attention. To handle these situations, cut your wallpaper into smaller sections that are easier to manage. For areas around outlets or light switches, consider removing the faceplates before you start wallpapering and replace them after the wallpaper is applied.

Measuring and Marking the Walls

Before applying the sticky wallpaper, measure your walls and mark where each piece will go. This will help ensure a straight and consistent application. Using a level and a pencil, make a straight vertical line where each strip of wallpaper should be aligned.

Preparing for Unexpected Issues

Using sticky wallpaper can be a very forgiving process, as it allows you to correct any positioning mistakes immediately. However, it's advisable to prepare for potential delays by having extra wallpaper on hand in case of rips, tears, or pattern mismatches.

Final Check

Finally, always make time to do a last inspection of your walls before beginning the wallpaper application. Check that everything is clean, smooth, dry, and primed, and that you have all the necessary tools and materials at hand.

Properly Measuring and Cutting Sticky Wallpaper

Correct measurement and cutting of sticky wallpaper are essential steps in ensuring a flawless finish. These steps should be performed with utmost precision for a seamless look and feel. Let's delve into how you can accomplish these important tasks:

Tools Required

Before you start, ensure you have the following tools: a large, clean work surface, a sharp utility knife, a metal ruler, measuring tape, a pencil, and of course, your chosen wallpaper. Gather these tools in a comfortable, spacious work area to allow you to conveniently work with your wallpaper.

Measuring the Wall

Your first task is to measure the wall where you plan to install the wallpaper. Using a measuring tape, calculate both the height and width of the wall in inches. These measurements will help you figure out how much wallpaper you need. It's advisable to add an extra 10% to cater for any mistakes or anomalies in the wall.

Marking and Measuring the Wallpaper

Next, unroll your wallpaper on your workspace. Using the measurements taken from your wall, mark these lengths on your wallpaper with your pencil. Make sure to leave a few extra inches at both the top and the bottom for trimming. Remember, it is better to have too much than too little.

Cutting the Wallpaper

Place the metal ruler along the markings you've made. Using your utility knife, cut the wallpaper. The ruler will ensure that your cuts are straight and precise. Always make sure the blade of your utility knife is sharp. A dull blade may tear the wallpaper instead of cutting it smoothly.

Repeat the Process

Repeat the marking and cutting process for each strip of wallpaper you need. Each piece should match the height of your wall with the added trimming allowance at the top and the bottom.

Checking Before Application

Prior to applying the wallpaper, hold your cut pieces up to the wall to make sure they fit. If necessary, make any additional trims.

Final Preparations

After you've cut all your pieces, you're ready to apply your wallpaper. The next steps include applying the adhesive, positioning the wallpaper, and finally, smoothing it to fit your wall perfectly.

By measuring and cutting your sticky wallpaper accurately, you can ensure a professional-looking finish even if it's your first time. The attention to detail you take in this stage will make the application process much smoother and more successful.

Step-by-Step Guide of Applying Sticky Wallpaper

Applying sticky wallpaper is not as daunting as it sounds, with the right guide in your hand. Follow the below step-by-step instructions to do it all by yourself:

Materials You'll Need

Before beginning the process, ensure you have all the required materials. You will need sticky wallpaper, a measuring tape, a smoothing tool, a utility knife, and a clean sponge. Now, let's get started!

Measure The Wall

Use your measuring tape to compute the width and height of your wall. It's essential to be accurate as you'll need these measurements to cut your wallpaper accordingly.

Cut The Wallpaper

Based on the dimensions taken, cut out enough wallpaper to cover the wall. It's always a good idea to add an extra few inches to allow for any unexpected errors.

Apply The Wallpaper

Begin applying the sticky wallpaper from the top of your wall, smoothing it out as you go along. Ensure there are no air bubbles caught underneath the wallpaper, use the smoothing tool to help with this.

Trim Excess Wallpaper

Once the wallpaper has been applied, take your utility knife and carefully cut away any remaining overhang. Remember, this step should be done as neatly as possible.

Clean The Wallpaper

Clean your newly applied wallpaper with a clean, damp sponge. This removes any adhesives residue that might be sticking on the surface and gives your wall a clean and polished look in the end.

Check For Misalignments & Air Bubbles

In this final step, inspect over the wallpaper to double-check for any misalignments or hidden air bubbles. If you find any, use your smoothing tool to fix them. If misalignment is spotted, it could mean reapplying the wallpaper again.


Keep in mind that sticky wallpaper does best on walls that are clean, smooth and dry. Ensure you prep your wall before you start the application process for best results.

Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes When Installing Wallpaper

Wallpaper installation can be a tricky task, but it's definitely manageable if you know what pitfalls to avoid. Here are some common mistakes people often make during the process, along with tips on how to prevent them.

Not Preparing the Wall Properly

The first step in successfully applying wallpaper is ensuring your wall is correctly prepared. Mistakes often occur when people don't clean the wall area properly before starting. Any dust, dirt, or grease on the walls can interfere with the adhesion of the wallpaper, causing it to peel off prematurely. Ensure you clean your walls thoroughly, patch any holes, and sand smooth any rough areas.

Not Measuring Correctly

Before starting, you need to know exactly how much wallpaper you'll need. If you estimate roughly, you can end up with too small pieces at the corners or around windows and doors. Always measure the height and width of each wall accurately and add a bit extra for pattern matching and mistakes.

Improperly Mixed Adhesive

The consistency and quality of your wallpaper paste are crucial. An overly thick or thin paste can cause issues like bubbles, peeling, or difficulty sticking. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions when mixing the paste.

Not Booking the Paper

After applying paste to the wallpaper, it's necessary to let it 'book' or fold it so the adhesive can activate. If you rush this step or don’t do it at all, the wallpaper will not stick as well to the wall.

Rushing the Process

In their eagerness to see the final result, many people try to rush the installation process. This can lead to poorly aligned patterns and visible seams. Take your time, use a level to ensure straight lines, and smooth the wallpaper carefully to avoid bubbles and wrinkles.

Overlooking the Drying Time

Last but not least, don't ignore the drying time. Resist the temptation to touch or disturb newly installed wallpaper until it is completely dry. This can avoid stretching, misshaping, or peeling.

By keeping these tips in mind, you're likely to avoid the most common mistakes that can occur during wallpaper installation, ensuring a smooth and professional finish.

Maintaining and Cleaning Your Sticky Wallpaper

Once your sticky wallpaper is up, the job isn't over. Proper maintenance and cleaning of your wallpaper is necessary to keep it looking fresh and vibrant for years to come. Regular upkeep not only extends the life of your sticky wallpaper but also adds to the ambience of your space.

Care and Maintenance

The process of proper care begins immediately after the application. Avoid touching the wallpaper frequently as the oil from hands can leave permanent marks. Always make sure it is completely dry before any cleaning or maintenance process.

Do not place any object that produces heat or releases moisture near the wallpaper as these can damage the adhesive bond. Keep your sticky wallpaper away from direct sunlight, as continuous exposure can fade the colour.

Daily Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning, do not use any abrasive materials or a dry cloth as they might cause scratches. Gentle dusting with a soft, damp cloth - and then immediately drying it - is sufficient for daily cleaning. Never use excessive pressure while cleaning, as it can peel off the wallpaper.

Dealing with Stains

If there are stains on the wallpaper, using a mild soap or detergent solution can be effective. Patches should be cleaned by applying the solution from bottom to top and then gently wiped with a soft cloth. This process should be immediately followed by wiping with a dry cloth to avoid watermarks.

Periodic Maintenance

Periodical maintenance involves checking the wallpaper for any loose ends or bubbles. If found, these should be fixed immediately to prevent further damage. Refer to the method used while applying the wallpaper initially to fix these minor issues.

Reapplication or Replacement

It is important to understand that even with the utmost care, the wallpaper might eventually start peeling off due to its natural wear and tear. If this happens, consider reapplying or replacing the peeling sections.

Following these guidelines can ensure your sticky wallpaper lasts longer and remains an attractive feature in your space.